Time To Vote: CIRA Board Elections Open Until September 30th

I have been fairly critical of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority in recent months as I sense a discouraging drift away from its mandate of serving the broader public interest.  The best way to influence CIRA is through the Board of Director elections.  This year there are four spots open – three for nomination committee candidates and one for a "member nominated" director.  I have little to say about the six candidates vying for the three nomination committee seats other than I was hard pressed to find anyone who said much of anything about the public interest in their statements.  The nomination committee was presumably asked to find business candidates and it did its job.  As for the two member nominated candidates (a third candidate recently dropped out), both Barry Shell and Jeff Rybak speak out on public interest concerns with slightly different perspectives in their statements. Read both statements and, if you are a CIRA member, be sure to vote before the election closes on September 30th

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  1. Paul Andersen says:

    I second the motion to vote…
    I would urge all readers to take Michael’s suggestion to go and vote in this years CIRA election process.

    This is one of the many ways the members can engage the organization but it is certainly a very important one.

    I ask you to go read the material on the Election website ( and vote before the close of polls. We really do want to see as wide an input into the election process as possible.

    I encourage you to contact us if you have questions or suggestions for CIRA.


    Paul Andersen
    Chair, CIRA Board of Directors

  2. Thanks Michael

    I do hope everyone will take the time to read the candidates’ statements and to vote. In an election such as this just a few votes can easily be the difference. That’s a poor reflection on the number of people who do vote, perhaps, but it’s some added incentive to be one of them. Your vote really matters.

    There’s not much I can add that I haven’t said already in my statement. I know that many of Michael’s readers have a healthy skepticism of all Internet-related bureaucracy, and he hasn’t been subtle with his criticism of CIRA lately. And yet he’s still recommending that you vote. I think between those two ideas is the important connector that if you only stand on the sidelines and vent then you are willfully marginalizing your voice.

    CIRA may not be the organization you wish it could be (yet) and it isn’t the organization I wish it could be (yet) but it is Canada’s Internet Registration Authority and at the highest level it is in the hands of a member base comprised of anyone willing to pony up around $10-15 for their own domain. That’s not a high entry threshold to have a voice and a vote – as compared with other agencies where you have no power to influence what happens. So I’ll urge you one final time to exercise that vote. You can even spoil your electronic ballot if you absolutely must (there’s a button for that) to indicate you can’t find anyone worth voting for. But send the message, at least, that you value your vote. Otherwise you just play into the argument that it’s a worthless exercise to give ordinary Canadians that vote in the first place.

    Jeff Rybak
    Board Candidate

  3. To all those apathetic CIRA members and dot-CA domain holders
    Michael, I’ve found that many CIRA members (and non-members with dot-CAs) are generally apathetic towards their membership because they don’t really understand the important role that DNS infrastructure plays in our connected lives. To help reinforce the importance of CIRA for a lay person, I wrote a blog post at that describes how DNS works (along with an illustration) and why Canadians should care about these elections.

  4. laurie jonkman says:

    Don’t Call Me Apathetic
    We can’t register to vote– in order to register we have to produce photo ID.

    Funny, they took our money without photo ID when we paid for the domain names. But it isn’t worth risking invasion of privacy and another hole in identity fraud protection. Only traffic cops have the right to demand to see my dreadful driver’s license picture (with probable cause of course) when I’m behind the wheel. And the Canadian Internet Registrar needs this because….?

    It’s ridiculous. Here I’m paying almost twice what it would have cost me to get a dot com for the privilege of not being allowed a vote. It’s the kind of thing that makes you real proud to be a Canadian.

  5. Michael Martineau says:

    President, Avenant Inc.
    I went through the nomination process this year and found, much to my surprise, that it was not particularly open or transparent. A nomination committee reviewed my application and without providing any reasons stated that I was not selected to stand for election. I am a founding director of CA*net and founding Chair of NovaKnowledge, so I have both Internet and board level experience. I don’t mind so much that I didn’t make the final slate of candidates as I did not receiving any feedback for why I was not selected. I find the whole process very closed and secretive.

    Michael Martineau

  6. Confused
    @laurie jonkman I agree with your statement Laurie. I simply do not understand why we need this duplicate bureaucracy. I heard from an old salt computer guy there was some iffy political maneuvering that allowed CIRA to be created (more importantly to be FUNDED) in the first place. Can anyone here expand on this? All this about voting and having a voice—could there be a vote on dissolving CIRA and making .ca’s like a normal domain name? Every time I talk about .ca with an internet guy they huff and puff and sigh and stuff. What exactly are we getting here?