Crossposted from greenparty.ca
OTTAWA â€“ The Green Party today condemned the NDP for propping up the Conservative government by supporting the Conservative bill that will force Muslim women to show their faces at the polls.
â€œIt is immensely disappointing that the NDP has joined with Prime Minister Harper in pandering to fears of Islam,â€ said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. â€œThe Green Party stands alone in strongly opposing this shameful and cynical piece of legislation.â€
Democratic Reform Advocate Chris Tindal said that the bill sets a double standard, as Canadians who live abroad are not required to provide visual identification to vote and will still be allowed to vote by mail-in ballot.
â€œThis bill has nothing to do with voting security, as the parties claim,â€ said Mr. Tindal. â€œIt is about exploiting xenophobia and grabbing votes at the expense of Canadian Muslims. The opposition parties should be ashamed that they have allowed themselves to be drawn into this needless hysteria.â€
Mr. Tindal added that the true intent of the bill is to hurt the credibility of Elections Canada and distract voters from the alleged â€œin and outâ€ Conservative election spending limits scandal.
â€œThis attack on Elections Canada was clearly designed by the Conservatives to distract from the investigation into whether or not they broke election spending limits, and the law. Why the NDP would want to aid them in that effort is beyond me.”
The Green Party has consistently opposed any move to force Muslim women to remove their veils before voting and first issued a statement to this effect on September 11th, 2007.