Monday, September 10, 2007

Veiled Voting

I'm not a big fan of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but his strong stance against Elections Canada has got my full, 100%, total support.

Both Ontario and Elections Canada allow veiled women to remain veiled when voting. This is wrong. Our democracy -- our culture, and yes folks, it's worthwhile to defend our culture -- requires identification of each and every voter. The type of identification we rely on the most is the face. Elections Canada and Elections Ontario both think this is optional and are so naive as to actually think that our system is immune from corruption. So how will they protect us from a person posing as a veiled woman from voting twice or thrice or as many times as he can show up in a veil with borrowed and fake ID and a bit of mascara?

Well, Marc Mayrand, Chief of Elections Canada, has put in place the requirement of one piece of photo ID as one option. Now is the man stupid, or does he think we are? How on earth will that work? I can see the volunteer now. Um, let me see, one black veil, one face, oh yeah, my x-ray vision shows me that that veil covers the face in the photo ID. It is you! Or will Mayrand be even more culturally oversensitive and allow photo ID that shows a black veiled face so that the volunteer securing our democracry from fraud can match one black veil with another. Mayrand defended his action by saying the Charter protects religious freedoms. But veils are a cultural norm not a religious edict. This is not a religious freedom issue but a cultural one, one of substituting another culture's mores for our own. And that is not OK. Mayrand does this while at the same time saying, "It is not for the administrator of an electoral system to settle the current societal debate." So why is he?

Apparently our concern is all hype. Mayrand thinks it's just all political piss in the bath water. Isn't that the point? It's our politicians who run our democracy who are voted in by us who can be defeated by a candidate voted in by fraud who are concerned. Sure the whole idea seems far-fetched. This is Canada after all. But why not? Corruption in the electoral system has been a part of our history, now defeated for the most part, but this ruling puts a foot in the door for a new way of corrupting our elections.

Ontario is worse. For years, I've thought that simply showing a signed, no-photo, piece of ID with proof of my address was grossly insufficient to affirm I am who I say I am. So Ontario added a new requirement.

The volunteers who update the electoral rolls came to my door and asked me for my birth date in addition to the usual questions; they hastily assured me I didn't have to give the year. Why on earth not? With just the month and the day, any one of any age can masquerade as me. With my year, the volunteer checking the ID would know immediately if the voter was an imposter or not, well, unless the imposter was actually my age or close to it. However, requiring the full birth date would make it harder to vote in my stead and without my proxy consent.

This whole scandal of Elections Canada thwarting the will of Parliament opens up the entire issue of how we vote. Proof of identification should be paramount. That proof ought to consist of a full-face photo, address, and age as a minimum and ought to be based on the positive identification of the voter's face. The volunteers must be able to match all three, especially the face, with the person standing in front of them. Our politicians, both federal and provincial, need to make it a priority to amend these holes and fill the entire bath with their outraged pissing such that Mayrand and Ontario's Chief Electoral Office John Hollins will get out of their way.

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