Thursday, June 07, 2007

We'll be having elections on the 10th in Belgium. Each day on radio and TV there are countless debates between political parties discussing the most popular topics. If you want to give your vote to a party that is pro-OSS but don't know which ones those are, I'll try to present a list here. I'm using their stance on 'software patents' as a guideline (perhaps this is not the best metric, but at least an indication).

CD&V/NVA

It's not easy to get a clear picture on the point of view of this party. Fientje Moerman was one of the biggest PRO patents members, while in another well made document we see a rather ANTI opinion.

SP.A/Spirit

Spirit is well known as a OSS friendly party, last elections one of their points even was to have more OSS software in government institutions because of price advantages/cost savings.

It seems that SP.A is at least in favor for OSS and ANTI patents as well. On their site you can find at least the opinions from El Khadraoui, Els Haegeman, Anne Van Lancker and Kathleen Van Brempt.

Open VLD

With the work 'open' in your name you can only be OSS friendly. Well, we can only hope. The general stance of Open VLD appears to be PRO patents, as noted in this article from 'De Standaard'. Although on the other hand Patricia Ceysens is a bit more reserved.

Groen!

One of the parties that has most open about their dislike against software patents. You'll find articles on the topic and Bart STAES/Meyrem ALMACI have been working hard in the EU parlement.

Vlaams Belang

Can't find anything about software patents and the stance of Vlaams Belang on this. Although it seems that they are a bit mad at China for ignoring patents (which is their right, US/EU patents are not valid in China, so why should they care?). Perhaps we can conclude that they are rather PRO patents.

As a last resource I would like to point you to an overview of the votes in the EU parlement on the patents issue. It seems that their votes and public opinions differ quite a bit.

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