5722 Votes

Parkdale-High Park – 190/190 polls reporting

Peggy Nash – 20690
Sam Bulte – 18489

In 2004, Sam Bulte won Parkdale-High Park by 3521 votes.  By shifting 5722 votes (more than any Toronto riding), I suspect that the copyright balance and fundraising issue played a role in the outcome.  While some will focus on the role of bloggers, the real story here (in addition to a strong NDP candidate and the national decline in Liberal support) is that Canadians, represented in this instance by the voters of Parkdale-High Park, sent a clear message that they are not comfortable with politicians who unapologetically trumpet their links to lobbyists, who promote one-sided copyright policies, and who denigrate those opposed to such views as zealots.

Update: The Toronto Star covers the election results with comments from Sam Bulte while bloggers chime in here, here, here, and here.


  1. And might I add, I think the lawyer who got the ball rolling on this issue deserves some kudos as well.

  2. Agreed, I’d like to thank you for focusing on the copyright issue, which I think doesn’t get enough attention from the average Joe. These companies seem to have unanimously shunned thinking outside the box when it comes to their business models, in favour of pushing for draconian laws to help them maintain the status quo, and everyone I know doesn’t seem to notice, or care about, the situation.

  3. democracy prevails
    The political power of blogging in Canada graduated yesterday and is ready to take it’s place in the political arena. Michael, you deserve recognition for galvanizing a lot of people on this issue but credit must also go to Cory Doctorow, Mathew Good, Steven Page, Accordian Guy and every other person who took action and recorded their feelings in a blog.

    Politicians, take heed. We will no longer hide our opinions and if any of us can get a topic on fire, you better listen, or your career in Ottawa can be shortened.

    The political process in Canada is alive and well. Even though I did not vote for Harper’s Party, the people have spoken. Voter turnout increased.

    It’s a good day to be Canadian.

  4. Joergen Ramskov says:

    Thank you!
    Thanks for fighting the good fight and keeping the rest of the world informed about this issue, I’ve been reading your blog with interest for some time.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work 🙂

  5. Thanks Michael for all your hard work on this. I hope Bulte is sitting at home steaming now and eventually realizes what she was doing was wrong. This whole thing almost made me want to move to her riding just so I could vote against her. 😉

  6. omnipotent speck says:

    “Sam Works” – for food.
    What would be a delicious turn of events here? Bulte having to sell bootleg software to get by. An even tastier bit of irony is that if we had had her recommended restrictions in place before the election, the world never would have been able to see those pulled liberal attack ads about soldiers in our cities. Oddly enough, “the Simpsons” had a similar comedy bit about a kill-bot factory (Cut to Kent Brockman saying “The government calls it the ARMY”), but it’s satire was clearly lost on the Liberal war room. I wonder if that’s close enough to be considered infringement? (jk)

  7. Just try a Google
    Just google for Sarmite or Sam Bulte and you will be hard pressed to find anything positive at all on the first page (beyond her own and the Liberal party sites.) It is all criticism about her having being ‘bought’ by the the copyright lobby. Even if you are pro-strong copyright this isn’t good.

    Now google for Peggy Nash. Note the contrast – “Nash a Natural”, “Go Go Peggy Nash”, “Peggy Nash Has My Vote”, “Nash pushing national child-care plan”. It’s all positive.

    I imagine that a lot of Canadian voters must research the candidates on the internet, especially with your higher broadband penetration! It is hard to imagine someone having done this voting for Bulte.

    Bulte is probably also unfortunate in that she chose something matters to netziens outside of Canada, gaining her wide international negative coverage that further occupied her Google results.

    So maybe the internet isn’t completely owned by the corporate copyright lobby yet, and Bulte made a serious mis-calculation. To be honest, I suspect she saw the issue as a lucrative one financially, and just didn’t think it would matter – one way or the other – to her constituents.

    And on that point she was wrong. Mark one up for the pro-user – perhaps we should say pro-constituent – “zealots”.

  8. lindsay stewart says:

    thank you michael
    thank you for your efforts michael, last night we all made a difference and sent a message. i’m one of the bloggers that rode your coat tails on this issue. as a musician, i breathed a sigh of satisfaction and relief, when i refreshed the cbc link and saw the nash victory in parkdale confirmed. but this fight is far from done.

    while the copyfight isssue wasn’t a big feature in the headlines, people were watching, a lot of people. my posts on the bulte affair generated hits from all levels of government and industry. i’m sure your site meter would make for fascinating reading. the powers that want to be, will be regrouping and getting ready to push their agenda with the new harper minority.

    we need to stand firm and remind bev oda and her boss that we won’t roll over on this fundamental issue of freedom and fair use. but today, we can share in a small celebration. thank you to accordion guy, matthew good, cory and boingboing and all of the little guys like me.

    i’ll leave you with a line from “another damn song”, one of the tracks from my forthcoming cd:

    this is for the lovers of the singers and the songs / celebrate the hope that peace will make you strong / if you try…if you try

    oh, and when the album is done it will be released under a creative commons license and will have no drm, crippleware or anti-music technology.

    thanks again michael

  9. Darryl Moore says:

    Work to be done
    Yes, congratulations to all. Sam and Liza are now both gone, however we are left with Bev Oda of the conservatives who will likely become Heritage Minister and has been supported by the same industry lobbyists that supported Bulte.

    There is still work to be done, and despite Michael’s great contribution, it has to be made clear to the powers that be that it is not special interest groups that are fighting against this kind of DMCA legislation.

    I ask that everybody who has an awareness about this issue, regardless of what your opinion is, become involved in Russell McOrmond’s grass roots website and mail list at and start sending those emails to Bev. The government has to know that user and independent artist rights count too.

  10. David Sanftenberg says:

    Remind Bev
    Bev Oda needs to be reminded that precisely the same thing will happen to her as happened to Bulte if she takes a radical, one-sided stand on copyright the same way the Liberals did.

  11. Russell McOrmond says:

    My prediction for Bulte
    Like other Liberals in the past, I fully expect to see Bulte show up in the Lobbiest registry as working for one of the old-media/old-economy intermediaries. Given the close connections, my first guess is a lobbiest for CRIA.

    I’m wondering what the so-called “accountability act” will do to people like her, and whether this type of scam will be allowed.

    As to Bev Oda: unlike Bulte she did meet with members of our community, myself included. I expect much better things. For those who believe that the Conservatives are for “big business” they need to remember: the old-media intermediaries are a much smaller set of businesses than the technology sector. If we can get the pro-competition folks in the in the technology sector working together we will see a major win.

    Already letters to James Rajotte, Bev Oda and Charlie Angus this morning congratulating them on their re-election.

  12. Steve Haddad (Regina) says:

    Hmm–our culture adapted successfully.
    Just wanted to add my thanks for the work done by all adapt to this new medium of political debate.

    For more than a year now I’ve relied on Dr Geist and his links for a fair and readable view of the issues, and was embarrased by S. Bulte’s attempts to smear him and the others who wanted us to know the facts.

    Today the Canadians in PHP have added another key case that our culture is able to adapt to the times and still maintain our key shared values. Thanks.

  13. Buh-bye, Sam!
    Golly! Is it just me or does she sound a wee bit p!ssed in her comments to the Toronto (Red) Star. Heee!

    Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the arse on your way out…

  14. The blogosphere shows its potential
    I.F. Stone, writing in his basement, regularly showed how a dedicated writer and researcher could devastate a politician by using his (or her) own words against him (or her). Michael, you have revived this lost art, and have shown the great potential of the blogosphere.

    Although there were desperate protests to the contrary, you stuck to the facts, avoided personal attacks, and landed hard but fair blows. I like to think that had any blogger chimed in with a derisory word like “moonbat,” I am sure they would have found themselves permanently ignored and forever out of the action. There was an actual debate going on, and the trolls knew better than to get in the way.

    Instead, conscientious bloggers helped collect and aggregate the needed information, spread it to others, and finally brought the issue to the ground, talking directly with voters and confronting the politicians at all-candidates’ meetings. This all did not simply happen in cyberspace.

    My only regret is that Ms. Bulte and her friends did not take the opportunity to enagage in a proper dialogue. She trusted that her constituents would be satisfied with pat answers, and that no one would actually take what she said seriously enough to check whether it was true. She lost because her opponents treated her arguments with more respect than she did.

    I am sure more will be written about all this, and its effect on Canadian politics and copyright law. But for now: well done, Michael!

    John Bowker
    She Said Boom!
    Records and Books

  15. Gavin Baker says:

    You/we won
    I’m quite pleased with the outcome of the election, at least re: free culture. (I’m not a Canadian, so I don’t have to deal much with the overall party realignment.) Bulte and Frulla out, Angus stays — that’s 3 for 3 in my book. Will be curious to see the new Heritage Minister and his/her relationship re: Industry.

  16. Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff
    Thank you Michael for bringing news of Sam to Canada, and helping to defeat her in the election.

  17. Adrian Kelly says:

    from one zealot to another…
    Gee, Ms Bulte, I think he’s rubbing your face in it!…

    Of course, since you’re now out of a job, you’ll have enough time to research (and understand) what the concept of “ELECTED REPRESENTATION” means. Best of luck in your next campaign…Sellout.

  18. Somehow, I don’t think the copyright issue played any role in her defeat. Except for Slashdotters and their ilk, Canadians were not aware of this issue. It was never mentionned even ONCE in mainstream media. The defeat has everything to do with the Sponsorship brainwashing campaign and the fact that 12 years of prsoperity and balanced bugets has managed to make Canadians forget the conservatives were not a desirable alternative.