24 January 2006

Onward Harper

Stephen Harper will be the new Prime Minister as the Tories get 36%. Good for Canada. They could really become one of the world's great nations if they could only broom the hand-sitters from Ottawa. It seems they're discovered that they also have some red state/blue state issues like us, along with some comically oppressive laws regarding free speech.

Blogging on election day is going to be a tricky thing. In this election, unlike the last one, Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act will be in effect, meaning it will be effectively against the law to blog about election results until 10:00 ET, since blogging is considered transmitting "to the public." Antonia Zerbisias discusses the implications of S. 329 on bloggers: "So let's say that, on Monday night, the Conservatives start sweeping through the Maritime provinces or Newfoundland. Will the Blogging Tories be able to contain their glee and stick to the law before the polls close in B.C.?" [UPDATE: I've removed a reference and link to a certain American blog that might post election results.]
Wow. If you were asked to name a country that would jail you for essentially being your own journalist, what would you have guessed? Iran? Syria? China? North Korea? Nope. it's the Great White North. You can scream about border enforcement and al-Queda and softwood imports all you want, but they don't matter until the people are guarunteed their freedoms, and the government respects that their only authority comes from the people.

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