The bombardment of Facebook appeals for a Yes or No vote in the spring hunting referendum should in theory cease tomorrow as voters ‘reflect’ on the choice they face. The cessation of electoral activity 24 hours before voting day is not a custom but the law. However, it remains to be seen whether practicality will hinder the police from taking action against anybody who breaches the legal provisions on silent day, as it is known.
Justice Minister Owen Bonnici and Nationalist Party deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami both agree that the current law may need updating to cater for modern-day realities that transcend the traditional media. Both have expressed a willingness to change. The question remains when.
Dr Bonnici said the police had a duty to enforce penal laws including those regulating the day of silence before an election. “However, considering that the present law regulating the matter was enacted prior to the advent of social media, the government is open to discussing this issue,” he said.