Bloc Québécois Releases Party Platform, No Plan for Tech At All

Another political party has released their party platform: the Bloc Québécois. Unfortunately, it appears there’s nothing for tech and digital rights.

We continue to monitor the developments in the Canadian election. Previously, the Green Party released their platform early on. That platform wound up setting the bar extremely high for other parties as it featured a very comprehensive plan for digital rights and technology. There was quite a large gap, but eventually, another party released their platform. That party wound up being the People’s Party of Canada. Apart from a passing reference to free speech, the platform showed no plan for digital rights and technology.

Now, Freezenet has learned of a third party that released their party platform. That party is the Bloc Québécois. The platform can be found here (PDF). Now, the first problem you’ll no doubt see is the fact that it’s in French. There is no English version. That, of course, make it much harder to examine. Still, we were able to look through the headings and found that there is policies on immigration as well as the highly controversial religious symbols ban. Then, there is the issue of separation. That, of course, isn’t all that surprising from the Canadian perspective. The question is, what else does the party stand for? The answer: not much.

Given what we came for, we tried skimming through the platform for anything that would be of interest to us, but we couldn’t find anything. So, we decided to try and brute force the issue with a keyword search. We first tried “discours” (speech), but no results found. We also tried other keywords such as “droits d’auteur” (copyright), “chiffrement” (encryption), “téléphone portable” (cell phone), and “l’Internet” (Internet). All yielded the same result. So, unless someone who knows French out there can go over it again and find something related to technology, our conclusion is that there is no plan on anything we have an interest in.

So, with no real plan, how can we analyze the party in the first place? In this case, we can go over what we’ve seen from the party in the past. When the issues of copyright came up in the past, the party made positions that supported the major multinational corporations. During the copyright reform debates in the past, they were all about tightening copyright laws including supporting mass file-sharing lawsuits. In theory, they wanted to support the Quebec culture and they felt that by appeasing the multinational corporations in the industry, they would be doing so. Of course, the election results in the previous election relegated them to almost fringe party status, so we don’t know where the party stood during the last parliament on these issues.

In conclusion, with no policies put forward, and a questionable history on the issues, the party is actually starting the election as if they threw their campaign into reverse and backed away from the starting block. At this point, they’ll have to put forth something positive just to advance past the starting gate. It’s unclear if we’ll even see that, though.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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