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Report No. 255

C. Regulation in Other Countries

8.12. The ECI's guidelines of 1998 refer to the position in a number of jurisdictions, noting that a number of "advanced democracies" have placed restrictions on the conduct of opinion polls.356 In particular, the guidelines noted that Canada, France, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia have imposed certain restrictions.357 Some jurisdictions do not impose any restrictions on the publication of opinion or exit polls. These states include United States and Australia.

356. Paragraph 6

357. Id.

8.13. A number of jurisdictions do, however, regulate opinion polls. The practice of ensuring a cooling off period before voting commences has been a feature of a number of democracies, including Canada, France and Italy.358 Where such provisions were struck down by courts, an important consideration related to the proportionality of the measure and its compatibility with the freedom of expression. The position in some jurisdictions has been discussed below, which can provide some guidance for regulation of the conduct of opinion polls in India:

358. Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression, Comparative Study of Laws and Regulations Restricting the Publication of Electoral Opinion Polls,

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