The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Next Monday’s vote could influence telecommunications policy in this country, and how the CRTC carries out its mandate. Telecom is one of the main drivers of our economy, but it hasn’t become a pressing issue for any political parties in this campaign.  Issues like health care, taxes, and a scandal or two make better headlines when you’re trying to reach the electorate. But there are telecom issues that should concern candidates and constituents. The Liberals say they are committed to universal and affordable communications services for all. Do the other parties support this? If so, how should a government intervene to insure this happens? There’s no doubt the Liberals have done an impressive job in fuelling telecom growth. They have provided industry with financial incentives and the vision necessary to make telecommunications a major driver of the Canadian economy. That direction likely won’t change if the Canadian Alliance wins the election. There would be a potential change, however, where Canada’s industrial strategy for telecommunications meets its social policy obligations under the Telecommunications Act. A different reading of the legislation would greatly influence how the CRTC does its job. Then there’s foreign ownership. With Air Canada, the issue is front and centre. Are voters aware of the lobbying that’s going on to remove limits on owning telecom networks in this country? Analyst Jeremy Depow is quite right when he tells Network Letter that foreign ownership restrictions are a priority for the next government. There appears to be widespread industry support for the idea. All the CLECs favour it, as do most of the incumbents. Even BCE is agnostic on the subject. The next government must decide how quickly to move on this issue. The Liberals haven’t given any indication that it will happen anytime soon.