Musings —09.17.2015 09:20 AM—
- Here is a CITY-TV video from yesterday on the niqab ruling:
- TV being TV, quite a bit of what we talked about ended up on the cutting room floor. But here is a quick summary.
- One, this is classic writ-period dog whistle politics. And, sadly, it works. For the Conservative core vote, it is red meat. It angers them, and gets them out to vote for the only option that favours “cracking down” on the niqab. In that way, it’s like the refugee thing.
- Two, there is no downside for the Tories on this. They know – they absolutely know – that they are going to lose at the Supreme Court of Canada. They are counting on it, in fact. The Department of Justice has repeatedly advised them that they cannot win. But they press on, regardless, because – at the end – it permits them to say: “See? See? Those unelected liberal judges are attempting to impose their will again. We’re the only party that opposes judge-made law.”
- Three, it’s a classic wedge. It divides progressives: some feminists are okay with the niqab, some are vehemently against it. Some classical liberal free expression types are wholly for it, other liberals see it as the beginning of the end of civilized society. Politically, too, it divides: in 2011, Michael Ignatieff was with Stephen Harper on the issue. In 2015, Justin Trudeau is against him. And so on and so on. The conservative monolith is united, however: they’re against it. They’ll vote for the anti-veil party.
- Bottom line? For the Conservatives, it works. It gets them votes, whether they win in court or not. But – as I’ve written before – it’s wrong for religions to dictate to governments. And it’s wrong for governments to dictate to religions.