Monday, August 29, 2016

MP Meetings: David Graham and David Lametti

I've met a few dozen federal MPs so far, and given how important technology law is to me I am always wanting to be introduced to and meet with more.  This is why I was so happy when I heard that a very technology savvy MP was going to be joining us for a GOSLING gathering on April 15th this year.

This was David Graham (Laurentides — Labelle) about the only Canadian MP I've heard being spoken of highly on SlashDot as this is a person already well known in the Linux and FLOSS community.  As technology literacy of politicians is a huge problem (it is what allowed most discussions around the "paracopyright" part of Canada's Copyright law to sound more like a scene from Harry Potter than actual science and technology), I was so happy to be meeting someone who would understand these issues.

When I went to introduce myself, David asked me what I was doing.  Demonstrating what makes him a good politician he explained that he knew me well, and reminded me of the various times we had already met in the past (on a variety of different policies, and even in a social context of when my sister-in-law worked for the Liberal party).  Having a good memory for people is an important part of being a politician, and it is great to see someone who both has the technical know-how as well as those important social skills.

This was something new for me -- meeting with a sitting MP that I met before they were an MP, and that was already actively working on some of the areas of policy that most concern me.

David and his staff invited me to an informal gathering for April 18 to meet with visitors from Sweden's Digitalization Commission. who were in town for a conference. David wouldn't be able to be there himself, but there would be another MP, staff from both MPs offices, as well as Canadian representatives from other parts of the public and private sector.

I was again pleasantly surprised to realize that I had already met Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade David Lametti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun). He had written chapters for In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law and From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright" : Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda, and I attended the book launch for (and owned copies of) both books.  Mr. Lametti was already familiar with my particular stance on Paracopyright law.

Both David's are part of a Digital Caucus made up of Liberal MPs and staff.  I hope to meet with them and other caucus members in the future.  There are so many issues to be discussed: while Paracopyright is the issue that dragged me to being so involved with federal politics, the issue this summer is online voting (which if implemented in our current level of digital literacy would become an unaccountable proxy voting system where software vendors would decide the outcome of elections).

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