Computer science policy, software patents and czech political parties - EP candidates
I was freely inspired for writing this article by Alan Cox's
open letter in
which he appealed to hackers, open-source
supporters and all UK citizens generally to vote
in upcoming EP elections two particular British
political parties which are against software patents.
As I read Alan's letter I just realised that I had absolutely
no idea what was our czech political
parties' (EP candidates)
attitude towards software patents and what
was their general European computer science/telecommunication policy at all.
So I have decided to send them a letter and just ask them all things I'd like to know.
Letter content and structureI sent them the letter mentioned above by e-mail. The precise email text can be seen here. All questions raised were attached to e-mail in two RTF files. The first file contained questions in Czech, the other in English. The questions were the same just the language was different. You would maybe wonder why I also sent them the English version of the questions if the original audience were Czech people. There were actually two main reasons. The first reason was that I needed English answers to these questions for this article (English version) and the second reason was that I wanted to prove czech political parties' language skills. (Although you could consider last sentence as quite offensive, it is not. There are still some things in that area that need some quite big improvements, see section Results for further details).
Questions I asked the parties can be divided into two main parts generally. There are questions in part one that touch parties's general European computer science/telecommunication policy in terms of general strategy, main objectives and means through which they want to meet these objectives. There are questions regarding parties' attitude towards free software, open-source movement and software patents in part two. The total number of questions is thirteen plus one special question for Greens only.
I found the complete list of the czech political parties which candidate into EP on the web presentation of Prague's European Parliament Information Office. Then I found the parties' websites and got from them their contact e-mails. I got the e-mails for all parties except two of them.
The first party for which I wasn't able to find a contact e-mail was party called "HOB-HELAX-Ostrava se baví". I was able to find only e-mail contact to radio HELAX which resides in the same building as the political party. As I found that some of the radio HELAX employees are also the members of mentioned oplitical party I sent the e-mail to the radio. I hope it would arrive into right hands somehow.
The second party I wasn't able to reach was party called "N - Nezávislí". There was no presentation on their website. So I sent an e-mail to info(at)vladimirzelezny.cz addres as Dr. Zelezny is the leader of that party.
Let me also highlight following thing. There were not only single political parties there were some collective parties too. By the term 'collective party' I mean parties who worked together and prepared one list of candidates (individual people) that contained people from all allied parties and since then they have been acting towards EP as the only subject. Although it is very likely that the parties' general European policy in computer science/teelcommunications will be very similar if not completely the same I decided to sent the e-mail with questions to each member of the particular collective party.
For completeness' sake I also added into summary results table (see sectin results) the link to website and link to individual candidates list of each party/collective party.
Results can be seen in summary table below.
During summary results table creation I found one surprising fact which was that even the upcoming alections are the election into EUROPEAN Parliament (I highlight the word EUROPEAN) a lot of parties didn't bother with English version of their www presentations. There were some but not so many. You could also find the German version of www presenattions sporadically. The existence of French language that is often considered as the second official EU language was noted only by one political party. This fact is shocking all the more because is not related only to small parties but also to really big one.
The summary results table has been completed continuously as results have been coming. The last update date and time is stated below the table.
Although the article was writen just before the elections (there is no more than five days before elections will start) I hope that delivered answers could help the Czech people to choose the right party.
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