The Niquab should not be an election issue

We discuss Mr.Harper’s making use of the niquab as an election issue

There is a question to be voted on in this blog post. Please go to the right sidebar to vote. Your vote counts.

We, at Vote Canada, are becoming increasingly upset with the inordinate attention being focused on the wearing of the niquab at Canadian citizenship swearing-in ceremonies. This smells to us like the Conservative party seeking votes by appealing to the less noble characteristics of the national psyche.  While this seems to be a relatively harmless, if unsavory, ploy to hold on to a few votes, it is actually, in our opinion, something much, much worse.

We don’t think that Mr. Harper, or anyone on his team, is really that concerned about the clothes that women wear at swearing-in ceremonies.  He is raising this issue solely to distract Canadians from the more positive yet complicated messages his contenders are putting forward. This sort of technique has been employed by ruthless and unscrupulous politicians seeking power throughout history. It’s a simple technique. Step 1: Identify a group of people who are different and give them a label. Step 2: Brand them with believable unsavory characteristics. Step 3: Rally the population against them and finally Step 4: Identify yourself as savior/protector/leader.

So you think we’re being alarmist. Well maybe, but this is the same style of politics that the separatists have used in Quebec, the same style of politics practiced in the Rwandan massacre and we don’t really think we have to name the people who employed this technique in Europe in the 20th century.

We think that we should see this for what it… an extremely bad precedent for the Conservatives to be setting. And we (all Canadians) and the other parties should be calling them out on this.

In Canada we believe in freedom of religion. Not just Christian religions, but all religions. Every religion has practices that seen from outside seem different or even bizarre, but short of them violating the criminal code, they have to be allowed. Period. End of discussion. Now let’s get on with discussing “the environment,” “the economy,” “climate change,” “healthcare,” and “national drug plans” … you know, THE REAL ISSUES!

So the question to be voted on is “I agree with Vote Canada and Harper should be ashamed for using such dangerous and divisive tactics in his re-election bid.  Yes or No?

Please go to the “Vote on this Question” box in the upper right hand column to vote on this issue.

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