Top 10 Ridings I will be watching election night

Here is a list of the top ridings I'll be watching this election night, and why. Click on the ridings to get more details, articles, etc.

Timmins--James Bay
Obvious place to start the list, with incumbent Charlie Angus of the New Democrats expected to keep his seat. He is the incumbent MP who best understands technology law issues, whether it be Copyright or Net Neutrality. He has also been very successful in educating and working within his caucus to enable the NDP to have some of the strongest candidates in this election.
Pickering - Scarborough East
The current incumbent entertainment industries candidate, Liberal Dan Mcteague, is expected to retain this riding. In the last election the online community was able to build a lot of momentum to turf out Sam Bulte for her close ties to the industry, but this election there really wasn't any momentum built against Mcteague. The best we can hope for is that after the election that the Liberal party removes him from a position of power, and doesn't put him on the committee studying Copyright. The Liberals should have a Consumers Affairs Critic, not a Critic of the Affairs of Consumers.
Vancouver Centre
I met incumbent Hedy Fry as she is a member of Heritage Committee, and has a high probability of being on that committee of 12 people studying copyright. She appears to be someone stuck in the 1980's and believes that the entertainment industry is where the source of Canadian creativity comes from, and is unaware of the rise of alternatives and the democratizing aspects of new media. One of her challengers is Michael Byers who in an interview demonstrated just how well he understands the issues. To make the riding just that much more interesting, Green Party deputy leader Adriane Carr is running. My hope is that Ms. Carr will pull enough of the centre vote from the Liberals to bring Mr. Byers into parliament. I would normally be rooting for the Greens in this riding, but on the issue of Copyright it is Mr. Byers that would be our greatest asset.
Vancouver Quadra
This riding has both the NDP and Liberal candidates taking the Copyright Pledge, and Green Party candidate Dan Grice demonstrating in detail his understanding of the issues in an interview he did with me. There were 14 other ridings where both the NDP and Liberal candidate took the pledge, with the Green Party pledging as a party.
Digital activist Cory Doctorow endorsed Anne Lagacé Dowson, the NDP candidate. This riding is also high profile as the Liberal is astronaut Marc Garneau. Although Mr. Garneau did not take the copyright pledge, there is some speculation that he may be aware enough of technology to reject the extremist anti-technology positions in copyright.
Polls suggest that this race is between Mike Nagy (Green Party) and Frank Valeriote (Liberal). Both of the front runners have taken the copyright pledge. Tom King of the NDP looked like he would be the strongest in this area of policy when the byelection was called, but seems to have been relatively quiet. He didn't take the time to reply to Mr. Geist on the Copyright Pledge.
Parkdale - High Park
This was the closest watched riding by out community in 2006 as we were trying to boot Liberal/CRIA candidate Sam Bulte out. This time incumbent NDP Peggy Nash and Liberal Gerard Kennedy appear to be frontrunners, both took the Copyright pledge, and both seem to be fairly modern on technology law issues. Ms. Nash has been on Industry committee, a bit of a modern thinking counterweight to Mr. McTeague. She has also stepped in for Mr. Angus on Heritage when he has been busy. The Conservatives have put money into this riding, thinking that the vote split between the NDP and Liberals can allow a Conservative to get in. Any strategic voting to keep the Conservative out will backfire here as it is a riding where it's not clear where the incumbent benefit is given Ms. Nash has held the riding federally, and Mr. Kennedy has held the riding provincially.
Central Nova
Electoral reform and the democracy deficit are issues beyond technology that concern me. This riding has the leader of a growing small party with Green Party leader Elizabeth May, running against the politician most responsible for the destruction of the Progressive Conservative party of Canada -- it's last leader, Peter MacKay. While Mr. MacKay became PC party leader on a platform of not merging, he quickly merged with the party then named the Canadian Alliance (previously the Reform party). The only reason for the alleged need to "unite the right" was because of vote splitting caused by our antiquated First Past the Post electoral system. The Canadian Alliance was different enough from the Progressive Conservative that a merger didn't happen, with past candidates/organizers/supporters splitting in 4 different directions: some left politics, some joined the Conservative Party, some the Liberal party, and some the Green Party. The Green Party's recent strength has come from past federal PC organizers and supporters joining the party, as well as from campaign financing reform. Elizabeth May has support from interesting places: Liberals due to her deal with leader Dion, past PC party members who hate MacKay because he destroyed their party federally, and hopefully people with the NDP who recognize that having Elizabeth win the riding is far better than MacKay. The NDP were second place in the 2006 election, and could easily have won if we already had modernized our electoral system.
West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country
Incumbent Blair Wilson was the first Green Party MP in Canada, and it will be very interesting to see if he retains his seat.
While it was Industry Minister Jim Prentice that tabled Bill C-61, this is an area of policy that is joint between Heritage and Industry. There is little evidence that either of these people actually read or understood the copyright bill, with members on Industry and Heritage committee having far more influence. Incumbent Heritage Minister Josée Verner in this riding is likely feeling more pressure in her riding as the people of Quebec will see the redirection of Arts funding to Sport and other programs in Heritage to be more her responsibility. Mr. Harper's statements about the arts not resinating with "Ordinary people" have reinvigorated the Bloc in Quebec, with the Bloc placing 2'nd in this riding last election. The predictions are that she will retain the riding, but it is a far more interesting riding to watch than Mr. Prentice's riding of Calgary Centre-North where the Conservatives would win no matter who (or what) the candidate was.

I will also be watching my own riding of Ottawa South, but it is not otherwise a key riding related to technology law or democratic reform. After the election I will also see how the members that were previously on Industry and Heritage committees do, given members from these two committees are the most MPs to put their name forward to represent their parties as one of the 12 people on the committee that studies copyright.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Early results...

A conservative minority called by all the networks some time ago, with the following being the results at the moment from Elections Canada (could have minor changes over the evening). I will wait until tomorrow to post final results, and also look at the past members of Industry and Heritage committees to see who may be in the new committees.

Conservative: 144
Liberal: 74
Bloc: 50
NDP: 38
Independent: 2

  • Timmins--James Bay incumbent NDP Charlie Angus wins with about 55.6% of vote.

  • Pickering - Scarborough East incumbent Liberal Dan McTeague wins with about 48.1% of vote
  • Vancouver Centre isn't being called, but incumbent Liberal Hedy Fry has 35.7% of vote
  • Vancouver Quadra incumbent Liberal Joyce Murray wins with about 46.1% of vote
  • Westmount--Ville-Marie Liberal Marc Garneau wins riding with about 46.7% of vote
  • Guelph Liberal Frank Valeriote wins seat with about 32.5% of vote
  • Parkdale - High Park Liberal Gerard Kennedy wins seat with about 43.6% of vote
  • Central Nova incumbent Conservative Peter Gordon MacKay wins seat with about 46.6% of vote
  • West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country Conservative John Weston wins seat with about 46.0% of vote
  • Louis-Saint-Laurent incumbent Conservative Josée Verner wins seat with about 47.1% of vote

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