We’re coming upon an October federal election that’s unique in many ways. It comes on the heels of one of the longer-lasting minority rules in Canadian history, called by Prime Minister Stephen Harper although his government was in no danger of collapse (and despite his own policy that elections should be held every four years). It’s in many ways overshadowed by the political drama in the U.S., where the November vote, regardless of outcome, produce an historic moment in the administration of the country. And it’s also being held on what could be the cusp of an economic meltdown in the States, with corresponding ripple effects in the Canadian economy.
The economy is clearly a critical issue, and not simply in terms of assuaging the current crisis in the financial markets. Rather, that near-collapse, spiralling oil costs, the drain of jobs offshore, and myriad other symptom point to a need for fundamental change — “New Economy” is a cliche if government doesn’t get it.
Information and communications technology have a role to play in that economy, and that’s largely what this forum is about. Does ICT lead the economy, or is it simply an architecture to facilitate it? What policies are needed for ICT to fulfil that role? What do politicians need to know about the industry?
And, ultimately: Which party or leader really “gets” ICT?
You tell us. In the mean time, we’ll also be talking to people in the community for their insights on these issues. And don’t forget to vote, both with your mouse here and at the ballot box on Oct. 14.