Canadian Pirate Party Absent 24 Hours After Election Called Drew Wilson | September 12, 2019 Elections are a great time for political parties to shine. Unfortunately, it seems that the Canadian Pirate party is currently absent. The Canadian election was called yesterday. One of the concerning aspects is the fact that digital rights issues might get lost in the shuffle of polarizing issues and divisive politics. One particularly effective political way of raising these issues is to form an entire political party devoted to the issues. When file-sharing lawsuits were being most heavily pushed almost a decade ago, a response Canadians had is to form the Canadian Pirate Party. That political party was formed as success grew in Europe. The hope was that some of that success could be translated to success across the pond. In 2011, I had the privilege of covering the growing prominence of the Canadian Pirate Party. In 2011, while working for ZeroPaid, I covered the release of their election platform. The platform showed substantial promise in protecting the digital rights of Canadians. It covered a broad range of issues such as privacy, security, education, and, of course, copyright issues. At the time, in the event of a Conservative majority, the party even went so far as to offer a VPN service to protect Canadians from the Conservatives. They even offered a BitTorrent tracker for artists wishing to share their works with the public as well (full disclosure: I was one of those artists at the time). Of course, that was then. What about now? There are a lot of important debates such as privacy, encryption, and copyright. You’d think that those issues would be a perfect launching point to enter into the political debate. At this point in time, their official website, pirateparty.ca is down. As for their Twitter account, the official account @piratepartyca has been without activity since March of last year. We opted to send a media inquiry as well, but did not hear back. So, while there are certainly golden opportunities for a resurgence at this point in time, it seems that the first challenge for the party is to obtain a presence of some kind. Without the party, Canadians could lose a powerful voice on digital rights issues at the political level. One thing is for sure, it’s unfortunate to see the party in such a state at this point in time. While Canadians wait for their voices to return, it seems that digital rights issues in Canada will have to come from somewhere else for the time being. Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.