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.
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Gerry Nichols adds his voice here.