UP TO 2,000 Irish citizens will be voting before the rest of us this week, as voters on the islands off Donegal, Galway and Mayo cast their ballots in the referendum on the Fiscal Compact.
The referendum campaigns will continue this week, but will largely wind down by Wednesday afternoon – when the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland imposes its moratorium on political coverage.
The rules, which have been imposed ahead of every public vote for decades, are intended to lessen the impact of any last-minute statements from campaigners on one side, which could leave no time for the opposing side to counter the claims.
With the modern world making it possible to receive news through a variety of other media, however, many believe such rules are redundant – as those who want political discussion will still be able to get it.
So – given the change in media usage, and the fact that some voters will already have voted, should there still be a moratorium on broadcasts about elections or referendums?