Monday, September 10, 2007
The Chief versus the Prime Minister
And the argument is about something that is a non-issue, but now becomes the main issue. The subject, the Muslim Women and a very few minority who wears Burgas and Veils who do not object at all for uncovering their faces if required and even their own community who insist that wearing them are for Cultural and Social Reasons and nothing to do with Muslim Faith, has now become the centre which the Parliament would have to clarify or may have to re-examine the recently passed law that requires visual verification for Federal Elections.
And here is the Argument on the side of the Chief. The PM has said much of his piece in my previous post (scroll down to Breaking News), but knowing the young PM, he's hot blooded and sometimes his step is a little too fast for him.
He also said that all parties participated in a conference call on July 26, in which the veiled-vote issue had arisen, and they were all informed of the way Elections Canada was planning to interpret the law.
The chief said he is just following the law by allowing some Muslim Women to vote with their faces covered. The law state that if challenged the voter should identify self by presenting two ids and the Chief said if the voter refuse to show his or her face, a sworn statement is acceptable. He also added that visual verification is not required for those who votes by Mail and Proxy and said last election there were 80 thousands who voted by mail.
He is throwing back the Controversy at the lap of the PM and other politicians - arguing that they have all ample chance to make clear that people need to show their faces at the voting booth.
Chief Marc Mayrand replaced JP Kingsley who resigned the post last February after 17 years of service. Of course he was appointed by the current Government of PM Harper, but that doesn’t mean that his Independence is somehow affected.
Election Canada is an Independent Agency responsible for Federal Elections and Referendums and Reports to Parliament. The Chief is Appointed by the Governor General at the Recommendation of the Government of the Day and has the tenure of up to 65 years of age or resigned and can only be fired with cause by the Majority vote of the Parliament, the Senate and the House of Commons.
For Ontario Voters this coming October 10 election, don’t worry, Election Ontario doesn’t care if you wear a golie mask or paper bag over your head, it loves you to come and cast your vote, just show your voter’s Election Notice or your ID and do your civic duty.
The Muslim Canadian Congress says Elections Ontario should require everyone to show their face when casting a ballot.
A spokesman for the group says veils and burkas are worn for cultural and social reasons and have nothing to do with the Muslim faith.
Not a big deal... sure the parliament will thresh out this issue and make it very clear with election canada the intention of the law. Nobody wants this matter up to the court to decide.