Please talk to candidates, not focus on parties.

As the general election starts, I want to remind people of some advise I gave during the 2008 election. I was often asked which political party I thought was best on technology law issues. My answer always was: It’s the candidates, not the parties.

My belief in this is even stronger now that I have spent approximately 4 hours a week for the past few months with the group of MPs who made up the legislative committee for Bill C-32.

At the highest level, all the MPs and parties agreed that Copyright should protect the rights of creators, while ensuring there is a balance between those interests and the rights of the general public. Where there were disagreements it was about which policies would best meet or harm these goals, and that is where the expertise, experience, and chosen advisors for the individual MPs really matter.

I agreed with others that this bill was critically flawed, but fixable. From each of the MPs of each of the parties I heard ideas that I agreed with, and other ideas I disagreed with. I plan to post more thoughts on the individuals from this committee in the coming week, but wanted to start the campaign with the message that people should be spending some time in their ridings talking to the candidates.