Friday, September 14, 2007

Mayrand of Elections Canada Stands His Ground - Canadians Owe Him Respect

Marc Mayrand, Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer will have done enough service to the country to earn the Order of Canada when the veil issue is completed and run its petty political course and our politicians shake their collective heads and do the right thing in the right way (for a change?)

As reported in the Globe and Mail
today, a truly astonishing thing happened yesterday in the Commons Procedure and House Affairs Committee. All parties yesterday pressured the CEO as a bureaucrat to “adapt” the law they passed in order to force voters to show their face before being permitted to vote. This is so wrong at so many levels it boggles the mind as to how the collective ignorance of those Committee members could manifest itself in such a perverse way.

There is nothing wrong with a law requiring this requirement for citizens to be identified and to show their faces for voter. Even those in the Muslim community most impacted have seen the need for such accommodation. If only that was what our lawmakers required in the legislation they passed earlier this year then it should be implemented by the CEO and Elections Canada. BUT that is not what the law they passed said! And now the politicians seem to be trying to shift the blame to the bureaucracy and by doing so they abdicate their governance responsibility at the same time. Shame on them! AND REMEMBER WE ELECTED THEM!

Mayrand has put the ball back in the political and lawmakers court by telling them clearly and precisely that “One of the conundrums I have here is I am being asked to change the law that was just adopted by Parliament and was debated at length…I am being asked to change the law and forcing electors to choose between two fundamental rights.” WELL SAID SIR!

is single handedly forcing the politicians to face up to the consequences of their sloppy work, fuzzy thinking or policy making cowardice. Politicians too often skirt the hard choices of choosing between competing fundamental rights. That at the end of the day is a big part of their job as ELECTED representatives in a mature and modern democracy. They too often try to duck the heavy political lifting and avoid serious philosophical thought on the major policy issues as they superficially pummel each other in Question Period or the media.
The first duty of engaged citizenship is to be an informed voter AND be careful who you vote for.