A new year brings new hopes. Here are a few of the things I'm looking forward to:
1) A new provincial government. 37 years is too long for any party to remain in power.
2) A new federal government, too.
3) More fulfilling jobs for those of my friends and family currently searching for them.
4) Most importantly, a better life for every human being on the globe.
This early in the 21st century, it's impossible to know exactly what scientific, social, political, artistic and philosophical achievements will lead to a happier human condition; but I'm confident that those improvements will come. Despite all our failings, most people want to do the right thing; most people, given the choice, will choose to help rather than harm.
We won't build a utopia this century. But maybe a "we"-topia is possible. Every act of kindness, each moment of empathy, brings it that much closer.
Also, wouldn't "Wiitopia" make a cool marketing scheme for Nintendo? If you're listening, my Japanese friends, you can have the concept for $10 million - half for me, half for Doctors Without Borders. (Hey, I've got bills to pay...)
Well, it looks like the Alberta Libs and Cons are gearing up for battle in 2008. I see that one David Cournoyer may be sued by one Ed Stalmach over the use of certain Internet intellectual property.
Usually it's just the politicians that grab the headlines, but in this case, Mr. Cournoyer is apparently a Liberal staffer much like Earl.
Since I have almost no interest in Alberta politics, it's only for the sake of juicy gossip that I would want to hear more about what's going on at Earl's workplace. That's a terrible reason, and I am afraid that were Earl to comment on his blog about the situation, he might get drawn into the potential lawsuit as well.
Very personally, I do not understand the motivation behind what Mr. Cournoyer is alleged to have done. On the other hand, I do not enjoy the public profile that the Liberal Party maintains, so maybe the rules of propriety are different at that level.
In a sad way, I am in part glad that someone else other than Earl is taking the heat for this business. I do feel for Mr. Cournoyer in that I would not want to be sued by the Premier, but on the other hand, I also feel for Mr. Stelmach in that he sees the need for legal recourse to solve a dispute. Both of these people have their lives to live, and they have to live them by the decisions they make from day to day, just like the rest of us. But to me, Mr. Cournoyer and Mr. Stalmach represent abstract opposites in a battle over Internet rights that I only dimly comprehend. Earl, on the other hand, I know better. If he were wrapped up in this controversy, well that would be more upsetting for me personally. I guess that's why I feel a little glad that he wasn't named in the article.
The bullets you hear aren't the ones you should be afraid of.
I wouldn't worry too much; Dave's actions, according to CIRA rules, fall under the rubric of fair political commentary about a public figure; the domain in question links to former premier Harry Strom's Wikipedia entry. Basically, it's a cute joke.
Luminaries such as Professor Michael Geist, one of the leading authorities on these matters, has stated that Premier Stelmach could very well lose his case should he take it to court.
For the record, Dave was (until December 31) an Alberta Liberal Party staffer; I work for the Alberta Liberal Caucus, a different entity (basically, I work for the elected Alberta Liberal MLAs).
Thanks for the clarification! I'll have to look up this CIRA sometime. Lately, I've been spending a lot of free time looking into what constitutes "fair use". The rules in Canada and the US are different from one another, and frankly I find it easier to understand the American rules. So now I am getting curious as to just how far public commentary on a political figure can go. For example, political cartoons in Canadian newspapers tend to have very few if any sharp teeth to them. I recall a time when the satire in those cartoons was a lot more focussed than it is now.
Still, none of my jokes (so far) requires a public relations officer to discuss politics with the press, nor a punchline that ends in a summons to court.
Update: I did get sued for a cartoon. Yay! Eat shit, anonymous self from the distant past!
Well, I didn't get sued so much as summonsed, but the plaintiff was just this pathetic screwball who likes to try to sue political figures. His case was so far off the mark it was immediately dismissed. I didn't even have to show up for anything.
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