Let this not be a Seinfeldian election about nothing
Published Friday, October 2, 2015 5:52PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 2, 2015 6:21PM EDT
The niqab has become the Conservative's most successful re-election rallying cry, particularly in Quebec where it's now a referendum on banning the Muslim veil at citizenship ceremonies.
But as this churns on, I can't help but recall the 2012 incident when Jason Kenney's immigration bureaucrats faked a citizenship ceremony for a now-defunct TV network run by the Conservative campaign's current spokesman.
No ministerial apology was forthcoming. It was shrugged off as much ado about nothing.
Yet this moment of Canadian family assimilation is now so sacred, Conservatives refuse to even allow women to remove their veil and take the oath in a room without men.
Pretend oath-takers are fine. Real cultural or religious practices are not. But I digress.
Some polls see the Conservatives edging toward a majority on the back of a ban which the government says has resulted in precisely TWO women refusing to take the oath.
As one Twitter wit noted when news broke of a Toronto Zoo panda being pregnant with twins, there will soon be twice the number of pandas in Canada as women who refused to unveil for the ceremony.
Here's my point: Let's make this election about more than a Seinfeldian show about nothing.
If, as Conservative heavyweight Pierre Poilievre suggested yesterday, more restrictions on the niqab are coming, let's accommodate a reasonable debate on the question now.
Ditto for stripping convicted terrorists of citizenship for symbolic deportation to countries which almost certainly won't take them.
Now that the minister says it will apply to those born in Canada whose parents hold dual citizenship, where does it stop? Will having grandparents with dual citizenship be enough to deport a convicted bomb-builder? Interesting question. Let's talk about the end game now.
Keep in mind, a majority Canadian prime minister is among the most powerful democratic positions in the world. Over time, they can unilaterally stuff the bureaucracy with handpicked preferences, fill up the Senate with lapdogs and stack the courts with like-minded judges.
So let this leadership referendum be about the best plan for the economy, health care, greenhouse gas reduction or coping with the oncoming tsunami of baby boomer seniors.
If voters want to give Stephen Harper an historic fourth mandate and second majority, they're absolutely right to do so.
Just don't do it for the wrong reasons.
That's the Last Word.