The nanny state runs amok

In a fit of foolishness, Elections Canada has decreed that returns from today’s Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley byelection cannot be disseminated until after the polls close—in British Columbia.

In a general election, this silly provision serves to assuage the patronizing concern that voters in western time zones might either (pick one):

  • be annoyed that the winning party had been decided before they cast their vote; or
  • be shrewd enough to use the results in eastern Canada to guide their strategic voting decisions.

Heaven forefend. On a day with four byelections scattered across our vast country, it serves no purpose whatever, save perhaps to bolster Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand’s puffed-up sense of his own importance. This is a man who has forgotten who he’s working for.

Polls in the Nova Scotia byelection close at 8:30 p.m., but we will have to wait two-and-a-half hours before our betters will let us in on the secret of who the electors of Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley have chosen .

[Update] Contrarian reader Derek Andrews demurs:

What’s the rush? I never did understand this. In a general election at least, it just creates a sports-like event ripe for the tv networks to sell some advertising. Is that what democracy is about?