Canadian Twitter Users Face Jailtime and Fines for Tweeting Election Results

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CentiZen

Ummm, forgive me if (as a canadian) I am wrong about this, but couldn't they just release the results of the election after voting has finished in the other time zones?

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Bryan98801

And what would they do if a canadian told an american in their same time zone then the american published it on twitter? Would they get the american government involved as well?

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szore

Never be ashamed of your country. Only its leaders.

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Carlidan

Pretty good statement. You should make poster's out of it. :)

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cepwin

That's nuts...why don't they just recognize the law is inappriate in the internet/social media age and nix it.  Now I understand why it was written when it came about (to avoid voters in later time zones being discoraged) but it's impractical now.   The problem is many politicians (like the ones who think video games are simply a "kids" activity and try to write laws accordingly) are totally clueless about what's going on in the internet and technology.

Now I did (after posting) read some of the Canadian posts as to the reason for the law (which I mentioned) but I still stand by the feeling that a law that makes average citizens lawbreakers (perhaps inadverent in this case) are bad law.  Waiting until all polls are closed before reporting results would resolve this as someone who is not an election judge,etc. wouldn't even have election results to transmit thus avoiding the problem. 

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Gezzer

Sorry about the length of the last post.

Another tidbit about our Canadian form of goverment. Because of the very real "all or nothing" nature to our election system we end up with a very strange situation where:

1. People become party faithful due to a party's stated philosophies ie. NDP is the peoples party (once the Canadian Communist Party), Liberial middle liners, etc. And they seldom change their vote.

2. Non party faithful will most often vote in protest. Meaning that we can have some really bad goverments, but they're often gone in 4 years.

3. When people complain that their vote is meaningless they actually have a bit of a point. We only vote for the person to represent our area (riding). Which means a lot of the votes are wasted if who you vote for, doesn't get elected, and doesn't belong to the governing party.

We just recently developed laws to let us recall our repesentative if we feel they've failed us. But it seldom goes any where. And other then our one vote we have virtually no way to make our goverment accountable. That's why when people are in uproar over a new law/policies, they have a reason. We're told love it or not we have to live with it. In other words it's impossed on us. When you think of this it's amazing that we have some pretty well thought out laws/policies, but some pretty stupid ones too. lol

We do as well have a few checks and balances in our Consitution but they mostly just put a limit on the goverments powers.

There's much to like about the USA system. I'd love to be able to vote on some of the policies impossed on me. On the other hand some needed ones whould of never made it due to the "will of the people" which let's face it can be misinformed and often manipulated by vested interests.

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Ghok

Given how easily this law could be accidentally broken it naturally won’t be enforced right? Wrong! According to John Enright, a spokesman for Elections Canada, “"We're not blind to the fact that social media has taken on its own dimension, especially among youth. As it stands now, 329 is still on the books. People should act in consequence to 329 and the possible repercussions."

Uhh, he's in no way saying that any people who break this law are going to be arrested. It's an old law, but it's still a law, and a spokeman for Elections Canada isn't going to be all "Oh that? Yeah, just ignore that."

 

 

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Gezzer

Okay, I'm going to come off like a contrarian here, but there is/was a pretty good reason for the law.

Here in Canada our govermently system is based on the British one. This means our head of goverment isn't a President who is elected, in theory, to counter balance the elected houses. We have a Governor General who is appointed and who's main purpose is/was really only to look out for the monarchy's interests in Canada.

On a side note this can be said of the Senate as well, it's simply the british "House of Lords" with a different name. Our Senate is a joke where the party in power rewards party faithful with an appoinment for life in a do nothing house. But I digress.

The person with the most real power is the Prime Minister who is kind of like the US speaker of the house. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party to either win enough seats, more then 50%, to form a "majority goverment". Or if they're short seats, then if they can wrangle a power sharing deal with another party/ies and form a "minority goverment". 

Minority goverments, like our latest one, are considered weak goverments that do very little due to the fragile nature of a deal between parties having both different mandates and philosophies. As well they all most always end in an early election such as the one we're currently having.

Majority goverments are very powerful and can push threw virtually any law or policy they want. Because in Canada we don't vote on laws only on who represents us. The parties not in power form what is call the opposition and because they have less then 50% of the seats can't block anything. All they do is try to bring attention to anything the  governing party does. Oh and heckle them in "question period" which can be quite entertaining to watch. The Senate and GG could in fact block anything passed in the lower house, but historically this almost never happens.

Bottom line, what all this means is forming a majority goverment is extremely important and is where all the real power is. Add to this the fact that our country has a fairly low population stretching over many time zones and you can see how knowing early results in the east could promt a party to start trying to influence the vote in areas further west. Well in theroy at least.

Don't think this could happen? Well in B.C. we've had a number of scandels of party members doing mass membership drives to elect their candidate to run for the leadership of a party. Even signing up people who never really signed, were signed up twice, or even dead people. And this is only for the chance to run to lead a party and then run to form a goverment. What do you think they'd do to run the country?

This is also why we have laws so that you can't on election day, campaign in any form, show a party presence at a polling location, any sort of protest at a polling location. Canadain laws are very strick about trying to excert any influence on the voting public on election day for obvious reasons, the stakes are really high.

That's why you can't report any early results till all the polling stations are closed. And with what I've mentioned it does kind of make sense doesn't it.

I'm afraid (no insult meant) too many people, even many Canadians, forget though we do share much with our neighbours to the south we are different too. Like adding "u" into words they don't. :P

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Neufeldt2002

You stated this much more eloquently than I could, thank you.

Please make publish to facebook opt-in, not opt-out.

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SleepyCatChris

Well said. I have to admit my first kneejerk reaction was "how stupid!", but then I've really been trying to get into the habit of really thinking about an issue before immediately posting about the first thought that pops into my head. The impact to elections by minute-to-minute poll results really needs to be considered rationally against the right to free speech (which I believe everyone should have, regardless of enumeration in one's particular country). Just think, do you really want the party you're opposed to to have an advantage based on early poll returns? It's been shown that people who see that they are losing early on don't bother even voting because they don't think it will make a difference. If we need laws to prevent that, why don't we calmly debate it?

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Danthrax66

Can't wait for the old people to die off so we can fix their stupidity. Or at least until they get some form of Alzheimers.

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Sparx10

HA! That's funny. If you think old people dying will do anything, it won't.

 

1. That's a really old law :P

2. More old people will just run for office anyway (who the hell would elect in a bunch of 20 year old guys to run the country?)

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Carlidan

How does this have to do with old people?

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Danthrax66

The old people that are in power need to die off in order to get younger people in that are capable of understanding all of the issues with technology (as well as other things). I like to think that with the introduction of technology we have seen a new way of thinking that is more globally focused than nationalistic which is needed for a modern government. The old people are holding back our ability to advance our ideas about technology laws and other issues so they need to die/become incapable of performing their job before we can see new faces.

 

 

edit: It's actually just because I hate old people.

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hades_2100

Wouldn't the younger generation say the same thing, as at that time we would be "too old to comprehend the newest technologies", unlike them?

 

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leetNightshade

I think he's implying that the people in power are old.  Whether or not they are physically old, the people in power in the US I would say are of old ideals for the most part.  I'm not sure if it works in this case, but I do feel that others ideals are unfairly being forced on us because these "old" people in power are forcing them on us.  Just because they don't like something doesn't mean they should make it illegal, that's ridiculous (again, I'm speaking about this particular case, I'd have to read more).

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Carlidan

Read Gezzer above post. Makes sense to me.

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nealtse

Wait, why is this an issue only now?  The internet has been around AND popular for a good couple of decades...not to mention telephones...

 

 

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Belboz99

Judges are there to be the "wise elders', they shoudn't be bound to follow every writen letter of every law on the books.

This is where wisdom is required in interpreting laws and detremining what is truely just and what truly requires conscequences. 

Laws are there to protect people, when laws are used improperly and simply punish those same people they were made to protect they should be changed, not blindly enforced to the fullest extent.

 

Dan O.

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I Jedi

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Now, I am sure that everyone here is always neck-deep into reading about what laws we need to be careful not to break while we are online, right? With that said, I think that such silly laws, such as the one presented today, are laws that need to be looked at over again to make sure that it is in the best interest of the whole country to enforce these types of laws. To beat a drum no one is going to agree with here, we are all subject to the law, even if we don't know we have intentionally broken it. There should be a balance between understanding and easily finding your rights while you browse online, but at the same time laws should constantly be reviewed by the government to make sure of their relevancy to today's way of life; furthermore, they should be enforced because it guards against setting precedence against having other laws come into question when also broken.

Now that I have said something political, the bashing may begin about why my point of view is wrong, and why the law should not apply to these poor souls.

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Carlidan

How is your arguement polictical? It's just a vaild agruement that people might disagree. But a vaild one never the less.

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essjay22

Hoenst to god it makes me ashamed to be a Canucklehead sometimes * heavysigh*

Remember , this is the same kind of thinking (?) that when Dave Winfield killed a seagull in Toronto with a warmup throw, Police charged him with animal cruelty. Because they can

Your tax dollars @work.

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SleepyCatChris

Gawd, this "I'm ashamed to be X because a few other X's occasionally do something stupid or something I don't agree with" attitude needs to die. It stems from the exact same attitude that says "I hate X's because a few other X's occasionally do something stupid or something I don't agree with".

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