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).