Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Election Canada opinion poll rights

Know your rights. Know their obligations:

Rules for Publication of Opinion Polls

OTTAWA, Wednesday, November 30, 2005 — The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, reminded Canadians today that the publication of opinion polls during this general election period is regulated by sections 326 to 328 of the Canada Elections Act.

Under the Act, the first person or media outlet to release the results of an election opinion survey must indicate who sponsored the survey (for example, the news organization or political party that paid for the poll), who carried it out and when, the population from which the survey sample was drawn, how many persons were contacted, and the survey's margin of error. If a survey has not been conducted using recognized statistical methods, this must be stated. Print and Internet publishers must also include the wording of the survey questions and instructions on how to obtain the written report. The survey sponsor must make this report available to the public, on request, at a cost of no more than $0.25 a page. Any other media outlet that broadcasts or publishes survey results during the 24 hours following initial publication must provide the same information.

No new opinion survey may be published on election day before the polling stations close.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

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