South Australia goes to the polls on 20 March, and for 25 to 55 days before the election it will (arguably – see comments in previous thread) be illegal to comment on their elections without disclosing your name and postcode.
Even worse, blogs and media sites have to collect names and postcodes from all their commenters or risk being be fined.
Hopefully the law will be repealed or clarified before the election. If it is not though, I am happy to offer Kiwiblog as a temporary forum for discussion of the South Australian election if any Australian sites are worried about the new law. I can set up a general debate every day, or even give some Australian bloggers posting rights.
I have no intention of forcing commenters to give me their name and address/postcode.
As a non resident of Australia, they can not enforce their law on me.
As I said hopefully the law will be repealed. If it is not repealed, I suspect many Australians will ignore it anyway. But if it does result in people feeling they are unable to blog and comment on the state elections, I am happy to help host such discussions here. In fact I am sure many NZ blogs would be happy to adopt an Australian blog for a month. It could be a great trans-tasman initiative!
UPDATE: Heh I wrote this post last night and timed it for 9 am. In the interval, the South Australian Government has backed down and promised to repeal the law, as reported by No Right Turn. Excellent. The Government must have worked out how deeply unpopular it was going to be.
Interestingly the law can not be amended before the election, so the Government has said it will not be enforced and will be retrospectively repealed after the election.Tags: Australia, Blogosphere, free speech