The Lesser-Known Elections That Truly Shape Canada's Freedom

08/28/2013 05:07 EDT | Updated 10/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Did you know that Canada's Internet is democratically governed? The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), is a non-profit organization that manages the dot-ca registry and addresses many of the day-to-day challenges facing the Internet in Canada.

Every year, CIRA holds elections and, just like electing a politician to represent your views about how the country should be run, you can elect the CIRA board to represent your views about how the country's Internet should be run.

These elections are important. CIRA has considerable resources that could be put more forcefully towards ensuring Canadians have open and affordable options for Internet access. This year four places on CIRA's board are up for election.

Here's how to vote: Voting is a two-stage process -- CIRA members have until 6 PM ET on Sept. 4 to show their support for their preferred nominee. Nominees with 20 or more supporters will then go forward to the final vote which takes place online from Sept. 16 at 2:00 PM ET to Sept. 23 at 2:00 PM ET.

Here's where to show your support for your preferred nominee.

Here's where to cast your vote in the election from 16-23 September.

Here are some great candidates for your consideration:

There are some great candidates standing for election to CIRA's board this year -- people with a solid track record of support for an open, accessible, and affordable Internet here in Canada.

There are a lot of great candidates to choose from, and everyone should make up their own mind, but here are some who we might recommend:

Kevin McArthur: Kevin is one of the original pro-Internet voices in Canada. Founding and championing digital causes, Kevin has over a decade of direct experience helping to make the Internet prosper. He has exceptional technical skills, is the author of Pro PHP and has made considerable contributions to the open source community. His platform, which can be found at contains many goals that we at OpenMedia share, including making net neutrality (Internet openness) an official policy position at CIRA. Learn more about Kevin.

Rowena Liang: Rowena's years of experience in finance, technology, project work, senior management positions and Board work, means she brings a diverse skill set to the CIRA Board. She says: "I represent a typical Canadian who uses the Internet. I do not have any specific agenda other than to help CIRA deliver on its mission. I am open and respectful of the diverse views and opinions that other board members bring to the table." Learn more about Rowena.

Louise Macdonald: Louise is the current Vice-Chair of CIRA -- she believes she should be reelected "because of the unique perspective I bring to the issues being discussed at the Board level, as a bicultural Canadian interested in the evolution of the internet in Canada." Learn more about Louise.

Ryan Merkley: Ryan has spent his career working on communications and strategy for organizations of all sizes, primarily in the non-profit and government sectors. Recently, he completed three years as Chief Operating Officer of Mozilla, a global non-profit best known as the creators of Firefox. Learn more about Ryan.

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