TV Election Coverage: Non-Commercial by Choice?


CTV’s Monday night election coverage, wall to wall from coast-to-coast for the first time, went entirely without commercial introduction.  While as a viewer I was delighted, I was wondering if it was a concious corporate choice .. or if the sales department failed to find any interested sponsors.

Because I was usually involved in local election night coverage, I am unaware of the Canadian TV tradition on such occasons.  While one might expect the CBC coverage to be without commercials, I would think that CTV management might want to grab any bucks available.   Did Global also abstain from commercials?

The only spots I saw election night were during the Vancouver Island-centred CHEK coverage, which began quite late at 9 pm.   Too late, in my editorial opinion.

PS .. I watched CTV almost continously because they were visually updating BC ridings throughout the evening on the right hand side of their HD picture.  It served to eliminate my typical channel flipping habits.




  1. It’s hard to “sell” an election coverage show to potential B.C. sponsors, who know damn well that two of the national tv networks both declared the Liberals as having swept the Maritimes, then projected Liberals as winners, even though BC voters still had 30 minutes left to vote and the polls had not yet closed.

    I did not vote this year, as a result. I was planning to head to the polling station, then heard CBC’s prediction of a liberal govt, then decided not to vote,

    When you combine early polling results with the utterly dismal job that Elections Canada did with the advanced polling, you kind of wonder why this great country does not allow voters to vote via the internet ?

    Why do we still have this archaic, 1940’s style of government supervised voting, ie. babysitting personal visits by voters, when we have digitization in virtually every aspect of government, from passports to health care, taxation and court registry.

    That is perhaps the biggest failure of the Conservative govt, an overreliance on same old, same old.

    Good riddance to them, really !

  2. Have you ever tried to shop online for the first few hours of Boxing Day? Servers get swamped and crash. While voting should be a simple form, I’m sure there would be some convoluted security measure that would eat up bandwidth and crash the servers. Hell, Elections Canada’s servers crashed on election day with people trying to register at the last minute.

  3. Note to The Real Deal: You did not vote, therefore your words are meaningless. Men and women died for the right you have to vote … be ashamed!

  4. They’ve had computers, internet shopping and banking, etc. for 20 years, now !

    They (the government ) have had 20 long years to research/perfect computer buying and surfing, what’s taking them so long !

    If you can file your personal income taxes, online, (which can take up to several hours to file) why not make a field for a five minute vote, that does not crash or burn.

    Perhaps stagger the internet voting over a period of two weeks, it can be done.

    Otherwise, the way that Canadians vote is still awfully similar to how people vote in third world countries, like in Africa.

    Standing in long line-ups, writing on paper ballots.

    The biggest problem are internet criminals; idiots who have nothing to do except hack into websites and servers, like it is some sport or something,

    People like that should go to jail for a very long time….

  5. Note to The Real Deal: You did not vote, therefore your words are meaningless. Men and women died for the right you have to vote … be ashamed!

    No need for me to be ashamed at all, Charles, since I once proudly served in the Canadian Forces.(four years). How many years did you broadcasters serve in the military. None of you served, you guys are too chicken shit.

    As for working Monday and missing the polling station, well, I WORK as a broadcast journalist and news director, gathering news, training news people, conducting interviews.

    Therefore, on Monday, I was covering the election and supervising a newsroom of five ! A guy like you, not working in media, has all the time to fucking navel gaze and pontificate.

    Congratulations !

  6. Real Deal: I worked over 40 years in radio, I also served in the Navy … so don’t be calling names when you know nothing … by the way I never missed voting no matter what I was doing … vote first, then coverage. Man you know nothing about media people.

  7. So, Charles, the former bitter media star and sailor wants me to vote.

    A big red flag, comes up, immediately.

    You want my vote ? Then, earn my vote. That’s right my vote don’t come cheap.

    I guess that Charles and his buddies in the media have lots of time to “kill,” then, and also, lots of time to make value judgements about others.

    I don’t have much time to waste. I am a “still in the field working broadcaster” with 30 years plus experience, who is also time starved, overworked, and plus, I have a family and other comittments going on.

    Charles seems like a real elitist pos, (like many of you retired broadcasters), to say that I am less than a Canadian for not voting.

    I don’t like a lot of you retired broadcasters, actually, because many of you are bitter bastards with an attitude.

    But, the reality is that, the broadcasting business treated you guys mostly like shit, so your only recourse is to treat others like shit, too ?

    Fortunately, your kind is dying out and headed to the nearest graveyard and the newer generation of broadcasters will take over from you, eventually.

    The last election was rather poorly organized by Elections Canada and there was lots of bullshit at every turn.

    I’ve covered almost every federal election as a journalist since 1982 and last weeks one wasn’t memorable, by ANY means, but I am so glad that Trudeau Junior got in and Harper got his ass whopped.

    This great country of ours was clearly suffering under almost 10 years of Conservative rule.

    Not just the people, but the news media suffered, as well.

    I welcome back weekly press conferences held by Trudeau Junior, our new Prime Minister on Parliament Hill, since under Harper’s rule, there were no press conferences and just press releases and sometimes, not even that ?

    Many of Harper’s rising star henchmen had also quit the caucus, six months prior to the election being called, such as John Baird, Elmer McKay, James Moore, etc

    Those were red flags, actually, When all of your stars quit and start jumping from the airplane, something is very wrong with the pilot !

    The early leaking of poll results by the Canadian media in Atlantic Canada shows a complete disrespectfulness towards the voters of Western Canada.

    In my view, they have to re-introduce media blackouts for time zoned election results, just like before.

    If media blackouts are returned, then voting in the Western Provinces will be considered more fair and the political process will be more accountable.

    Then, I, the busy voter, will be more likely to vote, period.

    What Charles and other old fogies are saying is that we should all blindly vote.

    Yeah, vote because…. I tell you to, it’s the right thing to do ?

    That is an old fogies, bullshit solution for many complicated life situations.

    I completely disagree.

    I say, vote because we have someone WORTHY of our vote !

    But if the voting results are released too soon, then the Eastern part of the country will shape the electoral process, unfairly, or else, people will vote based on who is leading in the race.

    Many, many Canadians were undecided as to who to vote for, last Monday, until the last moment, and the whole election process is best done by electronic ballot, anyways.

    Unfortunately, Canada is a very stubborn, set in its ways beurocracy and change is not always easy or voluntarily done, so it (electronic voting) may have to be forced on people?

    However, it find it hypocritical that we have standards and rules with almost every government entity, but apparently no blackouts on media when it comes to elections.

    Why ?

  8. Such a good little Conservative Canadian, Charles !

    Nobody gets my vote, automatically, Charles. Especially the Conservative incumbants who didn’t win or quit and get a 47K pension for the rest of their lives, starting at age 55, courtesy of us, the taxpayers.

    All of Harper’s former cabinet are the sleeziest bastards going ? (McKay, Baird, Moore, Toews, etc).

    They all have big fat pensions, now.

    Why should I give a loser like Ron Cannan, my vote ?

    You know, my own retired father (age 92) served in the B.C. provincial government as an administrator for 20 years and he gets a pension of only $ 2000.00 a month.

    My Dad did much more significant work than Ron Cannan, yet Cannan and other MP’s get twice the pension of any government worker.

    Even people in the Canadian forces, who died for this country, get much less a pension than Cannon.

    There is something very, very wrong about that !



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