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Canada Election Result Bad News For DMCA Opponents 311

Posted by kdawson
from the wrong-direction-up-north dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For those with a stake in the opposition of Jim Prentice's C-61, the Canadian DMCA, this previous week's election results will be displeasing. The Conservative Party, which promised to reintroduce the DMCA if elected, gained 19 seats this election, mostly at the expense of the flagging liberal party, a mere 12 short of a majority government. The increase in Conservative representation, as well as the relatively low profile of this issue amidst other, more pressing concerns, increases the likelihood that the son of C-61 will come to fruition. On a positive note, the number of MPs supporting Geist's copyright pledge has increased to 34. Given the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion, however, the efforts of the copyright-pledge MPs will have to rally the full opposition across three major parties in order to defeat the bill. A mere 12 MPs now stand between the Canadian public and the MAFIAA's hungry maw."
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Canada Election Result Bad News For DMCA Opponents

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  • by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:49PM (#25435539) Journal

    Very few outside of geeks care about the DMCA.

    • by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:57PM (#25435571)
      You're absolutely wrong. Michael Geist writes a column for the Toronto Star which has a large readership and many 'common folk' were enlightened by his articles, and the Facebook group drew an immense popularity. There were so many people caring that they've prevented the last two from going through.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *

        Yeah, I think you'd be surprised. A bunch of my friends (of which a large percentage are not really geeks) have joined that group and are quite aware of the issues at stake.

        Ironically, the first to join it was a friend who wants to be an IP lawyer.

      • by FilterMapReduce (1296509) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:22PM (#25435781)

        Yeah, I'm encouraged to believe that this is starting to seep into the mainstream. I actually heard DVD DRM being negatively discussed in the context of consumer gadgetry on a (not particularly geek-oriented) morning radio show a little while ago.

        The recent xkcd [xkcd.com] strip "Steal This Comic" [xkcd.com] makes a solid and concise against the DMCA and similar laws. If you want your non-geek acquaintances to understand why this matters, you might consider showing it to them.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:00PM (#25436065)

          makes a solid and concise against

          You, my friend, are my hero. For you have nounified a preposition. Kudos to the greatest nounifier of the unnounifiable.

          My loyalty is in your with, and I shall never turn in your against.

      • by BrainInAJar (584756) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:07PM (#25436109)
        There were so many people caring that they've prevented the last two from going through.

        No, timing and the way the Westminster parliamentary system works prevented them from going through. They weren't voted down, they died on the floor because of an election.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, if you live in Canada, have linux, and own a dvd and a laptop, grab them both and go down to your MPs office. Boot up the machine, take the DVD out of its nice official commercial case, pop it into the drive, and start playback.

        Then explaining to him/her how you are breaking US and (possibly soon to be) Canadian law by watching a DVD you own on a laptop you own (i.e., the machine has to circumvent the encryption in order to play it back to you).

        I find drawing an analogy to making it illegal for anybo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by billcopc (196330)

      Nah, more like very few people care who's in charge of this country. A lot of folks used to be indifferent, now we're just all annoyed with the candidates. Harper's a robot, the two before him were stone-faced crooks, and the locals just make it worse.

      The way the Canadian electoral system works, we've been voting for the same local inbred candidates for the last 20 years. There's no new blood, which means often times to support your preferred party, you also have to support some idiot that's going to shi

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @10:21PM (#25436985)

      Very few outside of geeks care about the DMCA.

      Quite true, but in this election a lot of geeks weren't even aware that Harper planned to re-introduce the DMCA. There were several submissions in the firehose before the election, when the news had a chance of having an effect, but Slashdot didn't publish them. Probably more of a kdawsonfud effect if they only publish these things when the electorate don't have a choice.

      It's the same sloppy editing that brought us the mis-reported UK 42 days detention [slashdot.org] story. And the same sloppy editing that has refused to publish the stories in the firehose, saying The Lords have rejected it [bbc.co.uk].

  • Vote Skew (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@ubermMONET00.net minus painter> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:50PM (#25435545) Homepage Journal

    The real problem here is the system. Let's take a look at the ratios between the percentage of seats each party got in the election, and their percentage of the national popular vote:

    Conservative
    Seats: 143/308
    Popular Vote: 37.63%
    Ratio: 2.03 (More than twice the seats they would have obtained under a 100% proportional system.)

    Liberal
    Seats: 76/308
    Popular Vote: 26.24%
    Ratio: 0.94

    BLOC Quebecois
    Seats: 50/308
    Popular Vote: 9.97%
    Ratio: 1.63 (Interesting thing here; because voters in Quebec will vote the BLOC in much more often, they're skewed way above other parties even though they're practically running only in Quebec.)

    NDP
    Seats: 37/308
    Popular Vote: 18.20%
    Ratio: 0.66 (Screwed once again.)

    Independent
    Seats: 2/308
    Popular Vote: 0.65
    Ratio: 0.999 (Oddly proportional.)

    Green
    Seats: 0/308
    Popular Vote: 6.80%
    Ratio: 0.0 (Yeah. 6.8% of the vote, 0% of the representation. Good stuff.)

    (Source: CBC.ca Election Results [www.cbc.ca])

    We could have even fixed this (at least in the Ontario Legislature) if we'd voted in MMP [wikipedia.org] a year ago, rather than stayed with the skewed first past the post system. Unfortunately, I don't think enough people were educated about what the new system would mean and saw it as some sort of radical change, and so voted to stay with the current system.

    Note: I think my math is accurate here but feel free to correct me.

    • Re:Vote Skew (Score:5, Informative)

      by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:08PM (#25435661)

      The Conservative numbers are wrong. ( 143 / 308 ) / 0.3763 = 1.23, not 2.03. The rest of your numbers seem fine, though.

    • Re:Vote Skew (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mpetch (692893) <mpetch@capp-sysware.com> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:13PM (#25435697)
      At the Federal level first past the post has been used in Canada for most of its history. Why now do people want proportional representation? It is simple. Canada is general left leaning and pretty much small "l" liberal. Canada historically votes for a Federal Liberal party. But now things are changing. There is a shift of power in Canada to the west, as well as a move to the right on the political spectrum. The Conservatives in Canada managed to finally unite the right over the past decade and a half. The Bloc Quebecois became a major force that literally takes away 50 seats in parliament that won't go to the Liberals or the Conservatives. The left is more fractured than ever with the NDP, Federal Liberals, and the Green party all spitting the vote. What does this mean? The only way Canada will get a left leaning government again is if they unite themselves OR change to a method of proportional representation. It is not likely the NDP and Liberals will merge (Liberals and Green more likely). This isn't enough to compete with a united right. So now we have the left uniting not as a party, but as a force to push proportional representation - because they are too stubborn to have their parties work together.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *

        Why should the NDP or the Greens have to merge with the Liberals simply because they're small?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mpetch (692893)
          For the same reason the right Reform/Alliance/CPC united themselves. The left can't seem to compromise among themselves to rule together under a unified leftist party. And it is this failure on the left that is handing the Conservatives the power. It is either unite like the right did or change the system. The Conservatives used the existing electoral system to rebuild. The left realize the system that worked so well for them for over 100 years now puts them on the defensive. I'm a Liberal who actually v
          • Re:Vote Skew (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:55PM (#25436031) Journal
            No. What you do is what the europeans have been doing for decades: coalition governments. So, what you'd get is a "liberal" govt, with 1/3 of the cabinet NDP in the portfolios they need (labour, housing, welfare, etc.) and let the Greens have Environment.

            Bingo. That would kick ass and put Canada aright.

            The problem is the NDP leadership is a bunch of whiny 5 year olds, the Liberal leadership is too interested in knifing each other in the back to care, and they're both sceptical of the greens because, unlike in the USA, the Greens are actually more right wing than the Liberals in terms of fiscal ideas. I'm surprised Harper hasn't offered to go down on May for Green support to greenwash the Conservatives.

            sigh. Still, Harper faced the most inarticulate and inept Liberal candidate in decades, and wasn't able to get a majority, so that shows you how little support the conservatives actually have.

            Argh. I really dig Canada, but their politics are completely fucked.

            RS

            • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @09:50PM (#25436821)
              You should move to America. Things are a ton better over here as anyone who watched the presidential debates can tell you.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Smartcowboy (679871)

            Please elaborate on why aboriginals need guaranteed seats. Maybe we should give guaranteed seats to jews, muslims, indians, haitians, homosexual, woman, clowns, dentists, and nurses, too.

            On the other hand, aboriginals already have a garanteed seat in the form of the seat for Nunavut.

      • by gehrehmee (16338)

        Disproportionate representation is also credited with much of the blame for consistently decreasing voter turn-out. People are gradually becoming more educated about this problem, and more dissatisfied. And it was an issue around here in western Canada, even when the conservatives were the underdog.

        Is it really a surprise to see this issue come up more and more often?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jaryn (880486)
      I think you made a mistake on the conservative ratio there. Closer to a ratio of 1.23 in 2008. But I agree with you totally. The Cons got 27 more seats than they ought to. The NDP should have 19 more seats (56). And the Greens should have 20 seats instead of 0. Canada (and the U.S.) need proportional representation. In fact, with prorep giving 80 for the liberals, that would cover the balance of power, just barely. In 2008, with proportional representation, it could have been technically a Liberal/NDP/
    • Re:Vote Skew (Score:5, Informative)

      by linuxbert (78156) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:16PM (#25435745) Homepage Journal

      MMP failed in Ontario because it was poorly explained to voters, The and the referendum question was unclear. Also it was not full MMP, but a hybrid where the province would add additional MP's on top of the ridings based on the percentage of popular vote. These MP's would be declared on a list prior to the election, however they could also run in a riding, so a party could protect ministers who were defeated in their riding, but end up sitting as an MMP member. MMP members also would not be accountable to any riding. This is a worse system the the current first past the post system.

      The current parliamentary system equally helps and hurts the conservatives and the liberals at different times. During liberal majorities the Reform and PC parties would often split votes to the benefit of the liberal candidate. No system is perfect, but historically the Parliamentary system has been probably been balanced between both major parties.

      Also, it should be pointed out - and that the post clearly misses, that the Conservatives have a minority government. this means they do have the most seats of any party, but all other parties still have more seats then them - this means they need the help of another party to pass legislation. If their plans are that bad, it is the responsibility of the opposition to cause the government to fall. If they choose not to, you cant solely blame the Government for its passage.

      • MMP failed in Ontario because it was poorly explained to voters, That and the referendum question was unclear. Also it was not full MMP, but a hybrid where the province would add additional MP's on top of the ridings based on the percentage of popular vote. These MP's would be declared on a list prior to the election, however they could also run in a riding, so a party could protect ministers who were defeated in their riding, but end up sitting as an MMP member. MMP members also would not be accountable to any riding. This is a worse system the the current first past the post system

        I see why it died. I've seen infinite set and graph theory less complicated.

        Can I have a flow chart to clarify this please?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:19PM (#25435757)

      The consequences of first-past-the-post is that the most powerful party gets even MORE power, while less powerful parties get less than they deserve (analogy of making the rich richer and the poor poorer).

      The irony is that only the most powerful party at any given time would be able to change this undemocratic reality, and shift to proportional representation. But obviously, they don't want to, because that'll reduce their power. It's the opposition which always supports changing FPTP to proportional (which will increase their power). But lo and behold, as soon as the opposition becomes the primary party, they immediately go to the start of the paragraph and realize they don't want the change anymore. Now, the former power holders want to change, but they no longer have the power.

      The only party who can change the system, don't want to change it, and those that want to change it, can't. This statement will hold true regardless of which party is in power.

      Beautiful irony, isn't it?

    • by mangu (126918)

      Your system seems to be much better than the one we have in Brazil, where the results are computed for the whole state, instead of by district.

      The result of a proportional voting system is that *every* special interest politician is elected. We have dozens of representatives elected by different churches, and they all vote in a block on religious issues. We have dozens of trade union representatives. We have the "ruralist bench", representatives elected on farming issues. We have representatives for individ

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *

        Well, we realize that fully proportional representation would have those problems as well, which is why we were looking at mixed-member proportional, which is kind of a half and half system (though there are still more in the first past the post "half" than the proportional one). I believe you still have to get some minimum percentage of votes nationwide to get any list candidates put in as well.

        • by mangu (126918) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:46PM (#25435969)

          The voting system we have in Brazil isn't totally proportional, but still it raises more problems than it solves. Each party must have a minimum percentage of the vote to elect representatives. The total vote for the party is computed, a candidate for a popular party needs less votes to get elected.

          A sad example of how this, very complex, voting system works is that this clown got elected and got three other representatives in his party elected [wikipedia.org] when he ran as a "protest" candidate, i.e. people voted for him because they thought no one was a worthy candidate. His motto was "my name is Eneas" and his main political project was that Brazil should detonate the nuclear weapon that reportedly was developed here in the early 1980s.

          • The voting system we have in Brazil isn't totally proportional, but still it raises more problems than it solves. Each party must have a minimum percentage of the vote to elect representatives. The total vote for the party is computed, a candidate for a popular party needs less votes to get elected.

            A sad example of how this, very complex, voting system works is that this clown got elected and got three other representatives in his party elected [wikipedia.org] when he ran as a "protest" candidate, i.e. people voted for him because they thought no one was a worthy candidate. His motto was "my name is Eneas" and his main political project was that Brazil should detonate the nuclear weapon that reportedly was developed here in the early 1980s.

            Where the frell is that None of the Above option? Politicians would cower at the thought, but really every voting system should have that option. If "None of the Above" wins, you either start over or let the seat go unfilled -- I prefer the latter, as it would be a direct wonderful way for the people to trim down the size of government directly.

            • by mangu (126918)

              If "None of the Above" wins, you either start over or let the seat go unfilled

              But, when you start over, what makes you think there will be a better option? Given the choice of voting "none of the above", or voting on a guy who looks like this [geocities.com] and says everything can be solved by nuclear weapons, how do you think the Homer Simpsons will vote?

      • by flajann (658201)
        The real problem with most voting systems in the world is that it represents variations of "majority rule" -- you know, what most call "democracy". Instead of having the dicta of one, you have the dicta of "the majority", or whatever elected officials the majority gave the power to.

        The problem in all of this, of course, is the dicta. You are forced "at gunpoint" to abide by the dicta, and to get any changes is really difficult.

        What we need is a fractalization of power. I'll provide the details of that e

        • by TheSpoom (715771) *

          Are you referring to something like a superdemocracy? Because I've been thinking of doing something like that as an experimental website. I'd be interested in hearing your ideas on this.

      • by spazdor (902907)

        If each of those representatives has a block of the population behind them who elected them for the purpose of pushing those very issues, I don't see the problem.

        It's not like those special-interest reps will get to make policy without having to win over the rest of them, right?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mangu (126918)

          It's not like those special-interest reps will get to make policy without having to win over the rest of them, right?

          Wrong. The railway workers representative will gladly vote for the project granting special tax benefits for churches in exchange for special retirement rules for railway workers. Just remember one small fact: there are no ideological differences between different special interests.

    • Your Conservative number is wrong: it's actually a ratio of about 1.23 (still not good).

      Anyway, what annoys me about the last election is that (naturally) Stephen Harper is now saying that it gave him a "new mandate" from the people to "move forward" (etc, etc). That conveniently ignores the fact that the combined NDP and Liberal popular vote is 44.44%, which is more than the Conservatives' 37.63%. The problem is that, because of vote-splitting, those parties don't have a total number of seats greater than

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grcumb (781340)

      The real problem here is the system.

      The real problem here at Slashdot is that the people don't seem to understand the principle of party-line votes.

      It's true that, with only a dozen votes to gather in order to pass a bill, the Conservatives might go shopping for - forgive me - the odd maverick willing to go along with them on just that one vote.

      And that might happen, but I really doubt it. The Canadian party system (and consequently the parliamentary system) is predicated on bloc voting. That's not going to

    • Re:Vote Skew (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:24PM (#25435803)

      We could have even fixed this (at least in the Ontario Legislature) if we'd voted in MMP a year ago, rather than stayed with the skewed first past the post system. Unfortunately, I don't think enough people were educated about what the new system would mean and saw it as some sort of radical change, and so voted to stay with the current system.

      Note: I think my math is accurate here but feel free to correct me.

      Your math might be correct but your premise is flawed. MMP and proportional representation are a disaster. I campaigned & voted against MMP. MMP and PR condemn us to permanent minority governments, with most parliamentary effort going into backroom deals to stay in power instead of governing. Governments with MMP or PR are always shaky.

      You are taking away the right of the people to elect (and REMOVE) their representatives. MMP and PR demolish accountability.

      Example: I live in the Trinity-Spadina riding in Toronto, where Olivia Chow (NDP) cruised to an easy victory because she is popular with the voters. If the people of Trinity-Spadina decide that they don't like Olivia Chow, if they think Olivia Chow is corrupt, incompetent, lazy, or any other reason, the people of Trinity-Spadina can organize and REMOVE Olivia Chow from office (and her extravagant $155,000 salary). The only people who can put Olivia Chow into office (and remove her) are the people of Trinity-Spadina. Olivia Chow is accountable to the voters.

      On the other hand, with MMP or PR, since every party will get some share of the vote, the only determinant of whether Olivia Chow gets a cushy job with a $155,000 salary is if she keeps the NDP party bosses happy. The only people who can put Olivia Chow into office (and remove her) are the party bosses. Olivia Chow is no longer accountable to the voters.

      Now, first past the post does have its problems, but MMP & PR are even worse.

      If you're going to abandon first past the post, the single transferable vote system is much better: politicians still have to answer to the people.

      • the single transferable vote system is much better

        Mod AC up. My politics teacher was heavily invested in proportional representation efforts and made us do a lot of work in that area. Single transferable votes combines the best of OMOV and proportional representation. You end up with much fairer seat distribution while still keeping the voter invested in the result.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sj0 (472011)

        Personally, I rather like minority governments, and I think most Canadians do.

        We're classical conservatives in that sense. Our country works pretty well. The less governments can do to break it, the better.

      • Re:Vote Skew (Score:4, Interesting)

        by brucmack (572780) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:10AM (#25438823)
        List of countries using proportional representation [wikipedia.org] courtesy of Wikipedia. Are all of these governments "shaky"?

        I moved from Canada to Denmark a few years ago, so I have a good understanding of how the two systems work. The PR system here is not in any way comparable to a minority government in Canada, because the parties are much more effective at working together. Legislation doesn't always come from the governing party, but that's no problem - as long as a sufficient number of parties support it, it's a reflection of public support as well. In effect this keeps the governing party honest without preventing them from governing effectively.
      • by guidryp (702488)

        The reason PR failed is exactly because of campaigners like this one. Usually representing entrenched party interests (getting their 4 year dictatorships). Every discussion would have Liberal and Conservative representatives (the main beneficiaries) spewing anti PR FUD.

        PR is not about producing minority governments. It is about producing coalition governments. Failure dispense with the all or nothing fight for majority governments, and refusal to cooperate in governing coalitions with minorities is also par

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      The solution isn't to eliminate first past the post. It's to weaken parties.

      I want to vote for and elect a representative from my community, not a party, or an issue which may be irrelevant a year from now.

      If you weaken or eliminate parties then you'd never hear things like "the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion." Your representative would represent your community's interests or be replaced next election.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      My greatest concern is that 16.8% of the votes were cast for parties that shouldn't even be on a federal ballot. Could you imagine the commander-in-chief of any country's armed forces being a declared tree-hugger or separatist? What foreign military, ally or foe, would respect them?

      Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a proud advocate of environmentalism. However, overzealous uncompromising environmental administration at the federal level is unacceptable.

      Elected representatives who abuse their position to a

    • WTF....

      that is one screwed up parliamentary system.
      It makes the US system look fair by comparison

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *

        No, it doesn't. You pretty much have the same thing with your electoral colleges. Take a look at your ratios some time; there's a reason why people had such a hue and cry over Bush being elected over Gore when the popular vote didn't reflect the victory.

  • n00bs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:02PM (#25435609) Journal

    " Given the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion"

    And give Slashdot's historic disregard of non-bias, I think we're tied.

    • by jd (1658)
      Only if Cowboy Neil ran for office. But which office would he run for, and what would happen to the poor sod in said office once he got there?
    • When has the conservative party ever listened to Canadians?

      1800s?

      • The Conservative Party (the one that exist today) is 5 (nearly 6) years old at this point.
        • The conservative/progressive/westernextremist/etc party was the same thing broken up and reformed over the last few hundred years. I don't think it's unfair to say the party Mulroney and Clark had was the same Harper leads today.

          • Re:n00bs (Score:5, Insightful)

            by spazdor (902907) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:49PM (#25436433)

            I'm sorry to say it, but the Reform merger ruined the tories.

            "Unite the Right" really amounted to a bunch of secular, principled conservatives compromising to quasi-fundamentalist American style conservative values. It got them elected, but at what cost?

    • And give Slashdot's historic disregard of non-bias

      To be fair, they are a blog (except before some bastard came up with the word 'blog')

      In any case, which would you rather have? Hidden bias, or open bias? People side one way or the other... it's always had an impact. It's just less visible now.

  • by Goalie_Ca (584234) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:03PM (#25435621)
    I managed to talk to someone working for the conservative party this summer, he was a roomate in fact (uOttawa!). Anyways, the point of the legislation is to literally 1) make legislation because that is what they do and 2) hopefully not piss off any big foreign business for some ostie of a reason. They pretty much say don't worry because we wont go after the little guy but then we already have existing anti-piracy laws that work quite fine for the real trouble makers. They then say that we need to modernize the existing laws because they talk about cassette tapes. Well that's fine but there's no way law can keep up fast enough with technology. IMO the conservative party should slim the laws rather than bloat them. In canada at least, the conservative parties are known for talking about "streamlining" laws and regulations and removing the bloat.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They then say that we need to modernize the existing laws because they talk about cassette tapes.

      Considering the new legislation talks about video casettes but completely omits DVDs, the hypocrisy of that statement cannot be understated.

    • Considering the CRIAA has said this is overkill, Prentice and Harper need to be shot already for being effectively US anal probes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The previous minority LIBERAL government had a copyright reform bill C-60 that failed as their government fell. It doesn't matter which party gets in they will try to ram through a copyright reform bill that conforms to what the industry pundits and the United States considers proper.

    The real problem I have is that, at the moment we are paying a surtax on media that's meant to offset the loss in income due to copies made under our current "lax" copyright law. If the law is tightened up and allows for easi

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by billcopc (196330)

      Meanwhile, with the US struggling to patch the holes in the fantasy banking game... er, I mean system... I'm inclined to think Canada's leaders should whore themselves out a little less to foreign interests, and a little more to local interests. Why enact more US-friendly laws, when their money has the not-so-remote possibility of going south of the peso ? Does Harper sign anti-piracy deals with Malaysian interests ? No ? Then he shouldn't sign them for US interests either.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by flajann (658201)
        The entire global ecomonic system is based largely on fantasy, anyway - the fantasy that markets will always grow exponentially without bound. Clearly nonsensical, of course, but look at how most of these finiancial systems are structured, and what most "advisors" will tell their clients, etc.

        This is all about self-organized cricitality, and the global system was set to collaspe no matter what. It just happened that the scream in the US caused this particular avalanche, but it could've just as easily been

  • Flaimbait? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gitcho (761501)

    A mere 12 MPs now stand between the Canadian public and the MAFIAA's hungry maw

    where does the article say that *ALL* conservatives are would vote for this and *all* NDP, Bloc, Green and Liberals would vote against ?

    increases the likelihood that the son of C-61 will come to fruition

    While it *may* indeed be horrible for DMCA opponents if/when it's drafted, this awful bill doesn't even exist yet and there's been no indication it's on the docket in the near future.

    ... Given the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion ...

    disregard of public opinion on what? DMCA? The economy? the environment? I'm a conservative, a canadian, AND I agree with and suport fair copyright - but c'mon ... this aritlce kinda sounds li

    • Re:Flaimbait? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rustalot42684 (1055008) <fakeNO@SPAMaccount.com> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:28PM (#25436265)

      where does the article say that *ALL* conservatives are would vote for this and *all* NDP, Bloc, Green and Liberals would vote against ?

      I don't think you understand how Canadian politics works. Unlike in the USA, the Prime Minister is a member of the house and has direct control over the party stance. This, coupled with extremely strong party discipline (you vote with the party EVERY time or you get kicked out, ruining your career), means that the P.M. is far more powerful than the President (within the political system; not in terms of overall world power) because in a majority government, the P.M. can pass basically any law he wants, as long as it satisfies the constitution.

      That's not the case though, since he only has a minority of seats. Unfortunately, if a law fails to pass and it's an important one (read: whatever they want, so basically all of them), then the government fails and we have an election. But the Liberals won't allow this because they are very weak and would likely lose more in another election. If they go to the polls, it'll be about the budget or the Afghan war, not a copyright bill. TL;DR:
      The bill will pass because the opposition Liberals have too much to lose in the election that will be called if it fails. End of Story.

      • Oh, I don't know. Somebody here is claiming Prentice only pulled it so late because he knew an election would be coming soon, maybe not so soon but in May. Seeing this die on the floor might not break government; I really don't think there will be any serious consequences.

        And if he's doing this for the cash, well, out with him. But I'm pretty sure he's only doing this from coporate american pressure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wdh662 (816766)
        Not quite correct. If a bill fails to pass and IF the bill is a confidence vote then the government is dissolved. Not all bills are confidence votes. A budget is ALWAYS a confidence vote for example but not every bill is declared confidence. Also individual MP's are allowed to vote their conscience in some instances. You are not always forced to vote with the party. As for the liberals not allowing the gov to fall and so going along with the Conservatives just to avoid it, historically we the Canadian
    • Re:Flaimbait? (Score:4, Informative)

      by RepelHistory (1082491) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:28PM (#25436269)

      where does the article say that *ALL* conservatives are would vote for this and *all* NDP, Bloc, Green and Liberals would vote against ?

      Under most parliamentary systems, MP's are far, far more likely to strictly tow their party line than in, say, the United States. This is because under such a system legislation is proposed by party leaders (when they are in power) rather than through any kind of committee system. Therefore, MP's rely on their party leaders to grant earmarks to their constituents, and thus vote more or less exactly as they are told so they will be looked upon more favorably when the time comes to distribute the pork.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eddy the lip (20794)

      where does the article say that *ALL* conservatives are would vote for this and *all* NDP, Bloc, Green and Liberals would vote against ?

      MPs very rarely break party lines in Canada. The Harper government especially is known for strict party discipline. Additionally, with a minority government, it's even less likely that a bill tendered by the ruling party will be voted against by that party.

      While it *may* indeed be horrible for DMCA opponents if/when it's drafted, this awful bill doesn't even exist yet and t

  • by Cordath (581672) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:15PM (#25435731)
    Canadian citizens have much higher expectations of privacy than U.S. citizens do. Our privacy laws reflect this. However, if a U.S. style DMCA law were to be enacted it would lead to CRIA, etc. throwing a lot of their muscle around trying to get ISP's to divulge information that most Canadians would not approve of being shared. The conservatives would be scandalized by this, and I think they know it.

    Prentice, in some circles, is regarded to be an unusually savvy politician. However, he was given the job of keeping both Canadian citizens *and* american media conglomerates happy. He was screwed, and he knew it. He drafted a law to avoid another chorus of "Blame Canada" from the U.S., but his party never tried to ram it through the HoC like they would with a bill they actually care about. In fact, the timing of when it was tabled seems to suggest that they wanted it to be cut off by the election rather than being passed.

    Now, obviously, the Conservatives didn't want this bill making them look like a bunch of Bush sycophants right when Harper was trying to distance himself from that sort of accusation. (The liberals accuse Harper of being a Bush groupie on a weekly basis. It's like clockwork.)

    So... What happens now? The conservatives might plan to ram unpopular legislation through ASAP and hope it's forgotten by the next election. However, I think they realize that the embarrassment C-61 (or it's successor) is going to cause will be an ongoing thing. By passing C-61, they grant power to CRIA to embarrass them with U.S.-style frivolous lawsuits at will. If CRIA were so inclined, they could deliberately wait for the next election and then turn courtroom cowboy.

    Are the conservatives dumb enough to hand a foreign interest the power to embarrass their party whenever they feel like it? I tend to doubt it. It's more likely that C-61 will be amended, diddled, massaged, and ultimately only talked about just enough to keep the "Blame Canada" shouts to a manageable level. Either that, or severely castrated into a law approaching sensibility, if such a thing is possible.
    • by billcopc (196330)

      The liberals accuse Harper of being a Bush groupie on a weekly basis. It's like clockwork.

      Weekly ? I live in Ottawa, and not a day goes by that I don't bash the son-of-a-turd. George W. Harper, I call him.

      The thing most USians don't seem to understand is that liberal in Canada is not the same as liberal in the US. Liberal here kind of means "back off and let me be", whereas Conservative kind-of translates into "old-school values". Either way, their actions are nowhere near as dramatic and polarized as those of their US siblings, which is why some of us kick up a big fuss when there are talks

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jorophose (1062218)

        whereas Conservative kind-of translates into "old-school values"

        Not today's conservatives; today's conservatives are a sad shadow of what they should be, and that is fiscally conservative. Instead it really is Bush politics, and "I'll-do-like-I-want-so-back-off" way of thinking. If they were real conservatives, they would have won a majority. But they're not, sadly. I don't know what sort of kool-aid they're drinking in Calgary and Ottawa, but this is not even funny.

        But of course, like you said, even the conservatives are pretty tame. Only one scandal and three outrages

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by quacking duck (607555)

      So... What happens now? The conservatives might plan to ram unpopular legislation through ASAP and hope it's forgotten by the next election. However, I think they realize that the embarrassment C-61 (or it's successor) is going to cause will be an ongoing thing. By passing C-61, they grant power to CRIA to embarrass them with U.S.-style frivolous lawsuits at will. If CRIA were so inclined, they could deliberately wait for the next election and then turn courtroom cowboy.

      The Conservatives don't care what "the people" think, and in a way, why should they?

      If there was any issue that might have made young voters turn up and vote, it would've been this issue. Right or wrong, the threat of being sued and even jailed for downloading copyrighted content should have lit a fire under their asses.

      Instead, we had one of the lowest turnouts in Canadian history.

      It made me lose faith--not in our system, but the people. The media talks about "voter fatigue" and us having gone to federal p

  • Given the Conservative Party's historic disregard of public opinion, however, the efforts of the copyright-pledge MPs will have to rally the full opposition across three major parties in order to defeat the bill. A mere 12 MPs now stand between the Canadian public and the MAFIAA's hungry maw.
    .

    In a parliamentary system, party discipline is strong.

    In a minority government you do not undermine the unity of your party and you do not work behind the leader's back.

    Unless you are prepared to face an artic chill

    • by billcopc (196330)

      Correction: In a minority government, you don't have to go behind your leader's back. You just cross the floor and do it all over his dumb face.

  • I think all parties will concentrate on the economic mess for a while (not that there's really anything they can do about it.)
  • If anyone actually pays attention (and on /., I have my doubts..), you'll recall it was the Liberals that introduced C-60, the previous attempt at reforming our copyright laws which wasn't any better (some would say worse) than C-61.

    And given that the Liberals and Conservatives (and their respective predecessors) are the only parties which have ever formed a national government in Canada..

    Make no mistake about it, C-61 is fundamentally flawed (although it wouldn't take significant changes to make it accepta

  • Yes, the Conservatives did promise to reintroduce the copyright "reform" legislation [www.cbc.ca]. This will be the third attempt at it by the Conservatives.

    As for the elections themselves, there are many interesting observations. Read my thoughts on Canada's federal elections 2008 [baheyeldin.com].

  • Um...not quite (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday October 20, 2008 @02:14AM (#25438175)

    The assessment of the Conservative gain is 100% wrong, and conclusions proceeding from it may also be flawed. The Conservatives were facing a grossly underfunded Liberal Party in historic disarray, and led by a man widely perceived to be utterly unfit to be Prime Minister. The time was so ripe to grab a majority that the Conservatives broke their own platform promise to stick with a scheduled election (the "It was a minority and we couldn't help it" dodge is a complete red herring). The New Democratic Party, which would be regarded in the US as raving loony communists, also picked up seats.

    The Tories have now been told twice to cool their jets, and they won't be going back to the public any time soon unless they want their asses thoroughly kicked. Seven out of 10 Canadians either voted against them or didn't vote at all (a historic low turn-out, by the way).

    I won't bore you with further details (except to note that of all the parties, the only one that actually got more total votes was the Green Party), but the bottom line is that this result is a repudiation of the Conservative Party's attempt to steal candy from a baby. If they choose to introduce legislation like this, which has historically been unpopular with Canadians, they'll be playing with fire. Most likely, they'll either let it slide under the guise of building inter-party amity, or they'll allow the legislation to be brought forward, but not make voting a matter of confidence.

    • by guidryp (702488) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:36AM (#25439137)

      Yes that is more or less what happened, but just like last time, Harper will continue to do whatever he pleases and govern like he has a majority.

      Given no one wants another election, we can look forward to about a year of Harper dictatorship as he pushes any legislation he feels like.

      For Harper the election was win-win. He had a shot at majority, but even if he failed, he would get another year at minimum where he was untouchable and could do what he wanted all the while taunting the opposition.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:30AM (#25439109)

    People seems to assume this is some sort of made in Canada fluffy bunny DMCA lite. It isn't. This is an RIAA wet dream.

    People tout the lower $500 fine per file, but that is downloading, most people get busted for uploading in the USA (which most file sharing clients do) the fine for that is $20 000 per file. Which is also the fine for breaking any DRM. Say hello to bankrupting lawsuits in Canada for your kids file sharing.

    It also makes "making available" a crime, where this is being challenged in the states, it will be a codified law with this bill.

    It also gives the power to corporations to make anything they want law, by make EULA 100% binding. Something else that was shotdown in the USA.

    Say goodbye to any semblance of fair use, or first sale doctrine type rights. They are all out the window.

    Basically whatever corporations say goes and huge fines if you disagree.

    Of course that this was returning was only announced days before the election so no opposition could be built up against it.

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