An attempt to stop veiled voting

- February 11th, 2011

A kirpan, ceremonial dagger worn by baptized Sikhs has been at the centre of a religious debate in Quebec. Now comes a new issue, an attempt to ban veiled voting. Hari Singh, Creative Commons

So hot on the heels of the Kirpan vote in Quebec’s National Assembly, which saw a unanimous vote to ban Sikhs from wearing the kirpan inside the legislature, comes a new religious ban.

Looks like Conservative MP Steven Blaney will try to ban veiled voting through a private members bill.

OFFICE OF STEVEN BLANEY
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR LÉVIS-BELLECHASSE

Notice of Meeting
For immediate release

Requiring voters to have their faces uncovered

Ottawa, February 10th, 2011 – The Member of Parliament for Lévis, Bellechasse and les Etchemins, Mr. Blaney, invites media representatives to a press conference in which he will introduce legislation to strengthen our democratic system.

The press conference will take place on February 11th at 12:45 in the Charles Lynch Press Conference Room, 130S – Center Block.

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Now of course this issue has been around before.

In 2007 it was an issue in the Quebec provincial election and then became an issue in some federal by-elections held that fall.

The government and Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand had differing views on how laws around voter identification should be read. The government, and at the time all opposition parties, argued that voters should be required to show their faces.

Mayrand dug in and said he would would allow Muslim women to vote without taking their veils off. Eventually all the opposition parties switched sides and declined to back the Conservatives and the bill they had introduced to change the law.

The current law requires that voters show one piece of photo id or two pieces of id without a photo in order to be allowed to vote.

Mayrand says the law does not specifically require voters to show their faces before casting a ballot.

Categories: Politics

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5 comments

  1. misty fived says:

    Geez you’d think if anyone would like a voter to be able to cover their faces and possibly vote three or four times it would be a Conservative MP. After all their party is still in court trying to bend our laws to suit their campaign overspending in 2006. I think the Conservatives are looking for any possible way to win that majority so they should be pushing for faces to be covered shouldn’t they?

  2. morticia says:

    These idiotic customs that are part of backward cultures should not be allowed in this free democracy, because they represent the opposite of freedom,
    We show our faces, we do not carry weapons, all genders are equal and do not have to hide their hair or face

    These bullies that come here and demand we adopt their backward practices should be put in their places

  3. Jim Pook says:

    Canadas voting rules are far too loose, and are easy for anyone who wants to vote multiple times.

    Photo ID and a visible face should be the minimum requirement.

    Keeping our voting and elections free from corruption should be our primary goal. The last thing we need is a voting system like the ones they have in Hati, Iran, or Chicago.

    It must be free, and seen to be free.

  4. Gabby in QC says:

    “The government, and at the time all opposition parties, argued that voters should be required to show their faces.”
    Isn’t that par for the course?

    I watched MP Blainey’s press conference and found the reporters’ questions quite aggressive, one of them going so far as to suggest Mr. Blainey was being divisive.

    However, an interesting question was raised: how would the proposed legislation affect those who vote by mail?
    Mr. Blainey answered his bill focussed strictly on the polling booth, but I’m sure the opposition will make hay out of that question.

    I believe the bill should become law, so that no one can vote if his/her face is covered.

  5. Mike says:

    So…. you can show up at a voting booth with your SIN card and birth certificate, and the poll clerk will be required to get you to show your face even though they have nothing to compare it to?

    Makes no sense – unless as part of a comprehensive change to voter ID rules.

Comments are closed.