Undecided Ottawa South Voter looking to get questions answered.

Dear Candidates of Ottawa South,

I am an Internet Consultant who runs an ISP, commercially authors/supports Free/Libre and Open Source Software, and authors/presents public policy positions in related areas of policy. I have spoken to parliamentary committees. I have been hired by MPs to host their websites (including candidates in this election), and have been hired by government departments to offer help on policy. I am the private sector co-coordinator for a group called Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments (GOSLING). I also met my wife on-line.

It is safe to say that much of my social, economic and political life are tied to the free/libre Internet. I am committed to defending it in much the same way as others would fight to protect their country which represents and protects their way of life. Public policy in this area is what is of most concern to me, and thus will be the determining factor for who I will vote for.

I became actively involved in 2001 in the Canadian Copyright reform process, creating a forum called Canada-DMCA-Opponents. Most practitioners in this area are opposed to what the USA did with their Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and do not want this imported into Canada. It became obvious to me that without the intervention of our community that the Federal government was headed toward making radical changes to policy regulating my business and lifestyle. Indicating our huge interest we generated approximately 650 of the 700 written responses to the consultation, and participated in each of the in-person consultations that happened in early 2002. The most recent report from the Heritage Committee of Parliament indicates to us that we have thus far been largely ignored.

One of our affiliated organizations, the The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), has sent out a series of questions for candidates . Thus far none of the Ottawa South candidates have answered these questions. The closest was a face-to-face meeting I had with David McGuinty early in the campaign. He did not have established views on the areas of policy of most concern to me, but assured me that he would look into it if elected.

Unfortunately for Mr McGuinty, the Liberal Party did provide a response to the CIPPIC questions, congratulating themselves for their past record. It was the record and direction of the government that caused me to go part-time at my job and dedicate a large amount of my time to this area of policy. Now the Liberal party seems proud to claim responsibility for this.

I am an undecided voter. I am open to be convinced by candidates, including Mr McGuinty if he differentiates his personal views from the position offered thus far by his party. There are sitting MPs from each of the parties in the last parliament that had forward-looking and backward-looking views on these issues. I do not hold individual candidates responsible for the views of the executive director or leader of their party if they disagree.

Please consider answering the CIPPIC questions to Candidates, as well possibly the more specialized copyright questions on the Digital Copyright Canada forum. I would like to meet with candidates and talk about these areas of policy once candidates have had a chance to read our questions.

Russell McOrmond

http://www.flora.ca (Full contact information)




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Additional note sent to the CBC

I went to CBC town hall Wednesday evening, and I ended up writing a letter to the hosts of that event.

My letter is at: http://www.flora.org/flora.action-forum/954

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.