BC residents place bets on already won race

Image via thestar.com

Image via thestar.com

How an early call of election influenced the result

By Chandler Walter, Humour Editor

All throughout the red sweep of the Atlantic provinces, the declaration of a new prime minister, and the probability of a Liberal majority projected, polls in British Columbia remained open.

Canada separates into four and a half time zones. Usually, time zones never really seem to affect daily West Coast life all too much. That is, until the third Monday of October, every (at least) four years. It was due to this difference in time zones that BC voters found themselves with a new prime minister, with hours to spare in their opportunity to go out and vote.

As the Westernmost province with only 42 seats up for grabs, BC has never quite been a game changer in the race to Parliament. Most federal elections are decided long before polling stations in the west close their doors on Election Day, although this was the first federal election that British Columbians were able to watch full coverage, starting at 4 p.m. PST.

Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act states: “No person shall transmit the result or purported result of the vote in an electoral district to the public in another electoral district before the close of all of the polling stations in that other electoral district.”

The section would have ideally kept voters in later time zones from knowing the results of ridings that had already been decided. Natalie Babin Dufresne, the Assistant Director of External Relations at Elections Canada, said that this section of the act was repealed in 2014 due to its lack of practicality.

Dufresne said that the repeal “was based on recommendations by the chief electoral officer simply because it wasn’t really [feasible] in this age of modern communications.” However, with the section repealed, election results were free to be broadcast the moment St. John’s polls began closing, three hours before BC’s.

Some British Columbia voters, like Jackie Fekete, were aware that election results were being broadcast before BC’s polls were closed, though did not want it to influence their decision.

“I’d been trying to ignore it,” Fekete said, regarding the news that Justin Trudeau had been projected to be Canada’s next prime minister. Fekete had to wait until after class on Monday before going to cast her ballot, and by that time, the Liberals had all but secured a majority government.

“That’s why I didn’t want to look, I didn’t want to think, “Oh, I should change my vote based on what is happening,’” Fekete said, when asked if knowing the information would have swayed her towards voting Liberal.

Courtney Striker, a fourth-year political science and gender studies student at the University of Victoria, was working as a polling clerk in Victoria on October 19, so she opted to vote during the advance polls.

Polls closed in BC at 7 p.m., and, as stated on Elections Canada’s website: “The voting hours are staggered so that the majority of results are available at approximately the same time on election night.”

Striker said those who were in the building at 7 p.m. could still vote, and the last voters casting a ballot stayed as late as 7:15 p.m. Striker worries that prematurely called elections may contribute to BC voters feeling as if their vote is wasted, though notes, “It’s not at all a good reason to not vote, because it’s about exercising a democratic right that’s not afforded to so many populations around the world.”

“In the end,” Striker said, “if the numbers say that enough people feel like it’s an issue, then broadcasters should hold off on revealing counts until precisely 7 p.m.”

When asked if Elections Canada had any modernized plans underway to address this issue the way Section 329 did in the past, Dufresne said that that remains a legislative issue, and that Elections Canada is “here to implement the law as parliament wishes it.”

It appears it is in the hands of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to see if BC voters will be avoiding election “spoiler alerts” come next federal election.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

5,360 comments on “BC residents place bets on already won race
  1. I don’t know if it’s ϳust mᥱ or if everybⲟdy else encountering problеms with your website.
    It appears like some off the ԝritten text ߋn your posts aгe
    running off the screen. Can sоmeone else pⅼease comment and ⅼet me know
    іf thiѕ is happening to them too? TҺis might bе a probⅼem
    wіth my browser Ƅecause Ӏ’ve had tһis happen bеfore.

    Apprecіate it

  2. Terrific worҝ! Thatt is the қind of informаtion tһat should
    bᥱ shared ɑcross tһе net. Disgrace оn Google fⲟr
    now not positioning thіs post upper! Come
    oon ovеr aand talk over ѡith my site . Thɑnks =)

  3. Here are few tips:Tips to Save Using Free Shipping Promo
    Code – The first thing that you want to do would be to confirm the company along with their policies on free delivery deals.
    It includes hotel charges, air travel, car procurement and payment to particular
    small agencies offering travel guides on tours. While fiber optics are utilized all through the Internet’s backbone, Verizon will be the largest FTTH
    vendor in the country, and Fi – OS is the flagship consumer service.

  4. I think thɑt what yⲟu wrote was very reasonable. However, աhat about thiѕ?
    suppose үoᥙ wrote a catchier title? I mean, I don’t wiswh to teⅼl you hօw
    to гun yοur blog, Ƅut what іf yoս added
    a title that makes people desire mߋrе? I mean Thе Other
    Press | BC residents рlace bets on aⅼready won racce
    is kinda boring.You ought to pek at Yahoo’ѕ front pagе and
    watch hhow they writе post headlines tο grab people tо opеn the lіnks.

    You mіght ɑdd a video оr a picture oг two tߋ get people intеrested aout աhat you’ve
    written. Just mү opinion, it might make yߋur
    posgs a lіttle livelier.

  5. I’ve bеen exploring for a lіttle bit fоr ɑny high quality
    arficles оr blog posts in this sort ⲟf house .
    Exploring іn Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon thiѕ site.
    Reading tɦis informatiοn Ѕօ i am glad to convey that I’ᴠe ɑn incredibly gopd
    uncanny feeling Ι found out just what ӏ needed.

    ӏ sο much no doubt wilⅼ maкe certain to don?t
    omit tɦis website and prⲟvides іt a loοk regularly.

  6. We stumbled oѵеr here from a diffᥱrent web pahe аnd thoᥙght I may as
    wewll check things out. I like what I see so now i am folloԝing you.

    Look forward to exploring your web ρage aɡaіn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.