[kwlug-disc] government scandal, TPM DRM, and I spoke with an MP today.

Paul Gallaway pgallaway at gmail.com
Tue Apr 5 22:36:36 EDT 2011


On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 12:47 AM, John Kerr <jkerr0102 at rogers.com> wrote:
> "[pick your own 'scandal' - there were a lot of them]"
>
> Yes I will, let us go back in Canadian history, but not too far back:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponsorship_scandal [...]

Sure, I'll bite. Yup there's no denying that one, and the Liberals
responsible for that scandal took their lumps, jail time and all the
Party's dirty laundry was aired out for all to see (and many are still
giving the Party and those personally responsible lumps over it). We
could go back and fourth scandal for scandal all day so let's just
take our Canadian political scandals lesson all the way back the very
first one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Macdonald#Second_term_and_Pacific_Scandal.2C_1872.E2.80.931873

My point with that (and I believe it was at least indirectly your
point as well, and Darryl made it as well), corruption is part of the
culture of Ottawa and not something any party is without. Where there
is power, the money is close behind and not everyone is immune to it.
Whether it's entertainment industry working within the current lobby
rules to wine and dine ministers (yes, legal and all parties
participate), brown paper bags stuffed with money, or money used to
buy advertising that doesn't exist, Ottawa has issues with money and
this is a subject unto itself. Those Governments that forget or choose
to ignore always seem to find themselves knee deep in...

Back on topic for this list: I feel my initial point holds, with the
many short comings of the last Government (accepting that there were
many with the previous governments and will be to perpetuity), it
seemed that the greatest public back-lashes in the last sitting
occurred over copyright and UBB.

> The only people who have a licence to complain about scandals in federal politics
> are the supporters of the Green Party and the NDP. [...]

The 'no baggage' clause of both of these parties is certainly one of
many reasons to like them ('less' baggage?). However, ignoring a
scandal because, "they were worse/as bad," is simply not an acceptable
answer from any government.

> It is correct that the people who felt they were most impacted by the Copyright Act
> did respond like we have never seen before. However, ask people who are outside
> "our world" about TPM's DRM you will probably get a "HUH?".

Yes, and in context with the last Government's "scandals" and the
general indifference to most of what happens in Ottawa, this is, IMO,
a significant shift in public attitude and involvement in Federal
politics occurred around this subject. People who normally could care
less were paying attention, were engaged, and frankly, pissed off (and
many of them for the wrong reasons...). I accept that I am surrounded
by peers with similar interests and technical background who 'get' the
issues affecting this community, but regardless I would say the youth
are well informed on this (copyright) issue for whatever their
personal reasons, were engaged by it, care about it, and understand
the stakes (hmm, just occurred to me that I'm probably no longer
considered part of the youth vote...).

[surprisingly, a non-partisan feel-good-about-the-youth-vote article]
http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/article/512059--vote-mob-stages-surprise-party-for-harper

> Now my gut feeling on the copyright bill is that it was deliberately left to die on the
> order paper by the Conservative Government twice. Just a gut feeling.

I think you are probably correct about stall tactics coming into play,
and whether they did it out of the kindness of their hearts,
non-confidence issues, or other political purposes is something we
could debate round-and-round all election. Indeed there are as many
reasons any party in power could be compelled to leave TPM's in the
draft law, especially while negotiating a free-trade/open borders
agreement with the U.S.. Very likely a significant factor in writing
C-32.

> Here is what I think is interesting. The lobbyists who have been pushing for DRM
> and TPM have been saying since before 2004 that they are going to go out of business [...]

Here's the part we fully agree on :) And this is a good point to make.
Hasn't the movie industry returned to year on year record breaking
profits?

> I think that Parliament is being duped on the copyright issue -- Conservative, Liberal, Bloc and
> NDP.

Yup.

> And today, I spoke with Peter Braid [...] Peter Braid is willing to meet with us.

This would be a good first step. And to re-hash previous threads.

Education is a short coming to understanding the issues [most? all?]
KWLUG have with C-32. The first obstacle is getting face time, the
second obstacle is overcoming the natural redirect/deflection all
politicians have when it comes to issues they may not fully
understand/agree with, and third you can finally try to educate/get
your point across. However, if you can get enough people talking to
the representative he/she will take notice and will take his/her
re-education seriously. I think individuals may be more effective at
getting attention than a large group (e.g. 100 people independently
approaching the representative about the issue 'feels' like more
people than a group of 200 people at one event).

So now we have our representative on side, what happens now? Are we
still at odds with the cabinet ministers? PMO's office? Does our
representative have any swing within his/her party caucus? Are we
stuck with a representative that is going to toe-the Party line
despite apparently getting our message across in a face-to-face? Per
the other election threads, best we can do on this issue is vote for
someone who will listen and someone who will speak-up (and I'm willing
to admit that there are more important issues than copyright that may
sway peoples vote).

> [...] At least there is no mistaking me for a person who would not support anything that the current government does.

I would expect the same level of respect and access from any
representative toward any of his/her constituents despite the colour
of his/her Party. Of course I hear that respect is a two way street so
a constituent should only expect it back if they give it as well.

> Let's wait until after the election, and work together to put forward our best case to who ever
> wins the seats in our ridings.

Yup, once again it's going to be all hands on deck to fight this
uphill battle against the lobbies on this issue (thanks Russell!). We
can debate all the other 'unimportant' political/partisan stuff at the
rallies ;)



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