Canada: Tory MP wants veiled voting banned

From The National Post

Tory MP wants veiled voting banned

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A Conservative MP introduced a private member’s bill on Friday that would require Canadians to show their faces before they vote.

Laura Stone, Postmedia News · Friday, Feb. 11, 2011

OTTAWA — A Conservative MP introduced a private member’s bill on Friday that would require Canadians to show their faces before they vote.

Steven Blaney, who represents the Quebec riding of Levis-Bellechasse, said the bill would fix a “gap”in the electoral system and is not meant to discriminate against Muslims.

“For me it is important that we all share this transparency,”said Blaney. “We are all proud to live in this country, we are all proud to share (its) basic principles. I think one of these basic principles is transparency through our election and democratic process, so that’s why I’m presenting this bill and it is applying to everybody and treating everybody in the same way,” he said.

Blaney steered clear of mentioning Islamic head coverings such as burkas or niqabs in his press conference to introduce the bill, instead drawing on examples such as Halloween and ski masks that he said Canadians have donned while attempting to vote.

He also said that while citizens are still allowed to vote by mail, his bill only addresses the process of voting at an election booth. The bill includes an exception for medical reasons.

Elections Canada has an “administrative procedure”in place for validating identities when faces are covered, said spokesman John Enright.

The voter can remove the face-covering in private, or swear an oath of eligibility certifying that they are qualified electors as well as providing two pieces of identification. Anyone who refuses to remove the covering or say the oath will not be permitted to vote, said Enright.

In 2007, both the Conservative federal government and the Quebec government announced they would introduce legislation to ban veiled voting after Elections Canada ruled Muslim women could vote with their faces covered during Quebec byelections. Ottawa passed a law that year which required voters to produce identification, although not necessarily containing a photo if two pieces of ID bearing the voter’s address were presented.

The Quebec government adopted in 2007 the law to compel all voters to uncover their faces. The Conservatives dropped their plans in 2009 amid opposition dissent, although the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois originally supported the decision.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he disagrees with the Elections Canada procedure outlined by Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand.

According to Elections Canada, there has not been a single instance of an individual attempting to vote with their face covered since 2007.

Postmedia News

7 Replies to “Canada: Tory MP wants veiled voting banned”

  1. In Canada we vote without covering our faces. What part of this sentence do the Muslim not get? You don’t like it, you know what you can do.

  2. I sent this guy an email of support,
    In the last election, I voted in protest in Toronto, on the main floor of the apartment building where I was living at the time, wearing a mask, just my own little way of saying f y to the Elections Canada group, as they had made their proclamation about allowing this just before the elections,
    They almost didn’t let me vote, but I insisted, took photos, a video, tried to put it on youtube, but it took all night, way to big, not too techi, and then got busy doing other things, but it does prove one thing, Elections Canada people are liars, as I did vote with my face covered, even if it was a pink feathered cat mask, They must report any unusual occurances and I am sure they did do this, so Elections Canada had the report of someone voting with their face covered,,,,,

  3. I can get the video you took up on youtube. If you are still interested in having your video of this up, please let me know in the comments and I will contact you with info on how to get me your raw footage. I will happily edit it and upload for you.

  4. In my state you have to show a picture ID to be able to vote, no picture ID, no vote. Given what has been happening in a lot of the Dem controlled states people are working to get this law in all states.

  5. ” The voter can remove face covering in private”. There it is. Accommodation to sharia standards. A niquabi removes her veil in private, behind a separate screen, manned by a woman only employee.

    Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less who votes. But I do expect that anyone who does, shows up to a voting booth with proper ID and their face exposed at the entry table to whomever receives them, be it a man or a woman. No separate screens, no all female employees, no sharia.

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