Things are quiet

Because there’s an election on, if you haven’t heard.

Just a note. There is a moratorium on discussion of elections on TV and radio: (self-imposed in the case of) RTÉ and (BCI-imposed in the case of) private independent broadcasters are affected. Given that people who should know better apparently don’t, let me clarify:

a – this is not legislative in nature (‘self-denying ordinance’ is a good phrase)
b – it has no impact on print.
c – it has no impact on the Internet. That includes things like videos. Most broadcasters apply the moratorium to the text elements of their websites (voluntarily). And this is not a complicated issue of cyberlaw. It’s simply

For the 1,000 people who are going to stop me and say something smart-assed, there is no restriction on campaigning the day before an election (maybe if RTÉ shut up counting down to the moratorium this wouldn’t be such a misconception!). (This one is a close cousin of the supposed law that you are not allowed to leaflet on election day. Not true. There’s a restriction on activities in the vicinity of a polling station but there’s certainly no such thing as a general rule (although of course people are free to declare a ‘truce’ if they wish).

I had my second stint on Today FM talking about other areas of electoral law (polling day procedures, ID, fraud etc). It’s at the end of this clip. One thing I couldn’t recall at the time was the exact nature of prosecutions to date under the Electoral Act – turns out it seems the only completed conviction was this poor fool, who got an €800 fine for double voting. So let me say it here – again and again – you do not need a polling card to vote. It is a useful thing – reminds you of time, place etc and that you’re on the register – but it is not mandatory. (You do need to be on the register, and to have adequate ID, of course).


3 thoughts on “Things are quiet

  1. The best place to be to avoid the entire hoo-ha is Grafton Street!
    Not a single politicians photo to be found!
    I’m guessing Henry Street is the same too. Just wondering if there was some rule against it, ie a bye-law or election rules?

  2. There are various bye-laws on postering (enacted by local authorities under the Litter Acts) and there’s an additional restriction in that you can’t have any election materials – including posters, canvassing, etc – within 50m of the entrance of a polling station.

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