Did copyright reform prevent a Conservative majority?

In an interview with ComputerWorld Canada, Michael Geist, research chair of Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, suggests that the 2008 election results might give the government reason to listen to Canadians when reintroducing amendments to the Copyright Act.

The strongest evidence to support Geist’s claims may have come in the Edmonton-Strathcona riding, which saw NDP candidate Linda Duncan upset favoured Conservative incumbent MP Rahim Jaffer.

“I identified that area as a potential copyright riding, which includes the University of Alberta, last January,” Geist said. “The separation between the two candidates was only a few hundred votes, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that a few hundred people voted the way they did because of the copyright bill.

“No Bill C-61 and perhaps those votes don’t even turn up,” he added.


“While copyright will remain the big controversial issue, we’ve been promised anti-spam legislation and just prior to voting, the Conservatives started talking about funding for broadband connectivity,” he said. While not the top issues today, Geist said, expect them to continue to percolate in the years to come.

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