Friday, June 11, 2004

VICTORY FOR PRESS FREEDOM

The CBC reports that Elections Canada will not impose media blackouts on the publishing of results on the coming election day. In the past, section 329 of the Elections Act made it illegal for broadcasters and web sites to publish election results from a time zone where polls had closed in a zone where the polls were still open. Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley cited a B.C Superior court decision that ruled section 329 unconstitutional and said that he would essentially apply the precedent nation-wide for the upcoming elecion.

The decision of the B.C court is the right one and Kingsley is commended for seeing its wisdom and taking some initiative in applying the ruling. To deny broadcasters and individual citizens the right to publish election results as soon as they have them was an infringement on freedoms of expression and the press. I also think that Kingsley realized that such media blackouts were becoming increasingly unnenforceable.

I must admit that I am a little dissapointed, if only because I was looking forward to doing my democratic duty by breaking an unjust law on election night, but the decision was the right one.

Posted by Matthew @ 1:32 AM