With the our Ask your candidates campaign, we want to encourage people to ask their politicians Free Software related questions. To support this activity we also send out questions to the political parties before an election, and evaluate the answers. We already did so for the National and City Council elections in Switzerland, several elections in Germany (e.g. the last one in Berlin), in Vienna, Austria, and I just send out the questions for Mai 2012 election in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

To make it easier in the future, I uploaded the questions we use in Germany, as an example. If you want to help to make it easier for volunteers in your country to ask questions, you can translate this file and send it to our translators team.

Here the questions:

  • 1.a. Do you plan to promote the use of Free Software? If so, how will you do this?
  • 1.b. Do you plan to promote the interests of small and medium sized Free Software companies; and so, how?
  • 2. Non-Free Software is only modifiable with the permission of its owner. This restriction had led to service monopolies and vendor lock-in in both the public and private sector. Do you plan to act against existing service monopolies of this nature?
  • 3.a. Strict adherence to Open Standards in public sector ICT enables fairer competition amongst tenderers. Do you agree with the Free Software Foundation Europe's Definition of Open Standards?
  • 3.b. Will you work to achieve strict adherence to Open Standards in the public sector? If so, how do you plan to do this?
  • 4.a. Is your party planing to promote the usage of Free Software in state education?
  • 4.b. Does your party intend to promote the teaching of transferable ICT skills, rather than product or vendor specific knowledge?
  • 5. Many public sector organisations advertise non-Free Software on their websites, such as promotions for 'Adobe Reader'. What is your opinion on this kind of advertising, and do you have any plans concerning it?
  • 6.a. In Germany software is covered by copyright law and, like literature, is therefore unpatentable. Nevertheless, patents on software continue to be granted by patent offices. The technology monopolies that these patents result in lead to legal uncertainty for software companies and hamper innovation in all European companies. What is your position on software patents?
  • 6.b How will you prevent them from threatening the growth of Germany's economy?