Friday, January 13, 2012

Eliminating Election Blackout Law

Twitterers rejoice, in the next election you may write whatever you want on the internet about election results as they are known because the Tories will scrap the election result blackout law before the next vote. When the law was drafted in 1938 the concern was that results from the east could influence votes in the west, which is mostly theoretical. It is plausible that knowing the results could affect how some people vote, or if they even show up at all; but it is next to impossible to measure empirically (especially regarding undecided voters). Last election I turned on CBC Newsworld when the polls closed out east, and they broadcast a few minutes of results from Atlantic Canada that looked very favourable for the Liberals (a party in fact en route to one of their worst election results in their history).

It is next to impossible to enforce the election blackout law in the modern age, so it makes sense to scrap the outdated legislation. My question is why not have Elections Canada withhold eastern results until the polls close in the west? Boo hoo, so Ontario would have to wait 3 hours to get election results. This will not cause any pain or suffering. It is far easier to gag Elections Canada workers than it is to gag the internet.How lifting the blackout would affect undecided voters is anyone's guess.

Today's poll question; Is it possible that releasing eastern election results before all polls close could affect how some westerners cast their votes? I agree with the government that the existing blackout has to go, but I believe that Elections Canada should delay releasing results until the polls close in Vancouver.


  1. Actually, CBC deserves credit as being the pioneer for allowing results before all polls are closed. EC had a choice to penalize CBC for breaking the law in the 2011 election, or overlook CBC's faux-pas. Nuff said.

  2. waiting till all polls close before releasing the results....that's the way it should be.....Wasn't there something way back when we first started this democracy thingy about one man one vote ...a vote by secret ballot...Why is it necessary to know how the hell I voted. If you haven't paid attention to formulate your own vote you shouldn't be voting.

  3. there is actually no need to report any election results until after all polls have closed. in fact it really could wait until the next morning. old white guy.