Bloggers Spill Canadian Election Beans

    October 17, 2008

Canada’s a big country, spanning six time zones, so when an election takes place, results from one end can come in well before the other side’s done voting.  Some bloggers recently created a hubbub by ignoring this situation.

It seems that no one’s been arrested or charged with anything yet, and to be fair, major media outlets also had problems with oversharing.  However, reporting election results before all polls are closed is considered by some to be a serious matter.

Case Leaves Blogger
 Canada’s Time Zones

A Reuters article explains that there’s "a 1938 law aimed at preventing knowledge of results in Eastern Canada from influencing voting in a later time zone."  And as recently as last year, the Supreme Court of Canada voiced its support.  Voter turnout, at least, is almost sure to suffer when an election looks decided.

So it appears that either Canadian bloggers will have to learn to hush up, or the country’s election rules will have to be modified.  It would be a pretty noteworthy occasion if blogs and other forms of "new media" caused a change in this department.

Anyway, if anyone’s interested, Canada’s Conservative Party wound up gaining seats in the parliamentary elections, but doesn’t seem to have the numbers needed to form a majority government.