Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

Election Day: 41st Canadian Parliament – VOTE

with 2 comments

My son tells me that the answer to any question about Canadian authors in Reach For The Top is always “Margaret Atwood.” Which means that Margaret Atwood is a famous writer. And it is no doubt that Ms. Atwood’s famous support has helped the Project Democracy website convince people to vote the way someone else tells them to. Perhaps Ms. Atwood should go read her own speculative fiction and think about root causes that lead to dystopias. Voting for what you don’t want certainly seems to me to be the first step along that slippery slope.

The only way to strategic vote is to not waste my vote by voting someone else’s strategy; and vote for my own choice in my riding.  I hope you do too.

vote like a pirate?

I wish Canada had proportional representation. If we did, I might be able to vote for everyone I wanted to.
[To find out about electoral reform. take a look at the non-partisan Fairvote Canada]

Pirate Party of Canada Leader, Edmonton Center MP Candidate Mikkel Paulson

Pirate Party of Canada
I might be able to vote for a Pirate Party Candidate. The Pirate Party is a newly registered Canadian Political Party, running on a platform of Copyright reform & Access to Culture, Privacy, Patent Law reform, Net Neutrality, Open Government and Open Access. The Pirate Party will not be able to form a government during this election because they have only fielded ten candidates.

Even so, if there was a Pirate Party candidate running in my riding, that is where my vote would be cast. Because digital issues including Canada’s digital economy, privacy and civil liberties need to be addressed by people who understand them. And it has become horribly clear that the entrenched parties’ understanding of these issues is faulty at best. It might not be such an important issue except that our recent governments have demonstrated their unwillingness to listen to or learn from citizen input on these subjects, but rather to create legislation favoring American Corporate interests.
StopUBB logo

I have spent a great deal of my time over the past two years writing about Usage Based Billing. The CRTC is not following its ostensible mandate to safeguard Canadian consumer interest. To some extent this is because Canadian Law doesn’t require it.

Kitchener-Waterloo Pirate Party MP Candidate Steven Bradley Scott

The former Conservative government’s response to unacceptable CRTC rulings was to intervene situationally, rather than to fix the problem by fixing the law. [Had it been a majority government, there might not have been any intervention.] Doing an end run around a bad law and leaving the bad law in place is not good governance. Dissolving or at least reforming the CRTC to include technically informed members as well as consumers instead of Bell Canada staffers would go a long way to achieving true net neutrality which would support Canada’s ability to compete well in the global economy.

The neighboring Riding of Kitchener-Waterloo is fortunate to have Steven Scott running as a Pirate Party candidate.  I would vote for him if I could.

deciding how to cast my vote

Personal privacy is important, so I was pleased to witness my child’s refusal to answer a party canvasser who demanded to know how he would vote. As bad as our system is, we do still have a secret ballot. No one has the right to know how anyone will vote.

In my riding, I have four candidates to choose from. Anyone who has read anything I have written about Canadian politics would be justified in thinking I will not be casting a vote for either the Liberal or Conservative candidate. Even so, for every election I make up my mind anew.

As seems to be the case in every riding for this 41st Canadian election, the Conservative and Liberal party are attacking each other more than actually offering any solutions. When one considers that the past actions of these two parties are responsible for many problems we face:

  • erosion of universal health care (in 30 years I’ve only ever seen health care cuts)
  • erosion of democracy (G20, Byron Sonne, premature prorogation, contempt of parliament)
  • taxation imbalance between corporate taxation (near non-existent) and citiizens (crushed by ever increasing burden)

I’m not voting for

My Conservative Party incumbent, who uses his past life as a Christian pastor as an badge of morality while allowing impropriety in his office, then compounds the problem by not taking responsibility.

My Liberal Party candidate who spent more time finger pointing than convincing me he would do a good job in office.

My Green Party candidate who is too new and shaky on his party’s platform. Being a self-confessed SUV driver did not help.


My NDP candidate is also new, but by way of contrast Lorne Bruce not only knows the party platform, he clearly believes in it. Instead of talking without substance, he stays on point.

I think that he will get things done and consider the wishes of constituents.   We need a responsive government that serves Canadian interests, not a sock-puppets that will ram through American dictated legislation like Bill C-32.  I think the NDP may be able to do that.  What I do know is that they can’t possibly do a worse job than our previous governments.  And they support electoral reform. Which is why the NDP’s Lorne Bruce will get my vote in this election.

That’s me, making my own choice.

In a democracy, we all do. Our system is broken, but it is important for Canadians to get involved so it can be fixed.

It’s interesting that citizens are beginning to realize that we don’t have to vote for candidates we don’t believe in.

Today is Election Day.

All Canadians should vote. 

And if you can, bring a friend.

Flag agaisnt the sky



Steven Scott photo released by the Pirate Party of Canada under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) License.

Mikkel Paulson photo released by the Pirate Party of Canada under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) License.

2 Responses

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  1. Well said. Especially the last bit. Bring a friend. There are a lot of people who can’t make it to the polling stations due to transportation issues. Many of us drive to vote with two or three empty seats in the car.

    Why not invite your neighbors along for the ride?

    Wayne

    Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    May 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    • Something else:
      if you need a ride to the polls, call the party you plan to vote for.

      I have recently learned the NDP was helping get voters to the candidate meetings, so it’s a good bet that they will help get voters to the polls.

      And that is probably true of any of our political parties.

      Laurel L. Russwurm

      May 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm


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