No, damnit, Non-Residents Canadians shouldn’t get to vote in Canadian Elections

I read this piece in the Globe by Semra Sevi this morning making the case for why Canadian citizens who reside outside of Canada for more than 5-years should be entitled to vote in Federal elections.  This is response to the federal government’s appeal of a recent Ontario Superior Court decision in Frank et al. v. AG Canada striking down provisions of the Elections Act which precluded Canadian citizens living outside of Canada for more than 5-years from voting in federal elections.  Both the policy and legal arguments for allowing such citizens to vote are misplaced and ignore the local nature of Canadian democracy.  Continue reading “No, damnit, Non-Residents Canadians shouldn’t get to vote in Canadian Elections”

The Trouble with Islam? Or the Trouble with Muslims?

Sheema Khan had an interesting article in the Globe today, on the need for Islam to reform to reflect the 21st century in light of the recent incident in Sudan where a young pregnant woman, Meriam Yahya Ibrahim,  was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy, allegedly for abandoning her Islamic faith to become a Christian.  Ms. Ibrahim has since been released, no doubt due to the massive international backlash her sentence triggered. In her piece, Ms. Khan tries to make the case that sentencing Mr. Ibrahim to death for apostacy is not in accordance with “true” Islam, and only by returning to the true roots of Islam can Muslims advance into the 21st century.    In doing so, however, she (unintentionally, no doubt) makes a damning critique both of modern Islam and modern Muslims. Continue reading “The Trouble with Islam? Or the Trouble with Muslims?”

Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?

This morning we learned that an Egyptian court – a kangaroo court, if ever there was one – after what can only be characterized as a farce of a trial, had convicted  Mohammed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera reporter, on “terrorism-related” charges and sentenced him to 7 years in prison.  That the conviction was preordained is undeniable.   This can probably be taken for granted anywhere in the Arab world, but even by the low standards of the region, this trial was a joke.   Apparently, Egypt defines “terrorism” as saying unflattering, if accurate, things about its shit-hole government (that the current shit-hole government isn’t much worse (or better) than its predecessor shit-hole government, is really neither here nor there).  Still, Mr. Fahmy’s conviction  in itself, isn’t all that interesting – after all, did anyone really expect a fair trial? 

What’s more interesting has been the response of some of Mr. Fahmy’s family and supporters, who have been harshly critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Fahmy’s brother’s, Sherif, tweeted Stephen Harper:

I hold you responsible for leaving my brother to rotten in Egyptian prison. Was a call or a public statement that difficult?

Or Tony Burman, columnist for the Toronto Star who said:

The absence of the highest level of intervention, on behalf of the Canadian government has been lamentable. But, there is a chance for reversal…It’s now time for Canada’s prime minister to indicate to Egypt that enough is enough.

More in this vein can be seen here.

Continue reading “Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?”