[kwlug-disc] Asking questions of candidates during the election.

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 21:07:15 EDT 2011

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 7:12 PM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
> Russell - sorry to put you in this position, but is it your impression that
> Peter Braid tended towards the FOSS perspective, or not?

  I couldn't really tell, as he didn't say much.  This committee was
about Copyright, and most of the witnesses wanted to talk about things
that weren't in the bill (iPod tax, etc) or that weren't digital
issues (Levies on schools, etc).  Very few witnesses discussed issues
that are of great concern to our community.

  It does say something that he had interest in these issues enough to
offer to be on the committee.   Most MPs don't get involved in this at
all.  He also stuck with it, while two of the other Conservative MPs
swapped out after only a few meetings.

See: http://BillC32.ca/5304   for MPs present at each meeting.

  Will look more closely when doing a write-up of the Conservative MPs
that were at C-32.

  What it means is that you can ask him questions during the election,
and he will have the experience of the committee to give you back
useful answers.  Take up that opportunity...

  Ed Fast (Who he sat beside) was a strong DRM supporter, and on the
last day of hearings even took aim at the CCH Supreme Court Case that
our "Petition for Users' Rights" was based on.  I would not, however,
assume that just because people are in the same party that they share
the same views.  There was a wide variety of views that could be seen
in the questions asked by different MPs in the Liberals and

  The two Bloc MPs spoke with similar (often entirely off-topic)
voice, and there was only 1 NDP MP.

>> Please do *NOT* get distracted by the national
>> campaign and believe this is about Conservatives vs Liberals.
> Ouch.
> Although your comment may be true for the particular Copyright issue,
> there's more than just that riding on our choice of candidate. Sadly, this
> fuzzes up the choosing criteria.

  Agreed that this is not the only issue, even for this community.

  But that comment wasn't aimed at technology issues, but the fact
that who are the most likely candidates to win are different in
different ridings.   I'm in Ottawa South and it is a Conservative vs.
Liberal, but in Ottawa Center (which share a boarder) it is Liberal
vs. NDP with the Conservatives not being a credible player.  People
who live close to each other have to be aware of this if they are
voting "against" someone rather than "for" someone -- given even if
they voted for the same party it would have the opposite effect.

  I would not assume that members of the tech community in KW are
ABC's (Anybody But Conservatives), and suspect that many are
Conservative or even right-libertarians.

> Particularly if, as I believe, the next parliament will again be a minority,
> and our choice is effectively choosing which party will form the government.

  Actually, you will be choosing a local representative who along with
other elected MPs will decide who forms the government.   We live in a
Westminster parliamentary democracy, not a republic :-)   (Sorry, just
had to say it..  )

> Russell - do you happen to know that this is actually true in the K-W
> riding?

  I don't have specific stats on KW, but have been given stats over
the years from various other university and non-university towns where
voter turnout for younger people has been lower than other
demographics.  Some studies suggest things are improving, other say
getting worse.  There are many groups like
http://www.apathyisboring.com/ that try to get young voters out to

  I remember when I was a student that people were very politically
active, but didn't vote as they didn't think they had an influence
through that path.  I agreed at the time, but disagree now.  Even if
you don't think the single vote itself influences, having to vote (and
having voted) makes people feel they have more "buy into" the process
and thus more likely to pay attention to what happens during and
between elections.  And the more they are involved, the more other
people around them may get involved.

  To me the vote isn't the end of the democratic process, but the
entrance ticket.  And heck, it's both Free/libre and Free/gratis!

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property
rights as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition!

"The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
 manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or
 portable media player from my cold dead hands!"

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