Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Copyright and voting Conservative

Politics is not like shopping for groceries where you can fill your cart with the policies you like and leave the ones you don’t like on the shelf. Like it or not, when you vote for a particular party, you get the whole bundle: the good policies with the bad.

That said, I can understand where Alec Saunders is coming from. A recent post on his blog explains why he will be voting against Stephen Harper when an election is called. I have also been critical of the Conservative’s copyright bill.

As it stands now, Bill C-61 is so egregiously bad I think they want it to fail. We can only hope it never moves forward.

Given the groundswell of opposition to the current bill, which includes virtually everything corporate media interests have asked for, I can’t imagine the CPC actually proceeding with it. It makes no sense to turn people into criminals simply for making a backup copy of their store-bought Disney DVD for their kids to use. Now that they have tried with this bill, they can legitimately say to the next U.S. administration that it just won’t fly.

As for Alec Saunders, if this one issue is of such paramount importance to him, I would suggest he weigh his options carefully before voting against the Conservatives. Does the bad he sees likely to come from Bill C-61 more than offset all the good that might come from other "conservative" policies which he would otherwise be inclined to support? And what about the damage that the many boneheaded policies supported by other parties could cause?

In the case of the Liberals, there is really little fundamental difference between the previous Liberal copyright bill and that of the Conservatives. So a vote for the Liberals wouldn’t likely get him any further ahead on his one burning issue. In the meantime, he would have to swallow a lot of bad Liberal policies (can you say Green Shift?) with which he may fundamentally disagree.

That leaves the NDP which, of course, can adopt any policy it wants because it knows it will never get in power. But if Alec is truly conservative minded, it is hard to imagine him going to this extreme. In so doing, he would be in common cause with the likes of Lester, one of his commenters who advocates we “vote against this NeoConservative pig.”

I recognize that there is a real risk that the Conservatives may revive Bill C-61 in a similar form if they get a majority in the coming election. It is this very possibility that acts to temper my enthusiasm and desire to help the Conservatives win the election. But as important as this issue is to me, I’m not about to vote NDP. All I can say to Alec is to vote wisely.