[kwlug-disc] Meeting with (not so new) MPs in KW region.

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Sat May 7 12:17:03 EDT 2011

On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 10:35 PM, Darcy Casselman wrote:
> Waterloo city councillor Jeff Henry gives a good talk about how to
> talk to politicians:
> http://igniteshow.com/videos/how-change-politicians-mind

  I want to echo the suggestion to watch this video.

  I'm going to grab the points from one of his slides to bring it to
our specific issue.

1. Be Prepared, Focused

  Get facts right -- but you don't need to focus on facts and numbers,
but could leave that to other people you are collaborating with.
Better to not say anything on a narrow fact you are unsure of than to
get it wrong and have the politician not listen to the more important
things you have to say.

  Video also included explaining why we need to get engaged now, and
not after the next C-32 is tabled.  It is why I'm trying to engage
fellow technies so soon after the election, and not wait until the

2. Keep it Local

  You are in KW, and there are some unique things (University, well
known tech companies, municipal government doing wireless/etc?) that
must feed into your conversation.   I only know some of these things,
but you will be living this.

3. Keep it personal

  It explains why we need to focus on our personal stories.

  For me it was my freedom to choose my own software, that I keep the
keys to any locks on my hardware, and that making "less popular"
software choices wasn't going to bar me from accessing the creative
content otherwise made available to Canadians.  I ended up learning in
the last decade a lot about copyright law and the industries dependant
on that, but Copyright isn't really my issue: software choice is, and
I ensure that this is included in every presentation I do.

  Yes, my personal choice happens to be FLOSS -- but that really
doesn't matter, and you should avoid the politician getting mired in
that detail.  Software choice is a value that needs to be protected by
governments, including people making choices I personally disagree

4. Find a connection

   Get to know about your MP -- knowing what makes them tick, and what
they have said in the past, is probably more fruitful research than
studying up on the exact wording used in the WIPO treaties for TPMs
(but if you want that, I have a shortform in my C-32 FAQ :-)

  This is also why I suggest orienting your stories in ways that are
consistent with party values, given what party banner a person runs
under says a fair bit about the person.

  No matter what your personal values, it is important to make this
connection.  Don't speak on what you as a possible supporter of a
different parties values may say, but focus on those thing where you
are the politician share ideas/values.

  I've been meeting enough politicians over recent years that I've
become far less partisan than I was in the past.

5. Demonstrate Value

  Part of this is going to link back to (4) for us given part of the
value we are offering the government is to enact legislation that is
consistent with their own values.  It isn't just about how many votes,
but whether their base will be upset at inconsistencies and just not
show up in some future election/etc.

  If you read what Conservatives said at the C-32 committee about
ephemeral recordings for radio, you will see that they strongly
disagree with the idea of paying over-and-over again for content -- or
the idea that narrow technical details of processes (digital storage
vs. analog media) should impact businesses negatively.

  See notes on meeting 16 http://creform.ca/5289 , possibly glancing
at the transcript of what the Conservatives said.


  Politicians don't understand TPMs to understand the real-world
impact they will have.  Conservatives don't yet realise how legally
protecting TPMs is contradictory to the views they have expressed on
nearly every other aspect of Copyright law and related industry

6. Collaborate

  You can even go in as a group to meetings.  Don't feel shy to
mention the names of other people, including myself in Ottawa if they
want to do follow-up on some of the details you feel I may be useful

  Don't take this the wrong way, but be careful with certain media/etc
personalities like Michael Geist.   I consider him a great ally to the
independant technology community, but his name has become polarized.
I ensure when his name comes up that I say I consider him an ally, but
that I am not a follower of his.

  Some of the folks on the other side (McCarthy Tétrault team) try to
dismiss as one narrow single voice anyone who they can claim has
sympathy for Mr. Geist's point of view.   The reality is quite
opposite that we represent a coalition of many different communities
that share specific values, while the other side is a few lawyers from
a law firm and the heads of a few narrow industry associations
(BSA/CAAST and ESA/ESAC being the primary non-McCarthy  folks).

7. Follow-up

  I've already sent repeat letters post-election to MPs I met
previously.   This includes follow-up with MPs from the C-32 committee
that didn't retain their seats, given people like Dan McTeague may be
involved in the rebuilding of the Liberal party -- or maybe even
become a lobbiest on this file given many past MPs get hired by lobby

> Darcy.

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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