Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Tale of Veils, Votes and Lies

With the Con$ waggling their fingers at Elections Canada for "not following the "will" of Parliament", it's time to take a second look at Harper's hypocrisy in the matter.

Please, examine what the Globe and Mail has pointed out:

1) Parliament was told explicitly that the revised Elections Act allowed voters to vote - with their veils in place - by Elections Canada bureaucrats:

However, a senior bureaucrat told senators last May that the Elections Act, which was going through Parliament at the time, indeed allows voters to keep facial coverings if they have two non-picture IDs or someone else to vouch for them.

"Neither requires removal of a veil," Matthew King, assistant secretary for legislation at the Privy Council Office, told senators.

2) Harper, and house goon - er leader - Peter Van Loan keep insisting otherwise:

Mr. Van Loan insisted yesterday that Parliament never expected that voters would be allowed to cast a ballot wearing a niqab or burka.

"The intent of the bill was clear: A person would have to demonstrate their identity before they could vote," Mr. Van Loan said. "Basic common sense dictates that it is impossible for a person to demonstrate their identity if their face is covered," he added.

and ...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper attacked Elections Canada for stating that voters do not have to remove facial coverings.

"The role of Elections Canada is not to make its own laws, it's to put into place the laws that Parliament has passed. So, I hope they'll reconsider this decision," Mr. Harper said.

In short, Harper is lying through his teeth, and Van Loan is parroting what the PMO tells him to say. The government knew last May that there was nothing in the revised Elections Act compelling a voter with their face covered to uncover it. Period. It's time for them to take some responsibility, and place amending legislation before the house that has the intent clearly stated.

Of course, that would demonstrate the underlying bigotry of the Con$, as it is only one fairly identifiable population group that would be affected by such a law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Might I point out that mail in balloting has no requirement (or mechanism for that matter) to identify yourself via your face.