Greens denounce support of veiled voters bill

Crossposted from

For Immediate Release
November [28], 2007

OTTAWA – 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.

“It is immensely disappointing that the NDP has joined with Prime Minister Harper in pandering to fears of Islam,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “The Green Party stands alone in strongly opposing this shameful and cynical piece of legislation.”

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.

“This bill has nothing to do with voting security, as the parties claim,” said Mr. Tindal. “It 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.”

Mr. Tindal added that the true intent of the bill is to hurt the credibility of Elections Canada and distract voters from the alleged “in and out” Conservative election spending limits scandal.

“This 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.

5 thoughts on “Greens denounce support of veiled voters bill

  1. Although I doubt the Conservative & NDP have good intentions behind this bill, I don’t see how proper “authentication”, ie the scruitineer verifying that the elector claiming to be person X is indeed person X, can be established without seing the full face.

  2. Whooee! Best news I read today. Good on you and good on the GPC, ChrisFeller.
    We allow people to send in their vote by mail. How can we know who really voted with out ID? Thousands of mail in ballots are accepted in federal elections. About 50 veiled women may show up to vote. If this is truly about election security, we need to disallow mail-in voting. That’s not what it’s about, though. It’s about Islamophobia, pure and simple. Jack lost a lotta respect today.


  3. If it’s so critical that all voters be visually identified before voting, then we need to take away the voting rights of Canadians living abroad who vote by mail. Unless the government has some reason to believe Muslim women are less trust-worthy.

    This is a political controversy that’s been entirety manufactured over a non-issue for partisan gain. Until recently visual identification wasn’t even required, and there’s no widespread (or even isolated, that I’m aware of) incidents of Muslim women refusing to show their face. All I’ve heard that community saying is that they’d rather not have all the attention over this.

  4. Hey Chris, all you have is the Globe story which doesn’t even quote an NDP MP. Don’t you think your reaction was a little bit premature?

    You’re suggesting that maybe the NDP aren’t actually supporting this bill, and it’s all been a bad dream? -CT

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