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.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

hana November 4, 2008 at 09:58

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If you haven’t decided who to vote for than take the test.
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Reply

David October 14, 2008 at 18:42

I live in BC and phone a friend back east to get the election results (early) Most folk who live in BC do the same. I consider this to be a basic right and not any business of the ‘supreme court’

Reply

Janice Kelley January 23, 2006 at 20:43

Because it is just Commonsense and that is what is lacking.

Reply

Mike January 23, 2006 at 14:41

Here’s what I don’t understand: how are results released in the first place? By Elections Canada? If they don’t want them published before polls close in the whole country, why not just wait until then to release them at all?

Can someone please explain that to me?

Thanks.

Reply

Steve Matthews January 23, 2006 at 14:24

Worth noting – the polls in BC close at 7:00. Bloggers will only have a small window of opportunity to do damage.

Reply

Milan January 23, 2006 at 13:15

Someone left this as a comment on my discussion page for the election.

To me, this seems like a ridiculous and probably unconstitutional law. Firstly, Elections Canada doesn’t have jurisdiction in other countries. Secondly, I think even non-Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Canada are protected by the Charter.

I’m guessing this law exists because nobody has ever taken the bother to get the Supreme Court to strike it down.

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phil January 23, 2006 at 00:28

“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.”

Does this apply to Mike Moore? I don’t think he is a citizen, but is he a perm res? If not, when can we expect him prosecuted under the Elections law?

Reply

David Fraser January 22, 2006 at 18:03

Thanks for that, Rob. I’ve e-mailed this post to a couple of folks who have asked me about this issue in the last few days. This’ll be the first election during which hundreds of Canadian political junkies have blogs, so Elections Canada may be busy bagging bloggers.

Reply

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