Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why does Elections Canada have so much power?

For once it appears that Stephane Dion and the present government are in agreement on something - that Elections Canada went way overboard with political-correctness zeal when decreeing that women could vote with their faces covered:

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said "Canadian citizens have a responsibility to fully reveal their identities" when voting. He called on Elections Canada to rethink the decision.

"We find it doesn't make any sense," said Cannon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Quebec lieutenant. "As a government and a political party, we do not agree with Elections Canada."

Charest also disagreed.
"For me, it's a bad decision," he said. "The federal chief returning officer should have done the same thing we did in Quebec, which is that everyone who presents themselves to exercise their right to vote must be clearly identified. For me, it's as simple as that."

It would seem that will of our democratically-elected representatives has been circumvented. And if almost all politicians appear to be in agreement in this regard, Elections Canada should give its burgeoning, bureaucratic head a shake.

Even Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress shows more common sense:

The solution, he said is as simple as having women who wear the niqab show their faces to female elections officials.

"We don't want to force anybody to change their religious inclination and beliefs," he explained, pointing out it is also important for women from religious minorities to vote. "At the same time there is a certain level of integrity in the election process that we must maintain."

That's right. Have them show their faces to a female returning officer; even in a separate room if necessary.

Or let's vote on it in a national referendum - with faces fully visible and eyes wide open.

* * * *

Gerry Nichols adds his voice here.


Anonymous said...

Wow!!So the elephant in the room will not be ignored!!

Barbara said...

Well, if they can do it, so can we. Let's all go vote with a veil over our faces and see how they deal with that. This world just keeps getting crazier and crazier - huge sigh. Have a great day!

Kingston said...

Why are we even having this discussion. the answer is already posted. "The solution, he said is as simple as having women who wear the niqab show their faces to female elections officials." When did we totally throw common sense out the window for freak sakes.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Dion and Harper are agreeing on something??

What does that mean? Dion can't use this as a 'wedge' issue? Or maybe he realizes that if he wants to stand a prayer at winning in Quebec he needs to do this (as distasteful as agreeing with Harper seems to be for him...)

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony said...

When Election Canada makes rulings like that, it makes me wonder who is in charge. They are undermining a good and perfectly logical requirement for voters to show their faces, for no other purpose but to pander to a minority group.

How is Elections Canada now going to justify requiring the majority of Canadian voters to reveal their faces, while at the same time, removing this requirement for a minority group?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I would like to know who Elections Canada is accountable to?

Anonymous said...

Get back to us when you find out.
Sounds like a few beaurocrats LEFT over from Lib days, wanting to flex their muscles.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, I have that impression too. O.K. I'll try to do a bit of digging.

Brian in Calgary said...

Dion and Harper are agreeing on something??

Pigs must be flying.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Get back to us when you find out.

Well, there's this:

"The Chief Electoral Officer is appointed by a resolution of the House of Commons. He or she reports directly to Parliament and is thus completely independent of the government of the day and all political parties. The CEO serves until retirement at age 65 or resignation. He or she can be removed from office only for cause, by the Governor General after a joint request following a majority vote by the House of Commons and Senate."

Anonymous said...

It seems to be that the politicians are the ones confused. There is no requirement for photo ID in Bill can use one piece of identification with photo or two pieces that determine name and address.

There is also no requirement that people must show their faces. Although intuitively that might make sense, the Act doesn't specify that. If your ID doesn't have a photo, what would be the point of showing your face?

Elections Canada is doing its job by clarifying the Act as it is written.

I think Harper's pissed off because the Conservatives were caught breaking election laws.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think Harper's pissed off because the Conservatives were caught breaking election laws.

Dion has a problem with it too.

Anonymous said...

Elections Canada used to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Liberal Party of Montreal, perhaps they're simply making issues in order to force the government to react since they're probably still infested with Liberals.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

since they're probably still infested with Liberals.

Yeah, that likely is true, since the Liberals have been in power so long. However, the veil decision has been condemned by every party except the NDP, and even the majority of Muslims themselves think that it is unnecessary.

Typical Canadian over-kill.