B’nai Brith: PM Harper has reached out over Sukkot election call
Will the Tories pick up a Parliamentary majority in the snap elections called for October 14th?
B’nai Brith says Orthodox voters can and should participate. Canadian Jews were a bit miffed that the snap election call in Canada set for mid October falls in line with Sukkot this year, making it more difficult for Orthodox Canadians to head out to polling stations. It would be a big stretch however to paint Harper & the conservatives as anything but welcoming and friendly to the Canadian Jewish community and by extension Israel.
Canada has made big strides in its Israeli relationship over the past 2-3 years with Harper at the helm of a minority govt, compared to a 12 year plus Liberal reign that was at times nearly hostile.. Under Harper the Hezbollah conflict and a much more balanced stance at the UN come to mind.
B’nai Brith has issued a statement on the matter of the elections, highlighting new electoral options to ensure full & fair participation by Orthodox Canadians to the process..
OTTAWA, September 5, 2008 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been in ongoing discussion with B’nai Brith Canada over his decision to hold an election on October 14, 2008, the Jewish holiday of Succot. The Jewish human rights organization, which would have preferred an election date that did not coincide with a significant day on the calendar of the Jewish religion, nevertheless characterized the Government’s decision as “understandable” in light of electoral campaign laws and international obligations.
“Prime Minister Harper has personally reached out to the Jewish communityand contacted B’nai Brith regarding his decision to hold the upcoming federal election on a date that falls on a Jewish holiday,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada. “While it is regrettable that the Prime Minister ultimately settled on the date of Succot, we understand that the government had only the narrowest window of opportunity to schedule an election. We also recognize that the Prime Minister has made every sincere effort to arrive at a resolution that would not impose limitations on Orthodox Jews.
“Unlike previous elections, there is currently in place a new set of electoral laws that provide ample alternatives for voters to cast their ballot on days other than the scheduled election date. We appreciate the careful deliberation of the Prime Minster Harper on this sensitive matter to the Jewish community. B’nai Brith will work with Jewish community members to ensure their full participation in the election process.”
B’nai Brith Canada will be convening Town Hall pre-election debates across the country to bring issues of Jewish community concern to the fore. The first is to take place in Toronto on Wednesday, September 10 in the riding of Don Valley West. B’nai Brith will shortly release an Election Task Force Guide titled, â€˜Issues of Concern and Recommendations for Action’ that will be accessible on the organization’s website www.bnaibrith.ca.
I will be voting by mail myself but not so much because of Sukkot per say, but because I’m in the holy land. It’s no secret who will be getting my vote either, despite the fact that Liberal opposition leader Stephan Dion is my riding’s representative / minister in Canada. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Canada hold conservative, the US hold conservative, and Israel usher in a new Likud govt? Trifecta.