There is a reason why rags like this are going under:
IT is easy to tut-tut the overindulgences of the American right. For Canadians, it is practically a birthright. None of our politicians, many of us would like to believe, would dare invoke the Trumpian galaxy of Mexican rapists, or ponder publicly, as the Republican nominee Ben Carson did, that Europe’s Jews would have fared better against Hitler if only the Third Reich hadn’t instituted gun control.
Yet over the last several weeks of an increasingly caustic election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada’s ruling Conservative Party have managed to erase much of our trademark smugness.
Faced with a stalling economy and a corresponding dip in the polls, Mr. Harper had a stroke of luck. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed his government’s ban on the niqab — the face veil worn as part of the hijab by a small minority of Muslim women — from Canadian citizenship ceremonies.
Rather than accept the ruling, the Conservative government proclaimed its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court, and then took the issue to the hustings. During a recent campaign debate, Mr. Harper declared that he “will never tell my young daughter that a woman should cover her face because she is a woman” — as though his political opponents would do just that, given the chance.
Effectively, Mr. Harper hopes to win his fourth term on Oct. 19 in part by demonizing those few who wear the niqab — and much of Canada’s Muslim population by extension. In one particularly pungent mailing to voters, the Conservative Party suggested that the election of one of Mr. Harper’s opponents would turn the country into a dystopia of high taxes, high unemployment and citizenship ceremonies clogged with covered Muslim faces pledging allegiance to the queen.