In a strange fit of sanity, the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, rejected a raving loonie crackpot scheme by the Green/ Farmers Alliance (ZZP) to ban all political "agitation" and advertising in most media 90 days ahead of the upcoming election. It opted, instead, for no restrictions and a system of spending limits on political parties (wildly honored in the breach* during the 2002 elections).
How does this relate to telecoms and IT? Well, had the ban actually been enacted, it would have been a wonderful stimulus to start an "offshore" internet-based political campaign with ads and programming running as video streams, internet radio, vlogs, blogs, podcasts and videopodcasts. In fact I (a total moron as far as hands-on website building) entertained the thought of urging the start of something like www.freelatvia.net (hosted outside the jurisdiction) as a political platform for any and all once the "green" blackout curtain was drawn on democratic political debate.
There could have been some great, bizarre videos of the Riga Municipal Police fining (who knows, maybe even arresting) politicians for talking to more than three people at once on the street. Agitation? Aha, grab that person!
Could it have been done had it been needed? I saw some interest for this idea from another blogger, Kristaps Kaupe, who runs a Latvian-language blog that is an odd mixture of extreme geek stuff on open source software, RSS feed-type and other meta-information linking technologies (tags, trackbacks and other weird sounding stuff) as well as somewhat fringe nationalist politics, opinions on music and a chronicle of the death of a mouse. Anyway, Kristaps (whose day job is in a small IT company) could have been a source of advice on how to set up and run this free-for-all, free-speech fundamentalist, basically anarchist (FCUK THE STATE!) project. These are not his politics, btw. Perhaps they are mine, but since this is a largely non-political blog, I just ask anyone interested to Google "libertarian" and judge for yourself...
While it could have been fun to show the big middle one to these idiots who want to curtail debate with a sledgehammer when other means of regulation make more sense, I am glad there is no need for this, and I hope there will be no next time around...
*honored in the breach means ignored and violated.