Canada’s 70-year-old law to control the release of voting results on election night has again stumbled in the age of the Internet. Within minutes of polls closing on Canada’s Atlantic Coast on Tuesday bloggers were making the results known in parts of the country where voting was still going on.
“I believe the polls have just closed in Newfoundland so gentlemen, to your mark, ready, go,” read a posting from a blogger writing under the moniker The Surly Beaver.
The results showing the Liberals were losing seats in that region hinted at the final outcome that saw Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper win a stronger minority government.
That would violate a 1938 law aimed at preventing knowledge of results in Eastern Canada from influencing voting in a later time zone, a spokeswoman for Elections Canada said on Wednesday.
The law was aimed at radio broadcasts in a country with six time zones, and has been difficult to enforce with the invention of the Internet.
Probably a reasonable law; but, when did reason start governing what people do on the Internet?