Tuesday, September 11, 2007

J'ai honte | I'm ashamed

Lors de mon dernier débat à l'émission de Dominique Poirier en direct, j'ai défendu le droit des femmes musulmanes à voter sans retirer leur niqab. Effectivement, je crois intimement que le but de la Loi Électorale n'est pas de régir les modes de vie, mais plutôt d'éviter la fraude électorale. Et si les spécialistes de la législation électorale considèrent que les dispositions de la loi atteignent ce but, qui sommes-nous pour prétendre le contraire? Par ailleurs, tant par leur nombre limité, que par la manifestation de leur bonne volonté (les femmes qui portent le niqab n'ont rien demandé et la plupart retirent même leur voile pour voter), la communauté musulmane ne représente pas une menace imminente pour les institutions démocratiques canadiennes.
Le DGE a donné raison à cette argumentation hier en maintenant sont point. Ainsi, il a lancé le bon message aux élus: il s'agit d'un problème politique, réglez-le à la Chambre des Communes. Il a d'ailleurs mentionné avoir clairement abordé ce sujet devant un comité sénatorial au cours des derniers mois. Bref, voilà les politiciens pris en flagrant délit de délire opportuniste. Il est vrai qu'un élu puisse changer d'idée devant le poids de certains arguments. Or, dans le cas qui nous intéresse, tant à Québec qu'à Ottawa, ces arguments prennent la forme de votes à brève échéance. Pour la stature d'Homme d'État et la défense des intérêts supérieurs du Canada, on repassera!
Voilà maintenant qu'on apprend que des femmes se sont présentées voilées au vote par anticipation dans la circonscription d'Outremont pour protester contre la décision du DGE. Ceci est de la pure provocation! On ne saurait trop dénoncer ces gestes qui tournent au ridicule les convictions de certains de nos concitoyens.
Ceci étant dit, je suis en parfait désaccord avec la conclusion de l'éditorial de Nathalie Collard dans La Presse de ce matin. Oui, que des femmes aillent voter voilées pour protester est de la provocation. Non, ce n'est pas au DGE de porter le blâme!
Ces femmes n'ont qu'à porter elles-même l'odieux de l'ombrage qu'elles font subir aux institutions démocratiques. Ce n'est pas au DGE de recevoir le blâme pour les agissements de quelques militants qui ne voient pas l'ampleur du discrédit qu'ils infligent à nos institutions.
Bref, sous le couvert de leur protection, ces gens affaiblissent les institutions démocratiques canadiennes. En plus, ils minent le climat de bonne entente tout relatif qui prévaut dans nos collectivités en ridiculisant des convictions personnelles de leurs concitoyens. Tout cela sent les mauvais relents d'intolérance et la volonté d'uniformiser les modes de vie... Il y a des jours comme ça où j'ai un peu honte d'être québécois...
In my last debate at Dominique Poirier's program, I argued that we should let muslim women vote with their face covered. I said that because I consider there is no room for electoral fraud in those dispositions of the electoral law: there is too few women wearing the niqab, none of them asked a special treatment and most of them accept to vote without their scarf. In addition, if the electoral law's specialists consider there is sufficient control to avoid electoral fraud, who are we to question their judgement?
The Chief electoral officer confirmed my opinion yesterday when he announced he would not step back on its earlier decision. That's a good message sent to the MPs: this is a political problem, solve it at the House of Commons. He also recalled he told a senatorial committee that the actual law would mean that muslim women coul vote wearing their niqab. Here are our politicians caught in a clear attempt to gain political support on their own decision!
We now learn that women in Outremont went to vote with a niqab to protest earlier this week. This is pure provocation. By doing so, they minimize the importance of the individual convictions of their own neighbours! That is unacceptable.
These people, and only them, are harming greatly the Canadian democratic institutions. Under the cover of noble principles, they harm the tolerance climate in our collectivities. This smells bad intolerance and the attempt to uniformize the ways of life... These are days where I am a bit ashamed to be a Quebecois...

1 comment:

outremont politico said...

I know what you mean! I too felt ashamed. I was at the advanced polls and spoke with a security guard, a recent immigrant himself. He confided in me that he felt personally attacked when voters in bad moods came into vote or protest. One told him to his face “what do YOU people want anyway, if you want so much to be in Quebec then be like Quebeckers? He said that he went home feeling ill and had trouble sleeping. Its not enough that he came here with a masters in Electrical Engineering, (the reason he was recruited to immigrate here in the first place), and has to work for little more than a paltry minimum wage as a security guard because we don't recognize his diplomas now that he is here, but he has to be grateful and put up with the ignorance and racism of people here for something that has absolutely nothing to do with him. He does not understand what the entire flap is about because he read the rules about voting, (displayed in poster form at the entrance of the voting station), and sees that the rules have nothing whatsoever to do with accommodations for religious differences.
The media has been shameful on this issue, especially the tabloid t.v. and papers, but the 'established' media has been pretty bad too. The Gazette finally had two great editorials on it yesterday, what a relief! They poinyed out that it wasn’t an accommodation but rules that apply to everyone and voted into law by the House and the Senate. Elections Canada’s mandate is to err on the side of increasing voter participation, so the law proposed and adopted does not require photo ID to vote if you have two other pieces of ID that link your name and address. The Devoir put things to right today as well. Cudos to Mayrand, Director General of Elections, for sticking his ground.
Harper is laughable with his accusations; and the Bloc's response is predictable considering how desperate they are. But the Libs and the NDP should have closed ranks to attack Harper's ignorance and hypocrisy on the issue (He is the head of the government who put in place the rules). They might well have if they were not neck and neck in the Outremont by-election. Mulcair showed promise when he wouldn't jump on the bandwagon at the beginning of the flap, but then what happened? I imagine the 'strategists' running his campaign were too busy panicking about numbers and inertia, to take a progressive or even a principled position was out of the question, and now the NDP is seen as having flip-flopped on the issue, bravo!! Way to go after those votes at all cost. Still better then the Libs, who have taken Harper’s position from the beginning; they must be awfully scared about loosing their riding to take a ridiculous position in desperation to distinguish themselves from the NDP! Oh, the irony.
The QS might be the only party left in Quebec with principles and a spine to uphold them in the face of a racist flurry; but then again, even in the QS it would be a struggle with some of the more hard liners, who might have a knee jerk reaction like so many people have had here in our belle province. It’s enough to remind us that, as a modern nation, we are still young. After all it has only been 30 years since the quiet revolution set us free from the Catholic Church and its own old world bigotry.
grip of the Catholic church...