Hey everybody! I hope everyone had a nice Easter. I've been awful busy and haven't been able to read stuff on the Internet, much less write any. I don't think I'm fading away like lots of blogs do... my guess is that the psychotic demands of my work and study life will return to normal soon. When that happens, I fully intend to annoy and bore the crap out of you in my old and much more frequent manner. For that I will require the Internet.
For those of you who don't live in Canada, there has been a bit of a furor over how the big ISPs in my country (and perhaps all ISPs in Canada may at some point) bill for Internet services. The short version is that caps on monthly transfer are common here, after which the customer must pay more. There have also been legal and regulation changes in the wind that would open the door for these same companies to charge based solely on usage. This makes things like using Netflix or downloading tons of content a trickier and more expensive proposition for sure. By the way, now that Netflix is indeed here in Canada, those of you with unsecured Wi-Fi may want to secure it now, or end up paying for your neighbour to watch the entire Fast and Furious series, sequel count unknown.
In the midst of this debate we are now also very close to a Federal Election. Openmedia.ca , a Canadian non-profit fighting metered Internet (also known as usage-based billing) and advocating for open access to big Internet for everybody, has compiled a list of candidates who have proclaimed their support for a more open and less costly Internet. Here in Canada there are 2-5 major political parties, depending on who you talk to.
The Conservative Party - currently in power in a Minority Government. To learn more about Minority Governments and the Parliamentary System, go somewhere else. I'm thinking the Internet may hold all the information you could ever want and more.
The Liberal Party - The other big party.
The New Democratic Party - A kind of "always the bridesmaid" party, though they are showing signs of some real gains this time.
The Bloc Québécois - Paradoxically, a Federal (National) party that really only cares about Quebec. I love my country. That sounds sarcastic, but I really do.
The Green Party - Environment first. They have a long long way to go before they could ever achieve the numbers necessary to form a government.
This is a gross over-simplification, but in general terms the above list starts with the most right wing party and works its way to the most left wing. Politically-minded people are probably going to rip my head off in the comments, but that's how I see it. Now, back to openmedia.ca and their candidate list. As of April 25, 2011 the "pro-internet" candidate tally shakes out like this:
Conservatives - 1
Liberals - 85
NDP - 52
Bloc - 2
Green - 65
I just counted on-screen, so I might be out a couple here and there. To see the list for yourself, go to http://openmedia.ca/candidates. One party I probably did not miscount is the Conservatives because, well, they only have one. ONE! I mean, c'mon, the Communist Party (not that there's anything wrong with that) has FOUR! I wonder which of the big political parties in Canada supports the big ISPs and usage-based billing? Garsh, you got me. I am still undecided about who I will vote for. I am, however, decidedly decided about who I won't be supporting.
Hey, if you are a Canadian, please be a sport and vote. That way when you complain about the government (and you know you will), you will have the right. R A N T W I C K