Tag Archives: government

Sweden’s Copyfighting Pirate Party wins 1 seat (not 2) in European Parliament

When the Swedish Pirate Party was founded in early 2006, the majority of the mainstream press were skeptical, with some simply laughing it away. But they were wrong to dismiss this political movement out of hand. Today, the Pirate Party accomplished what some believed to be the impossible, by securing a seat in the European Parliament.

With 99.9% of the districts counted the Pirates have 7.1 percent of the votes, beating several established parties. This means that the Pirate Party will get at least one, but most likely two of the 18 (+2) available seats Sweden has at the European Parliament.

I don’t think Europe’s niche political parties are really analogous to our (mostly) more general policy parties here in Canada and the US, but it does show what an important force the “copyleft” movement has become. This win may mirror the success of Green parties in Europe long before environmental policy was taken seriously in North American politics. Our own parties should take notice.

UPDATE (2009-06-09): It looks like the Pirate Party will have one seat in the EP, with a second seat only if the Lisbon Treaty passes.

Tagged , ,

Contribute your Ideas for a Roundtable on E-Democracy

On June 11, 2009, I will be leading a “Roundtable on E-Democracy” on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for parliamentarians . At that meeting, I want to present and discuss the ideas that I heard people talking about at ChangeCamp Ottawa. But instead of just writing an outline for a presentation/discussion based on the topics that I think are important in terms of citizen engagement, I thought I would use some of the very technology that has sparked an interest in citizen participation, like EtherPad.com.

So if you’re interested in how changing technologies, trends, behaviours, expectations and standards present challenges and solutions for citizen engagement with government in Canada, please head over to this very easy-to-use page at Etherpad.com and contribute your thoughts. And please pass on the link — the more people who contribute, the more I can bring your thoughts to decision makers on the Hill.

When you get there, please feel free to add to the list of topics, take topics out, move them around, restructure the list, or even suggest formats for delivering the information to the intended audience. If you want to, you can do it anonymously. If you leave me your name or handle, I’ll give you credit at the Roundtable.

Once again, you can find the page to edit right here.

Thank you,

[image “Peace Tower Clockby jpctalbot licensed under a Creative Commons licence]
Tagged , , , , ,

Where CAIRS.info gets its data

Michael Geist has a new service online today called CAIRS.info which resurrects the government’s ATIP request tracking service, CAIRS. And how does Geist get the content for the site? How does he find out what ATIP requests government departments are handling? I can’t be sure, but it looks like he makes ATIP requests to find out!

In this image from CAIRS.info, from here, we see Elections Canada reporting that one of the ATIP requests they got in July 2008 was a request for a list of all ATIP requests received. I enjoy the recursiveness of this.

In fact, I’m considering making an ATIP request for a list of ATIP requests resulting in lists of ATIP requests that do not include their own requests. Would my request be on the list? [Sorry, math nerds — I couldn’t resist!]

Tagged , ,

HBO’s Recount, now in Minnesota?

My attention waned in American electoral politics after election day, but the dregs of that election are still floating around in coffee cups in Minnesota. Al Franken and Norm Coleman are locked in a recount fight over a US Senate seat for Minnesota. I gather they are in the depths of a long recount and the lead keeps flipping back and forth. This article from Time discusses the contrast between Florida’s hurried, litigious recount process in 2000 and the more civilized process going on in Minnesota in 2008, where officials have chosen not to set deadlines and fight in court, and instead are simply counting the votes.


What if the 2000 presidential election had hinged not on a diverse, messy, weird and slightly creepy hick state like Florida but on the most organized, practical and cordial one in the Union: Minnesota? What if, instead of going to court after court over hanging chads and butterfly ballots and whether a recount should happen, election officials had just calmly looked at each ballot and tried to figure out what the voter wanted?

 I watched HBO’s Recount last night. It brought back memories of the 2000 recount and Bush vs. Gore at the US Supreme Court (MP3). That whole episode looks pretty sad now, and I’m relieved to know that the recount for a similarly close vote is happening in a more thoughtful manner.

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: