Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giving a Tweet: Election Results Ban

This doesn't have much to do with my post but I enjoy the image.

I read this article on Wednesday about a ban on the "premature transmission" of electoral results across time zones. Meaning that Atlantic Canada has to keep their results, opinions, ideas to a bare minimum (you are only able to phone or text friends, or send private e-mails) until the polls close all the way over on Vancouver Island. Posting to a Facebook wall, a web page or to Twitter will be considered a violation and could in turn land you with a maximum $25,000 fine, or up to five years in prison.

Over the top? Maybe... it is a result of a law that was created in 1938 when "radio was king" and no one even thought that things would be as they are now. Even in 2008 when we had our last Federal Election, a lot has changed since then.

I'm not really sure what I think about the whole thing. One side of me views the whole thing as absurd and out dated. Freedom of speech is important and I like seeing people being active in thought around election. But then I also see a lot of ignorance being breed. More so than ever before. And I have to admit, I worry a little that people might base their choices purely on Facebook rather then taking the time to really research who the candidates are and finding someone who supports what they want and need. Though, I doubt that would actually happen to the point of causing an effect in the last few hours of an election. So really has nothing to do with the ban. But, it might cause a difference in whether or not we end up with a majority or minority government. Do you think that's possible?

I suppose I am looking at this from both sides of the bus, I see reasons to support the ban and why not to support it and that's why I find I don't have a definite opinion. Society is always challenged by restrictions that seem outdated and confining to freedom so it doesn't surprise me that this is making headlines. Especially knowing that we live in Canada, a land of much freedom and after seeing the bans that occur in other areas of the world, though for different reasons, it can really ignite entitlement.

It's a curious thing indeed... what do you think? Do you even care?

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