Friday, April 22, 2011
I can post election results on May 2 until all polls have closed
Neither Parliament or Elections Canada has any appreciation for the fact that we live in the 21st century. That's because if I post on this blog local election results before polls have closed in all parts of Canada, I could be fined under the same law that would have prosecuted someone for revealing the same information via radio nearly 80 years ago. The same goes for Facebook posts or tweets.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that while this part of the Elections Act does breach Canadians’ right to freedom of speech, that breach is justified under Section One of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Under the Elections Act, anyone caught posting votes results before polls close could face a $25,000 fine or up to five years in jail.
Our entire voting system is archaic. I popped in at an advance poll today to cast my vote. I was confronted with a line with about an hour wait time. But that's not the end of it. That was at my poll. At the poll next to mine (and in the same room) there was no line up at all. The returning officers were just staring into space. So I just turned around and left. No wonder voter turnout is so low. The same problem exists across the country.
Billions of dollars of financial transactions are safely carried out online. But Parliament and Elections Canada can't figure out how to move voting into the 21st century.