Lib Dem's would rewrite Digital Economy Act
Nick Clegg has been answering questions at The Student Room, a website/forum aimed at college and university students. One question posed by students was in relation to the Digital Economy Bill, which, now with Royal Assent, is an act of parliament.
"Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill’s hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated considerable lack of technical knowledge on the consequences of the proposed legislation?"Question asked by students
"We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."Answer from Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats later qualified this statement with the Guardian, stating that they support most of the bill, but are opposed to the blocking of people's Internet connections. They would "take it off the statue book and replace it with something better." Of course, not to be in support of illegal file sharing, they also point out that file sharing still "needs to be tackled, in a fair and appropriate way".
With the Digital Economy Bill/Act gathering a large following from people who usually don't follow politics closely, particularly with the controversial way it was rushed into law, it may be that such a commitment could help the Lib Dem's win some of the vote. Even, if Nick Clegg doesn't make it into power, a hung parliament would put them in a strong position and this could be used as a bargaining chip to get Lib Dem support for the government. Answers to the questions from Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Caroline Lucas (Green Party) are expected next week.