Elections 2015: What The Niqab Are They Talking About?

BY FRANK RUSSO (@ComedyRusso)

If you’ve been following the 2015 federal elections, then you’ve most likely learned a new word this week as politicians fall over themselves in the great niqab debate.

Recently, Federal Judge Keith Boswell struck down the Conservative law mandating all face-covering veils be removed during the Canadian citizenship oath. While not citing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Judge Boswell merely deemed the rule unlawful, which saw an immediate appeal filed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

To quote the great Stephen Colbert, that’s when things became “batshit serious.”

First up were Conservatives, who claim they’re defending women’s rights from oppressive religious practices. Unfortunately, after months of demonizing Islam, combined with their wilful ignorance to believe all Middle-Eastern countries share the same beliefs and cultural practices, MPs were quick to go off message. Most infamous was Conservative MP Larry Miller, who said women who chose to wear the niqab during citizenship ceremonies should “stay the hell where [they] came from.”

While members struggle to tow the party line in the proper direction, Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists Conservatives are the party of women’s rights and are merely acting to protect those in need. In other news, Prime Minister Harper and Conservative MPs still refuse to acknowledge the epidemic involving thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Up next: the Liberals.

Overconfident in his position, Justin Trudeau showed off his yoga skills by fitting his entire foot into his mouth. Comparing the niqab ban to the “none is too many” immigration policy for Jews in the 30’s and 40’s, Trudeau managed to destroy any momentum the Liberals could have gained, proving that foreign policy can often be foreign to policy makers.

Last but not least, Thomas Mulcair and the NDP took a staunch approach to the niqab debate, defending women’s religious rights as stated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The NDP then backed off almost entirely, hoping nobody would notice as they campaigned in Quebec where the niqab ban is supported. Unfortunately for the NDP, the internet still exists.

In weeks that saw average Canadian household debt reach a record high 150% of disposable income, the beginning collapse of the Alberta housing market, widespread protests of Bill C-51, and the fall of the Canadian dollar, Party leaders spent their time fighting about a policy that effects less people than you’ll pass on the drive to work, leading many Canadians to wonder: As long as these women pay their taxes and maintain their lawns, who cares?

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