Saturday, October 27, 2007

Government Introduces Law banning veiled voting...

Lifting the Veil

Just last month, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, challenged the government on the law that requires voters in federal elections to identify themselves and noted that the law does not specify... how? And said that he will allow Muslim women voters wearing veil to vote without uncovering their faces for identification. Threat and counter threats of lawsuits between the Government and the Chief ensued, but during a press conference the Chief challenged the Government if to show faces is what the MPs intended, then change the law and the Government responded by doing just that, introducing the law banning veiled voting". And more debates ensued...funny those politicians..

And here are the Two Cents from some of them:

Peter Van Loan, the minister responsible for democratic reform:
said he hopes the bill will settle the potentially corrosive debate over the accommodation of diverse religious beliefs.

Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff:
I do not want this debate imported into the House of Commons,"
While he supports requiring all voters to identify themselves, he added "What I don't like about this whole project is the idea that we take a bunch of women wearing veils and we make a whole big deal about this . . . Let's not have politicians fishing around and creating divisions between Canadians about this."

Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress:
the law is unnecessary and will feed discrimination against Muslim Canadians. And he suggested the Tories are hoping to make "political mileage among Islamophobes."

Sameer Zuberi, of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Canada:
the federal Tories are trying to "win over Quebec" by jumping on an issue that is already raging in the province. He questioned the urgency of the matter given that "there are hardly any" women in Canada who choose to wear niqabs or burkas to cover their faces.

The issue of veiled voters first came up during the Quebec provincial election last spring, adding fuel to an already heated debate over how far the province should go in accommodating newcomers. Action démocratique du Québec Leader Mario Dumont's popularity surged after he suggested Quebec has gone too far in catering to immigrants.

Last month, the issue popped up on the national radar during three federal byelections in Quebec. Marc Mayrand, the country's chief electoral officer, opened a political storm when he said the law did not require byelection voters to uncover their faces.

For details and more Two Cents from all parties of interest, you may go to the link in first paragraph, for the background and how it all started here is my previous post on the subject but here is for the sunshines of the week...