Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, facing elections as early as this year, is taking a stand against veiled Muslim voters, helping him tap into a growing backlash against immigrants.This has been and continues to be about two things, blowing the finance scandal off of page one and pandering to the xenophobes of Mario Dumont's tribe. That we have a Prime Minister evil enough to appeal to our worst instincts is bad enough. To have an opposition so spineless and craven to let him, is even worse.
Harper criticized the nation's elections body for allowing veiled women to vote next week in by-elections to fill three vacant seats in Quebec, asserting that citizens should have to show their faces to prove their identity.
``I profoundly disagree with the decision,'' Harper told reporters in Sydney, where he was attending an Asia-Pacific summit. ``It concerns me greatly because the role of Elections Canada is not to make its own laws.''
The comments may help him build support among rural voters in Quebec. Harper needs to make gains in the French-speaking province in order to win a majority in the House of Commons. Recent polls show his ruling Conservatives tied for support with the opposition Liberal Party.
Harper is ``stoking his natural support base,'' said Pierre Martin, a political science professor at Universite de Montreal. ``It affects a very small number of people but it touches on an important symbolic issue.'' (emphasis mine)
Update: I watched the pundits panel on Newman's show tonight. Greg Weston confirmed my worst fear. According to Weston, his contacts in all of the parties told him that their Quebec "workers on the ground" told them they had to "neutralize" the veil issue by, in essence, giving the Tories the green light to smear Muslims. I am just so disgusted, words escape me. Recommend this Post