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Boing Boing's Doctorow endorses NDPer in Montreal

Is there a riding in Canada in which the Natural Governing Party’s natural sense of entitlement is more natural than Westmount—Ville-Marie? Together with its predecessors, the affluent Montreal riding has been painted red for most of the past century. So much so that the Liberals landed astronaut Marc Garneau into Westmount, figuring the first Canadian to rocket into space could fire up that piece of the Big Red rocket without even touching ground.

But after a high-profile by-election was called in August, the New Democrats recruited popular former CBC radio host Anne Lagacé Dowson to challenge the Grit stronghold, and the Greens tapped the former star of the TV police drama “Sirens” (and co-deputy party leader) Claude William Genest. All three were ready to rumble on Sept. 8, backed up with cameo appearances by Conservative Guy Dufort, a partner at uber-law-firm Heenan Blaikie, and Bloc Québécois candidate Charles Larivée, a food trader.

Then Stephen Harper pulled the plug on parliament, and with it the Westmount by-election. Observers figure the aborted Westmont mission cost more than a million dollars, given that Elections Canada figures the cost of an average by-election at $982,000.

Now you’d figure that in a race between an astronaut, a TV star, a CBC host, a lawyer and a guy who trades food he’s never seen, someone like techno activist Cory Doctorow would pick the astronaut. After all, what’s more Boing Boing than a space walk?

But it turns out that N’Dipper Dowson was Doctorow’s babysitter when he was an enfant terrible. (Really. I’m not clever enough to make up this post.) So the wizzard of Boing endorsed Dowson:

“The NDP is the only federal Canadian party with a dedicated digital affairs critic: the always-sharp Charlie Angus, a former punk musician late of the band L'Etranger, who I used to see headlining punk shows when I was a teenager. Angus and the NDP have led the political criticism of the Tory Bill 61, a Canadian version of America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a copyright bill that was drafted in secret, without input from Canadian stakeholders, including coalitions of Canadian creators and music labels.

“The NDP has also led the pack on criticising the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, another secretly negotiated proposal, this time for a global treaty on copyright that would dramatically increase the search, seizure and surveillance obligations to Canada and other signatories, forcing them to spy on everyday individuals to protect the profits of a few giant record companies.

“Dowson also endorsed the NDP's activism on net neutrality -- Canada's major ISPs, Bell and Rogers, have led the world's Internet companies in a race to the bottom, imposing secret caps, spying on users, blocking protocols, and even blocking downstream ISPs' customers (so that ISPs that buy their backhaul from Bell are subject to the same filtering as Bell's own retail customers).”

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