The bizarre decision of Elections Canada to allow veiled women to vote without showing their faces has met with universal condemnation today, but what really interested me was listening to spokesman John Enright's quotes to CBC Radio tonight.
Enright defended the decision and said that it was required by Bill C-31, the rework of election regulations passed not so long ago in Parliament. In essence a standard "I don't make the rules" defence. However, he then went on to say that anyone showing up to vote wearing a mask would "clearly be making light of the situation" and therefore would be turned away and denied a vote.
Now, I thought that in a democracy such as ours, we extended the right to vote to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or motivations. That someone takes an election 'lightly' - for example, supporters of the Monster Raving Loony Party in Britain, or it's poor relation the Rhino Party, is not a valid reason to take away their democratic rights. But John Enright says otherwise. He has set himself up as the arbiter of 'taking it lightly'.
So in one breath Mr. Enright says that Elections Canada doesn't make the rules, and in the next he sets himself up to judge who may vote based on his perceptions of whether they are taking the situation lightly.
If you feel that Mr. Enright might want to drop the God complex for a while and let every Canadian be treated equally, give him a call at 1-800-463-6868, and let him know how you feel.