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We Don’t Need a Canadian Pirate Party – Green Party Leader

We Don’t Need a Canadian Pirate Party – Green Party Leader

There was an interesting interview with Green Party Elizabeth May about Canada forming its own Pirate Party. Right off the bat, she concluded that Canada doesn’t need a Pirate Party because Canada has the Green Party. Before you think that this is an attack on digital rights, she explains that Canada needs a 12 year copyright term and talks about “crazy copyright laws” that stifle innovation.

May also talked about how copyright law changes are already in the party platform. She said that the party is very concerned with how copyright laws and patent laws are used to restrict the flow of free speech, creativity and even the advances in the health sciences in favour of corporate interests who want a monopoly on such things. On patents, she suggested that patents are decreasing the likelihood that cures for cancer or AIDS because the steps to discovery are patented by pharmaceutical companies.

The whole interview can be found here.

“And on the subject of Copyright,” commented Reading 4 New Times, “neither Liberal nor Conservative governments have impressive resumes.”

There is also the note that Canada employs a first past the post electoral system and says that vote splitting prevents special issues from being part of law reforms. It is indeed true that, time and time again, the First Past the Post system has been a major contributing factor for keeping two major parties in power and keeping other parties with noble causes out – mainly interests that might very well serve Canadians.

While there is a notable tone of friction between the two parties already, that kind of friction is to be expected given the electoral system. However, the interests of the Green Party resembling that of the Pirate Party isn’t without international precedent. In Sweden, the Pirate Party opted to sit with the Green Party (Google Translation) in
the European Union because of similar interests.

What should also be noted is that copyright issues have only been an issue with the Green Party for the last 2 years. I’ve personally had a chance to talk to Green Party Candidates in both the 2008 election and the 2006 election. During the 2008 election, copyright issues were definitely ingrained into the Green Party platform and consistent with the stance seen in the interview with May. However, in 2006, when I personally brought up the issues of bad copyright laws, the Green Party candidate unfortunately said that she really didn’t know much about those issues. The NDP seemed to have knowledge on this area since 2006 – at least among some members such as the very notable Charlie Angus. One could draw the formation of the Pirate Party as an extra wake-up call for, at the very least, smaller parties to bring forth the issues that have been seemingly absent in the text of both Bill C-60 in the Liberal government and Bill C-61 in the previous Conservative government (this session, so far, hasn’t produced a copyright reform bill)

While the Pirate Party of Canada Manifesto hasn’t even been completed, the effects of their formation has already been felt by many including other parties.

[Hat Tip: Michael Geist]

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus
Mathieu
Mathieu

Vote for who represents your beliefs most, not for who will keep the Conservatives out of power. (No matter how tempting it might be)

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

My values have always fell in line with those of the green party, and more and more I want to vote for them, but with our political system it just seems like throwing away my vote. My area has had a tight race between the conservatives and liberals over the last elections, and I would rather vote liberal to keep the conservatives out than vote green. That is the sad reality that has developed from the first past the post system.

Kevin
Kevin

The only reason it's throwing away your vote is because of people like you. So long as you refuse to stand up for what you believe is right, you prevent right from happening. I voted green. If you didn't vote green when you wanted to and instead voted for someone else, than you not only threw away your own vote, but you threw away mine as well.

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

See that is where your logic fails, because if everyone I know who liked the green party voted green they still would not have won a seat. We need a system where a party with a vote count past a specific percentage of the electorate gets a seat in the house, until that happens you will continue to have a lack of representation and tactical voting. You may think that sucks, but its the truth and unlike you I'm willing to face it and push for electoral reform.



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