Archive for November, 2010

Vote for Jeff of Pirate Party and Let Real Change Begins

I’ve created a youtube video to help promote the candidacy of Jeff Coleman – Pirate Party Candidate for Winnipeg North. This is based on his “Information Leadership” campaign theme.

Please help spread the word and share links to his Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channel. Real change is possible. He might not have the big funding of the three major party but we can help spread the word through social media.  Few days left, let’s help make change happen in Ottawa and give Winnipeg North a voice free from partisanship.

Whether we win against the main party or not, the more people we get to vote for Jeff, the more momentum and awareness we’ll raise for the next federal election.

Links to Jeff’s sites:
Official Twitter:
Official Facebook:
Official Youtube:

This video is also available in 720p HD version.

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Open Source Democracy – Empowering Voters

One flaw in the current democratic system is once the politicians convinced the voters to vote for them and won, the voter really don’t have much say until the next election. You will often not hear from your representative again until then. The internet can change that through online voting and polling. Here is a possible mechanism for regular consultation.

Once an MP wins an election, a voting or polling system can be used to give voters in his/her constituency a voice on all matters before the legislature. The program will be developed using open source so that everyone can scrutinize the code. To encourage increased participation, the system should be straightforward and easy to use requiring minimal effort with simple registration. It should involve minimal cost to administer. The department or independent body administering the polling system would provide a personal access code to each eligible voter. This access code can be used to create a new user id and password for accessing the discussion forum and voting system.

The leadership role of the MP will be to make sure the voters are well informed by providing information that might not have been easily available to the voters. Disagreement and opposition to a policy usually results from fear or lack of information. The MP needs to participate actively (or through a proxy/admin) in open forum and ongoing debate such as the message board. A town hall meeting could also be called for major policy issues.

After the discussion and information phase is over, the voter then get to vote on the voting/polling system. The vote/poll could act as an indicator of how your constituency feel. The MP can still vote against the majority sentiment since it is non-binding (especially during initial roll-out). However, the MP will be under pressure to explain why he/she is voting against the majority of his constituency. If the MP is constantly seen to be defying his constituent’s voices and his/her explanation is not satisfactory, the voters are more likely to remember the slight on the effort they’ve put in to debate and discuss the issues. In this model,  the voters becomes active participants rather than remaining totally oblivious until the next election. Personal insults and bullying will be banned on online forum.

How does online auditing works? After voting, a confirmation number is generated by the system. After the voting has closed, tabulated vote results are displayed with the confirmation code and that voter’s vote. Voter are asked to keep the confirmation code private if they want to keep their anonymity. Anyone can see the tabulated results and other information such as the number of voters who voted. But there should be no personally identifiable information on the publicly displayed tabulated results.

What about Seniors or non-computer savvy voters? Library access and assisted voting by trusted relative or friends will be an option. Moderator of debate/discussion forum is also obligated to compile mail-in letters or call-in comments and present them online if they have not been covered yet.

All records will be made available permanently (or retained over long period of time) and can be referenced in the next election.

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Fighting Over The “Filipino Votes”

As a Filipino, I find it amusing that politicians would think that just because the candidate is a Filipino then we would automatically vote for them. This is in reference to Liberal and Conservative spat over what Ignatieff allegedly had said about Harper’s attempt to split the “Filipino votes” by appointing a Filipino. I am trying not to take sides between the two but Conservative was quick to jump on Ignatieff supposed comment to say he is insulting Filipino. I guess depends on which side you are in you can twist it to say one side or the other is insulting the Filipino. If anyone have link to Ignatieff’s exact quote, where he mentioned Julie would split the Filipino votes, let me know. Or is this just from the mass e-mail sent out by the Conservatives. So far I was not able to find an Ignatieff’s quote other than non-specific claim about Harper playing games. But it does not matter. Filipino are well integrated in Winnipeg and both Liberal and NDP have large Filipino followings also. No one party have monopoly on Filipino vote. There is no vote to split. Any politician who think that can be done is misguided.

All this asinine argument makes me glad I am not supporting either one of the three major party. Pirate Party Jeff Coleman (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) offers a good alternative with plans to make sure people in his constituency would have a say even after the election. Check out his youtube video from the last all candidate forum. Too bad he did not get his invitation on time from The Filipino Breakfast Club’s all candidate meeting at La Merage yesterday morning, due to some mail mix up.

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Pirate Party Candidate for Winnipeg North By-Election Impresses Crowd

Pirate Party of Canada Candidate Jeff Coleman of Winnipeg North did pretty good in a forum that included the two main party Candidate – the Two Kevin from Liberal and NDP. Jeff promised an open channel of communication with his constituency. Reactions from the crowd were quite positive with people approaching him during break time, and at the end of the session.

One of the moment that solicited some chuckle from the crowd was when Green Party candidate admitted that he is not going to win. Jeff response was:

“Two years ago my political party didn’t exist; today we have over 2,000 members. When people stand up, they produce change. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to consider the outcome of democracy a foregone conclusion”.

Another light hearted moment was when Green candidate, responding to question about the drug problem, replied: “Depends on what drugs?” because they support legalizing marijuana.

Overall the forum was very civilized and Liberal candidate managed to poke fun at the absent Conservative candidate by directing his question to her. The crowd then broke out in laughter.

I just have something to say to people who say that if they were not voting for their party then they would vote for Jeff. I think people should forget about party and political personality. Jeff gave the best answer on all issues. He gave thoughtful response and impressed people across party lines. Judging by online forum like these two links from the Winnipeg Free Press, Jeff deserve the people’s vote. For how can we bring on change if we don’t give other promising guys with fresh ideas a chance.

Wpg Free Press: 200 attend byelection forum for Winnipeg North, Conservative candidate a no-show

Wpg Free Press: Candidates’ forum draws throng, Conservative Javier unexplained no-show

Here’s hoping Pirate Party do well in Winnipeg and carry the momentum to the next Federal election. Because the tired old divisive politics of constant bickering has to end and we need to send a message to the politicians that it is about time they consult their constituents more than their party whip. We want someone who proposes a constant open channel of communication both online and offline, and who go door to door listening intently and patiently to people’s grievances and gathering feedback. Someone who promised to make government open and transparent not only as a cliche slogan but through real action with the use of internet and modern technology.

You can check out videos of Jeff response at his youtube channel. The link is also available from his tweeter and facebook account.!/PegNorthPIrate

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Overpriced Blackberry or Samsung Galaxy S Captivate

As much as I want to support Research in Motion (RIM), they are just way too overpriced. What Blackberry have going for them is secure network and more compressed data. However, they charge much more for a slower system. With new smartphone such as the one from Samsung (Galaxy Captivate S) hitting the shelves at much lower cost than Blackberry, it is hard to justify shelling out cash for Blackberry instead of the more powerful and advanced Smartphone.

Here is a hands-on of the new Samsung Galaxy S – Captivate. A good comparison between the new Samsung phone vs IPhone 4. Seems like Captivate is holding up pretty good against IPhone. But based on user accounts and review, Captivate still have lots of bugs that needs to be worked out.

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Pirate Party of Canada – Internet Civil Rights and More

Pirate Party of Canada have fielded their first candidate in the upcoming Winnipeg North by-election. There’s been several news coverage about their candidate Jeff Coleman. The Pirate Party was borne out of Copyright reform fight in Sweden which lead to the party getting 7% of the popular votes, entitling them to two seats.

Their main platform is copyright reform, NOT promoting “piracy”. The name is a swipe at their opponent who likes to call them Pirate. They believe in privacy, net neutrality, free access to information, open and transparent government.

The government is once again trying to push through Lawful Access Legislation that would allow internet monitoring of everyone and bypass the court consent for wire tapping the internet. The common defense that their supporter use was if you are not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about. Tell that to victims of McCarthyism, opponents of Vietnam wars including John Lennon who have constantly been harassed by government of the day because of their political views. Someone like Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon would have a field day with such legislation that makes spying on innocent citizens legal.

On copyright, the government is pushing legislation that would allow record companies to put digital lock and prevent people who legally bought their CD’s or DVD’s from making backup of their purchase (remember Sony’s digital lock – DRM spyware?). Studios have been whining since radio was invented, then cassette tapes, Betamax, VHS. Now instead of adopting to latest changes in technology, they are lobbying the government to restrict and block new technologies. They also want subsidies put against innocent consumer who buy blank CD’s or media for backing up their data. Instead of making movies and music easier to access and purchase, with cost savings from adopting new technology being passed on to consumer, they stubbornly hang on to CD and DVD medium with high markup.

Another issue at the heart of Pirate Party’s platform is dealing with the glaring problem in our current government’s lack of accountability and their ability to drag their feet from sharing information with voters. Why not put their finances and other issues of concern to voters on the internet?

The party also believe in difference of opinions. For other issues that are not in their core principles, their representative will be consulting their constituency and be free from party whip.

So if you or anyone you know resides in Winnipeg North, make sure to ask them to vote for Pirate Party to sent a message to the major party that politics as usual just is not good enough. Pirate Party could bring to the front issues like consumer rights, privacy rights (including identity theft), relaxing patent earlier to allow people to benefit from new discovery rather than company just hoarding on to technology or keeping it unaffordable long after they’ve made their profits.

Learn about the Pirate Party for yourselves and help spread the message for the next Federal election in your area.

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