Guest Post: CIRA’S .CA “Election” Is On

Zak Muscovitch from writes this guest column on the Canadian domain name registry elections that are currently underway.

Canada’s .CA registry, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is run by a Board of 15 Directors. A single seat has opened up for the public, and I am running in the election for it. The other four seats that are up for an “election” are already locked by CIRA for its own hand-selected nominees, who do not represent the domain name community at all. In fact, CIRA’s “Nominations Committee” rejected the application of at least four prominent Canadian domainers. So, although there will be an “election” for five seats in total, this is the kind of “election” that we are accustomed to in non-democratic countries. You will recall that Saddam Hussein regularly won elections with 98% of the vote.

I have however, decided seek the single vacant Board position available to the public. If I get on the Board, I will vigorously put domainer issues on the agenda. Most Canadian domain investors will readily tell you that they believe that CIRA rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, stifle the growth of the .CA space. This opinion is borne out by Verisgin’s report which shows that Canada does not even rank within the top 10 ccTLD’s in terms of number of registrations. In fact, in 10 years, CIRA has only registered 1.5 million domain names, a paltry number when compared to other ccTLD registries. I believe that the depressed .CA market is directly tied to Canda’s lacklustre performance in Internet commerce. The CFO of Google, who is Canadian, said in February, 2010, that Canada is in danger of missing the digital revolution altogether.

My objective is to help CIRA improve the .CA space by listening and responding to the needs of the public, and to domain name investors in particular. I believe that domain name investors are the chief stakeholders in the registry and are experts in how to build and grow online businesses, and should be recognized as such. Domain names are the “cornerstones” of Internet commerce. By dramatically increasing the prominence and visibility of .CA domain names, they will increase in value, and that is great for Canada’s digital economy. The way to achieve this is primarily, to remove the archaic red tape that binds .CA domain names like ancient mummies.

Many of you know that I have been an advocate for .CA domain name owners for over ten years and that I can be counted on to continue to make sure that the issues that are important to you, get heard, loud and clear at CIRA.

Voting will take place from September 22 to 29, 2010, but in order to vote, you must become a member of CIRA. CIRA membership is open to all .CA domain name owners, and involves a simple application, which is separate from having a CIRA registrant login. A registrant login is not the same as a CIRA membership. You need both.

Please REGISTER TO VOTE NOW BY BECOMING A CIRA MEMBER. You can register to become a CIRA member by clicking here:

This should take you five minutes, and involves uploading ID, or appointing a guarantor. Uploading the ID is a faster process for CIRA to process. CIRA has been very slow to process memberships, so please do not wait, and register to be a voting member now!

YOU MUST REGISTER ONLINE BY AUGUST 30, 2010 to be eligible to vote!

Members can also Show Support for my candidacy from August 26, 2010 at noon (ET) until 6:00 p.m. I require 20 ‘shows of support’ to be able to run as a candidate for the eventual vote to be held between September 22, to 29, 2010.

For More Information:



Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Good luck Zak. Things really need to change at CIRA. It is embarrassing how behind the .ca space is when compared to other cctlds.

  2. A few corrections and clarifications on CIRA Election.

    CIRA’s Board of Directors is intended to be representative of the Canadian Internet community as a whole and is elected by CIRA members. With the exception of three ex-officio seats, 2/3 of the seats are intended to provide for broad skills, experience, and representation. The remaining 1/3 are selected directly by the membership. The job of the Nomination Committee is to ensure it selects nominees, as set out in our Policy on Nominations & Elections, that: (A)represent different regions, cultures, genders and linguistic groups, that are consistent with the diverse make up of the Canadian population; (B) provide necessary professional expertise; and(C) have significant relevant corporate and/or organizational governance experience. This year, CIRA received 1601 applications from which eight nominees were chosen to run for four open seats, using the above criteria. In addition, one of the three seats which are elected from the Members Slate, is open in this year’s election. Members must secure 20 shows of support to become candidates. To ensure you can provide a show support, you must apply to be a member by August 30. To vote in the election itself, the application deadline to become a member is September 17. All Directors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the corporations they serve, and not focus on any one constituency.

    To see my perspective on Internet commerce in Canada, visit my blog:

    By the way, Saddam got 100 per cent of the vote:

    PS – Speaking of Google, Chris O’Neill, Google Canada’s Country Director will be speaking at CIRA’s AGM on September 21:

  3. Thanks for the input Byron. Look forward to meeting you again in September. I am trying my best to get the issues raised and discussed. I hope everyone votes in the upcoming election.

    I think that the issue that you reference from the article, from my perspective, is that it is not really accurate to call it an “election” when the candidates are pre-selected….

    But I understand that is the way the rules are currently written. I hope that this can be reviewed with a view to changing this practice.

    Regarding Saddam, you are 100% correct! I was confusing that with the election in Kazahkstan where Nazarbayev won with 98% of the vote. 🙂

  4. FYI, has yesterday August 26,2010,has posted some results as recorded by Nominet /England.
    Netherlands (.NL); has just achieved over 4 million registrants. That is with a population of 14,457,000 people (as per Wikepedia).
    Canada as at this date; (Cira)– has 1,457,000 -registrants for a .CA. (with a population of 35 Million– also according to Wikepedia).

    You will also note on that practically every country has a buoyant after market; with sales (pls. see Year to date sales or ccTLD domains–rapidly expanding;as are investments.. Canada has virtually no sales recorded.In attending conferences and auctions we are always told “Why is it so difficult to get a domain name or to even become a partner when we are your neighbors.”

    Furthermore in the recent Verisgn report showing relevance of country codes (ccTLDS). Canada is nowhere to be found.

    It does not surprise that That Mr. Pichette from Google has stated that Canada is losing ground and as other countries are embracing this revolution. They are not living in a golf-fish bowl.

  5. “CIRA, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for Canada, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! CIRA, open this gate! CIRA, tear down this wall!”

    (Altered Ronald Reagan speech to tear down the Berlin Wall to Gorbachev)

    Zak, I wish you the best of luck, and I support all of your efforts!

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