Friday January 13, 2011

Federal Politics

Voting Night Gag Law Scrutinized

Strahl wants real-time nationwide results available instantly online

Released by Robert Pearsall, PA to MP Mark Strahl


he dated, obsolete and unenforceable election law that prohibits Canadians from early reporting of elections results will be repealed, promised Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP, Mark Strahl.


"The realities of 21st century communication make the enforcement of such an archaic law impossible." Strahl added, "No government has any business telling Canadians what they can and cannot tweet."

Via Twitter, Minister of Democratic Reform, Tim Uppal, confirmed the Conservative Government will introduce legislation to repeal sections of the Canada Election Act.

Originally enacted in 1938, the purpose of the Act was to prevent Western Canadian voters from knowing results from the Atlantic Provinces before casting their ballots. At the time, there was a four hour difference between the closing of the polls in Atlantic Canada and in British Columbia.

To address this gap, Parliament introduced staggered voting hours in 1996. Under staggered voting hours, only results from less than ten percent of ridings could be available to late voters since the majority of polls across Canada open and close at the same time. Despite this, the prohibition on the transmission of election results remains in place.

Strahl said the Government was repealing sections of the Canada Election Act because Canadians, such as Paul Bryan from British Columbia, have been severely penalized for the early transmission of election results.

"We believe Canadians should be able to communicate election results free from the fear of penalization," said Strahl.


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