CIRA AGM - Voting Begins Today.

Yesterday I attended the CIRA AGM, it was a flawlessly executed event featuring some really great speakers. Jonathan Zittrain took us through the history of the net and while Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee were given lots of credit, mentioning the contributions of Van Jacobson would have been nice.

The meeting portion of the event ran smoothly, and the organization's finances were explained well. There was one question from the audience on lawful access that underscored how CIRA does not see itself as an advocacy organization today -- something I was very dissapointed in given that I see one of CIRA's key roles as advocacy in support of the Canadian Internet.

In-fact, on almost all of CIRA's branding today, was a consistent theme of "Have your say in shaping our internet and our future" -- CIRA's position as Canada's most democratic Internet governance organization could not have been more clear, nor could the importance of this election have been underscored any better. CIRA elections clearly matter in shaping the future of this medium.

After the meeting was Stewart Butterfield, whose presentation was funny and well put together, questions from the audience had the flickr founder pontificating on what local tech have come to know as 'business in vancouver'... I quite enjoyed his presentation.

After some draws and final notes was the networking reception. I spoke with a number of open-internet advocates, a bunch of board members a CRTC representative and a couple of the ex-officio members of the board, bringing up everything from how CIRA's board should be more active in policy development to what Canada is doing about the extremely serious issue of domain seizures.

Additionally, I was left with the impression that I have a very good chance of winning a seat on the board in this election, and that there are more allies ready to help CIRA shape policy than maybe people recognise. If elected I will be one of twelve, however, it does not appear my voice will stand alone.

On that note, voting opens today at 12 noon eastern time. Please head over to http://elections.cira.ca and cast your vote for me, Kevin McArthur. Together we truly can shape the future of Canada's Internet.