Elections Canada has ruled (just before three federal by-elections in Quebec) that women wearing veils (niqabs or burkas) will be allowed to vote in federal elections. However, they must provide two pieces of identity, a photo along with another document proving their identity. Absent that, a veiled woman can vote if she is vouched for by a qualified voter from the same riding.

This ruling has aroused a firestorm of protest. All the federal parties oppose it. Prime Minister Harper has called on Elections Canada to immediately reverse this decision. They are all concerned about voter fraud. Election officials in Quebec do not allow veiled Muslim women to vote. They are concerned about all kinds of people showing up in face masks.

The fact is even some Muslim countries -Jordan, for one – require women to unveil to vote. This was in response to voter fraud perpetrated by men dressed as women.

An editorial in this morning’s Gazette concludes: « Elections Canada should not back down [on the ruling allowing veiled Muslim women to vote]. The new rule, even though few people if any called for it, is just an attempt to be fair and accomodating. »

Do you agree?

Is the prohibition on veiled Muslim women voting against electoral fraud or is it against the Muslim religion?

On the other hand, would not having Muslim women unveil before a female electoral voting officicial solve the problem?

What do you think?



  1. 1
    jonolan Says:

    Nobody who’s face is obscured should be allowed to vote. It is simple enough to have the veiled women remove their veils in the presence of two(2) female electoral officials. The ycan then be escorted to the assigned booth.

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    How can it be considered accommodation when the party to be accommodated did not seek accommodation? That is dumbest form of political correctness I have ever heard of!

  3. 3

    Jonolan: –

    I agree that allowing anyone whose face is obscured to vote will lead to a spate of fraudulent voting.

    Barbara: –

    Especially when you think that of the 150,000 Muslims in Quebec, only a handful of women are in this predicament.

  4. 4
    jeremy Says:

    They opened a can of worms here in Quebec, that should never have been opened. As « reasonable accommodation » talks begin in Gatineau tonight. It isn’t accommodation, but it does raise the profile of Islam to a community already fractured at religious levels.

    They did not need to do this, as was said by officials here in Montreal today, the Muslim community did not request special treatment, but it did open us up to another round of « talks » about religious tolerance in a city that is at best terse and defiant when it comes to religious accommodation.

    It was a stupid move by Elections Canada


  5. 5

    Jeremy: –

    Montreal « terse and defiant when it comes to religious accomodation »? I shouldn’t have thought so. Where is the evidence of that?

  6. 6

    Jeremy: –

    Where is the evidence that Montreal is « Terse and defiant when it comes to religious accomodation? »

  7. 7
    jeremy Says:


    I run in certain circles – having lived on a University campus and in Montreal for the last six years. I also lived in Verdun, where things are very different than in the city. There have been several religious issues on the table over the years where certain parties have been terse and downright defiant in their beliefs, and now especially reasonable accommodation is going to start a riot. Just watch the local news here.


  8. 8
    troy Says:

    I didn’t think you needed photo ID to vote –

    (b) two pieces of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer each of which establish the elector’s name and at least one of which establishes the elector’s address.

    If this is the case, requiring Muslim women to ‘unveil’ is sort of a moot point. They should of course change this policy, and then allow privacy for these women to reveal their faces.

  9. 9

    Troy: –

    Thanks for your contribution. This issue is all over the front page of the Gazette this morning. It would seem that a law passed under the Harper government says that veiled women can vote. And the Chief Electoral officer is just upholding that law.

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