Veiled Voting

Use of veils at polling booth blasted

Federal and Quebec political leaders have unanimously blasted an Elections Canada decision to let Muslim women wear traditional face coverings when voting in three federal by-elections in Quebec.

Muslim groups say they are mystified about the uproar, saying they never asked for any special treatment ...

Toronto Star, Saturday, September 8, 2007

Muslims say they don't want to be treated any differently than other voters. So why the compromise, which in effect recognizes the inequality of the sexes in the way we vote, and is a surrender to values of Islamic fundamentalism to which the majority of Canadian Muslims do not subscribe.

We should reflect on the implications of advocating a dangerous and unnecessary surrender to religious fundamentalists by recognizing in law or government regulations values that are at odds with typical Canadian moral and ethical standards.

Apart from the morality of such a compromise, what are the pitfalls in actually making it work on election day. At least two female scrutineers the people who give you your ballet, confirm your identity and watch you insert your marked ballet into the ballet box will have to be available at all polling stations at all times.

Every party is allowed one observer at every polling station to ensure there is no tampering and this includes observing the all important confirmation of who you say you are.

Will all political parties now have to have female observers at every polling station; will all polling stations now have to make special arrangement to ensure that when a woman drops her veil, her face is not seen, not even by accident, by a man other than her husband, her father or a close male relative.


Courtesy Christian Science Monitor