Election Day Blogging

22 Jan ’06

From Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act:

No person shall transmit the result or purported result of the vote in an electoral district to the public in another electoral district before the close of all of the polling stations in that other electoral district.

(Polls close at 10 p.m. ET). This means you, bloggers. The backstory, from the CBC, and a discussion. From Antonia Zerbisias:

So let’s say that, on Monday night, the Conservatives start sweeping through the Maritime provinces or Newfoundland. Will the Blogging Tories be able to contain their glee and stick to the law before the polls close in B.C.? Will bigfoot bloggers such Andrew Coyne or web fora such as Free Dominion stifle the commentariat who might be posting results with no regard for the rules?

Just asking.

I can tell you this: I will be here monitoring the TV coverage Monday night, and blogging about it. I hope you will join me, and share your views. But I can’t approve any comments that reference any results in any riding until 10 p.m. ET.

Last point: CBC’s the Blog Report notes that U.S. bloggers might well decide to post Canadian election results early (and thanks to the CBC for pointing us there), and that the Elections Act doesn’t apply to websites or broadcasters outside of Canada. Few things could be more tedious at this point than embarking on a jurisdictional debate about the Act, but I will point to Section 331, patriotically titled “Non-interference by Foreigners”:

No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate unless the person is

(a) a Canadian citizen; or

(b) a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Take that, Osama!

Update (2005-01-23): Tod Maffin, the “overcaffeinated public radio producer” and CBC tech guy, wants your tips to help him “monitor those blogs or web sites which plan to post rolling results of the election before 7:00 p.m. (and, thus, operate illegally)”. Details here.

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