Canada bans election-night tweeting on pain of $25K fine

Pusher sez, "Elections Canada has vowed to enforce an archaic law that bans 'premature transmission' -- the broadcasting of election results before all polls in the country have closed on election night. And yes, the law applies to private citizens' Twitter and Facebook accounts. The law has already been upheld by the Supreme Court and carries penalties of up to a $25,000 fine or up to five years in prison."


Canada spans 4.5 hours across six timezones and elections administrators worry that poll data from "earlier" timezones will influence voters to the west, who might shift their votes to join (or block) a wave.


Back in 1938, when radio was king, Canada's election law was amended to include a ban on the "premature transmission" of electoral results across time zones. The idea was to prevent radio broadcasts of election results in Eastern Canada from influencing voter behaviour in the West.


The law, frankly, was always patronizing and paternalistic. There has never been any evidence that voting patterns in the West were, or would be, influenced by results from the East. Even if they were, why should the government deny voters in the West the opportunity to cast their ballots in the most informed way possible?

Ban on Twitter, Facebook election-night posts draconian

(Thanks, Pusher!)


(Image: Timezoneswest.PNG, CIA World Factbook/Wikimedia)