Ric Lim: Pirate Party of Canada is committed to an open society

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      One question often asked is “why does the Pirate Party keep running in the election when we have no chance of winning?” We are needed in order to raise awareness about neglected issues. A better question is “what sets us apart from the other parties?” 

      In talking to friends, people online, and watching the pundits on TV, there is common thread that the current party leaders lack substantial visions. People quip that the Globe debate was painful to watch. Everyone gets a sense that our economic structure is changing due to rapid technological changes. Sometimes it causes confusion and results in ugly confrontations like what we see with Uber and taxi drivers. The Pirate Party was founded to challenge not only the status quo, but also the regression in our government and the laws that they've passed. Copyright and patent laws were just the beginning.

      Pirate Party is often misrepresented as not having a policy on economy, foreign affairs, or other relevant issues. This is incorrect. To sum up the Pirate principles in a sentence, it is about creating an open society that does not interfere with propagation of information and culture.

      This founding principle led to one of our main policy planks for this election, guaranteed income (GI). A newcomer or casual observer can be forgiven to think GI is this big socialist program. But once someone reads beyond the surface, they will soon realize that GI is a simple yet brilliant way that Canada can actually have a strong economy and provide social aid without properly belonging to solely to the asinine labels of being a lefty or righty. We can finally stop the constant need for tax increases, while solving the poverty conundrum. 

      The policy book we released today is called "A Bold B.I.G. Vision for an Open Democracy in the Information Age." B.I.G. stands for basic income guarantee. Whether it is Mincome or B.I.G. type of GI it will change our society profoundly for the better. Every time a pundit says we need a solution for seniors poverty, child poverty, or precarious jobs, I can't stop myself from yelling the word "Mincome" back at the screen.

      But apart from GI, an essential element for an open democracy in the information age is to have open government with proactive and cost-free freedom of information access. People shouldn't even have to ask for access to information. Raw and summarized informative data should be available for scrutineers, the press and the people. We should strengthen our public broadcaster and turn it into a Netflix for independent Canadian artists, where people can show appreciation through an integrated direct-to-artist monetization system. 

      We also believe decentralization is key to allowing more innovative and visionary ideas to be heard. That is why we will create a Constituent-Representative-Interaction-System where every eligible voter is given an anonymous ID by Elections Canada to use in an online forum for exchange of information and feedback with their MP.

      To further reform and bring our democracy up to date in the information age, our leader will be the MP who got elected with the most percentage share of the vote. He or she will serve at the mercy of the council consisting mostly of all our elected MPs. But the party leader will always be answerable to everyone and can be replaced by the council.

      Measures from our existing policies and from our recent policy book will help Canada become a world leader in democracy and the economy. 

      Ric Lim is the leader of the Pirate Party of Canada.

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