The Link that Disappeared: Netiquette for the 2014 Ontario Election

Now that the writ for the June12 general election has been signed, I checked the Ontario Government ( and Ontario Legislature home pages. The Ontario home page previously had a highly-visible link to the Premier’s site, with a picture of the premier herself. That link has been removed.

The Premier’s website still exists. Its top news story is an announcement that the election has been called. I assume that this will be the latest news story for the next few weeks, and the website will now be frozen.

The Legislature home page has a simple announcement that the Legislature has been dissolved.

It seems to me this practice is appropriate. Keeping a link to the Premier’s website on the Ontario home page would give her an unfair advantage. While an argument might be made that the Premier’s website should have gone completely dark, with only an announcement of the election, a stronger counter-argument would be that the Premier’s website is a record of her activities as premier, which should remain available to all during an election campaign.

Right now, we can only wonder whether the hyper-partisan Harper Government will follow similar practice in next year’s election.


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