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April 20, 2011 9:50 PM   Subscribe

The Canadian Pirate Party is official, registered, and running 10-12 candidates in the current federal election. The recent debate over usage-based billing convinced at least one of its candidates of its potential appeal to voters. They are unabashedly an issue-based party, whose platform deals with intellectual property, privacy, net neutrality, and government access/openness.

Previously: There is also an official Pirate Party in Massachusetts, and in countries such as Britain, Germany, and Sweden. Canada has been described as "today's frontier upon which the war of file-sharing legality is waged."
posted by kevinsp8 (13 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm still annoyed that the Rhino Party was forced to pack it in before I had the chance to vote for them.
posted by dry white toast at 9:57 PM on April 20, 2011


Could someone correct me if I were to suggest that in a FPTP voting system, this party is only likely to benefit its ideological opposite number? I freely admit that I don't know that much about Canadian politics, and wikipedia's not much help with regard to the upper house.

(also, amusingly enough I get "There is a problem with this website's security certificate." for the main link...)
posted by pompomtom at 9:59 PM on April 20, 2011


"Steven Bradley Scott the Pirate Party of Canada"
is quite a name. How on earth could one really oppose these things when it comes to brass tacks. If you call your self a Pirate politically, what could be more honest.

and the first snag, in the form of security certificate.
posted by clavdivs at 10:01 PM on April 20, 2011


pompomtom, I think that consideration is only relevant in close ridings. If your riding is pretty much guaranteed to go a particular direction, there's no reason not to vote for the candidate (or issue, as the case may be) that you like most.
posted by parudox at 10:20 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by abcde at 10:43 PM on April 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


I confess, I'm annoyed every time I read about the Pirate Party - because I'm way, way too late to make any of the obvious jokes about:

1) Pirates? Just like all politicians amirite?

2) Yar

3) Ninja party
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:22 AM on April 21, 2011


pompomtom, I think that consideration is only relevant in close ridings. If your riding is pretty much guaranteed to go a particular direction, there's no reason not to vote for the candidate (or issue, as the case may be) that you like most.

If everyone did that, we'd just keep getting broken minorities... Oh, right.

We either need to start embracing the bastardised two party system we actually have, or get on with electoral reform so we can see some proportional representation for people with values that don't line up with the tories or grits.
posted by sunshinesky at 4:36 AM on April 21, 2011


pompomtom: "Could someone correct me if I were to suggest that in a FPTP voting system, this party is only likely to benefit its ideological opposite number?"

Actually, extremists have a better chance of being elected in FPTP systems than in others. E.g.: A riding where the two mainstream parties have split the vote evenly, so all the extremist party needs to get is 1/3 of the vote to win. This is how in Britain the British National Party has made gains.

There's a good summary of the problems with First Past The Post over here (UK site, but the problems are pretty much applicable in Canada.) And an analysis of several voting systems here, which covers some of the same problems.

The author of the last link pointed to another alternative voting system I hadn't heard of, which sounds promising: PR Squared. Interesting concept that keeps the power at the ballot box rather than the bargaining table.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:30 AM on April 21, 2011


Yeah, but one of the two parties in our bastardized two party system seems to be taking on an orange tinge.

The poll results don't seem as solid as they could be, so we will have to see what happens at the ballot box, but it's interesting to see that Québec may actually be shifting to a left of center party that isn't separatist. After decades of Liberal majorities (which disappeared into the ether after the sponsorship scandal and the rise of the BQ), it's been majority BQ with some Tory toeholds in recent elections. It appears that there may be many paths to a minority Tory government: this is one of them that may even lead to a majority. (And if Iggy thinks that Jack would be willing to support him as PM after a potential vote of non-confidence against yet another Tory minority government, but without a formal coalition in place, that chance just got slimmer.)
posted by maudlin at 7:32 AM on April 21, 2011


Yeah, but one of the two parties in our bastardized two party system seems to be taking on an orange tinge.

It's a lot more than a tinge at this point. The Bloc is in freefall, mostly because the NDP offer the Quebec nationalist-but-not-really-sovereigntist crowd a serious alternative to the Bloc, and the fact that Layton both realized this and was able to stay in power long enough over the course of multiple elections to gradually impact Quebec political consciousness is one of the arguments for him being the smartest political leader the NDP have ever had. (The next leader of the NDP will almost certainly be Thomas Mulcair, at a time when no other national party has Quebec roots.)
posted by mightygodking at 8:09 AM on April 21, 2011


There is the issue that party funding is based partly on votes. See this explanation from the Green Party for more info.

I was hoping they would be actual pirates though with ships and buried treasure and parrots. I'm a little disappointed.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2011


Historically Canada's Copyright Act has changed to adapt to technology, allowing consumers of creative works to use them in new ways. As technologies (photocopiers, cassette recorders and VCRs) have made it possible for citizens to affordability make copies and use content in new ways, the Copyright Act has changed to allow consumers the right to these new uses. Consistent within the changes to the Copyright Act is an exchange, the consumer gains the right to use the new technology and the creators get a new incentive to create. This is the true reason for copyright, encourage the production of creative works.


Non-commercial distribution of published culture, information or knowledge – with the clear exception of personal data – must not be limited or punished.


So, if I were to write a book or record a song or make a movie and put it out there for sale on the web and someone digitizes it and offers it in its entirety for free, that's totally cool?

Please explain how this is going to encourage creators. Or how it accords with "the true reason for copyright, [to] encourage the production of creative works."

I think they haven't thought this all the way through. At least, I damn well hope they haven't.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:46 PM on April 21, 2011


The reason you don't punish non-commercial distribution is that it's unenforceable without doing excessive damage to internet and non-internet culture, consumer rights and the lives of ordinary people. See: RIAA in America. DMCA in America.

As a content creator, acknowledging the uncontrollable nature of digital content online has led me to focus on the creation of physical artifacts and to link the release of digital files with the purchase of these physical artifacts. In fact, I don't even value the digital files - I throw them in for free upon purchase of the physical product.

I don't see a particularly viable future based upon trying to heavily control content. Unless we're going to be truly heavy handed and bash the general population into submission (good luck with that), different business models are going to have to develop. Two that come to mind are Netflix and Steam. Both make the legal option easier than getting the content for free.
posted by Neuffy at 4:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


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