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> 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.

11.6.2004 10:00 | Josef Muknšnábl | read 20234×


So I have decided to send them a letter and just ask them all things I'd like to know.

Letter content and structure

I 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.

The implementation

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) 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.

The Results

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.

Party numberPolitical Party (Czech name)Political party (English name) Czech www presentation English www presentation Individual candidates list link Answers in Czech Answers in English
1 SNK/ED - Sdružení Nezávislých a Evropští Demokraté Union of Independents (SNK)and European Democrats (ED) link link link no no
2 KČ/MSČMS - Koruna Česká / Monarchistická Strana Čech, Moravy a Slezska ---- link ---- link no no
3 HOB - HELAX - Ostrava se baví ---- link one, link two ----, ---- link no no
4 ČSSD - Česká Strana Sociálně Demokratická (PES) Czech Social Democratic Party link link link no no
5 NS/ČSNS - Národní Koalice (Národní Strana / Česká Strana Národně Sociální) ---- link ---- link no no
6 ODS-Občanská Demokratická Strana (EPP-ED) ---- link one, link two ---- link no no
7 SOS - Strana pro Otevřenou Společnost ---- link ---- link no no
8 SDS - Strana Demokratického Socialismu Party of Democratic Socialism link link link no no
9 SZ - Strana Zelených ---- link one,link two ---- link no no
10 HA - Humanistická aliance ---- link ---- link no no
11 KS - Konzervativní strana ---- link -- link no no
12 SN - Sdružení nestraníků ---- link ---- link no no
13 SORC - Strana Občanů Republiky České ---- link ---- link no no
14 MDS - Masarykova Demokratická Strana ---- link ---- link no no
15 VOS - Všeobecná Občanská Strana ---- link ---- link no no
16 DS - Dělnická strana ---- link ---- link no no
17 SP - Strana Práce ---- link ---- link no no
18 BPS - Balbínova Poetická Strana ---- link link link no no
19 HSMS/MDS - Za Zájmy Moravy ve Sjednocené Evropě (Hnutí Samosprávné Moravy a Slezska / Moravská Demokratická Strana) Moravian-Coalition link link link no no
20 KDU-ČSL - Křesťanská Demokratická Unie- Československá Strana Lidová(EPP-ED) Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party link link link no no
21 PB - Pravý blok ---- link ---- link no no
22 SZR - Strana Zdravého Rozumu ---- link ---- link no no
23 US-DEU/ODA/CZ/LIRA (ELDR) - Unie Liberálních Demokratů (Unie Svobody-Demokratická Unie (EPP-ED) / Občanská Demokratická Aliance / Cesta Změny / Liberální Reformní Strana) -- link one, link two, link three, link four ----, ----, link three, link four link no no
24 KSČM - Komunistická Strana Čech a Moravy (EUL/NGL) Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia - CPBM link link link no no
25 SV - Strana Venkova ---- link ---- link no no
26 SŽJ - Strana za Životní Jistoty ---- link ---- link no no
27Political party no. 27 individual candidates list was refused by the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs.
28 NEI - Nezávislá Iniciativa ---- link ---- link no no
29 S - Svobodní ---- link ---- link no no
30 OFD - Občanská Federální Demokracie ---- link ---- link no no
31 RMS - Republikáni Miroslava Sládka ---- link ---- link no no
32 N - Nezávislí ---- link ---- link no no

Last udate date and time: 06-06-2004, 17:51 (SELČ +0 h, GMT +2 h )


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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