Bloggers ignore ban on posting Canadian election results

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?

One thought on “Bloggers ignore ban on posting Canadian election results

  1. Cinaedh says:

    I live in an area where a large percentage of the population moved from Newfoundland to find jobs in the paper mill and the gold mines. Our cable TV company, one of the largest in Canada, shows the Newfoundland Super Channel (yes, there’s a Newfoundland Super Channel!) in our area.

    For some reason the media isn’t reporting on it but I watched the election results on that channel on Shaw Cable for the first half hour or so, then it suddenly disappeared off the cable. By then, I already knew the final results from Newfoundland and most of Nova Scotia.

    I find it interesting the media is highlighting the fact bloggers on the Internet broke the law but they don’t much mention a multi-billion dollar corporation, doing precisely the same thing.

    Of course, the bloggers did it on purpose. I think Shaw Cable only did it because a lot of very stupid people work there, probably for minimum wage. I suspect they didn’t even know it was illegal.

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