Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Required Reading

Today's editorial from the Globe and Mail, about the government's (with an eager assist from the opposition) attempt to scapegoat Muslim women, who wear veils to the polling station.
This is a bill meant to appeal to a sentiment expressed vociferously in Quebec that Muslim women should not be voting from behind face veils. On the surface, the sentiment seems reasonable; a country should not weaken the integrity of the vote by allowing voters to conceal themselves. But look at the facts. Voters are not required to show photo identification, largely because many people do not have photo ID. Two pieces of government-issued ID approved by the Chief Electoral Officer are enough. Alternatively, a voter with ID may vouch for another voter without. Beyond all that, a voter may mail in her vote from abroad. Without photo ID, showing a face proves what? That the bearer has a face?
It is a good editorial but it misses the point. Making veiled women show their faces (even though this has never, ever been reported as a problem) proves who has the power in this society and who is second class.

Update: Others have started to come to the same conclusion. This whole farce is designed to do two things: Chase after the white sheet vote in Quebec (and other rustic areas of the country) and show Muslims who's boss. This is totally, totally disgusting and Layton should be standing on his head to oppose it. The fact that so far he is not, is a sad reflection of how visions of power (or at least official opposition status) is clouding the judgment of the NDP brain trust.

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