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?