The leaders of the three main federal parties woo the muslim vote to vote on 19 October. While Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau called on these voters to reject the “politics of fear” of the government, Stephen Harper is standing as the defender of the freedom of religion, and the champion of the fight against terrorism.
If a group wishes to encourage muslims to vote in the next elections, Canadian Muslim Vote, has invited the leaders of the major political parties to produce a video in order to increase the rate of participation in this community. In his message, Thomas Mulcair says that “in this election, one has the choice to replace fear and division by the hope and optimism”.
The chief neo-democrat calls on muslims to be heard to avoid that,”a handful of voters will decide for them,” he said in his recorded message in both French and English. “During this election, we must decide what kind of Canada we will build together. A Canada where freedoms are impaired or a Canada where our rights and our democratic traditions are respected?”
Justin Trudeau is also the policy of the conservative government. “I firmly believe that our democracy is stronger when politicians join the citizens to counter the politics of fear”, he said in his recorded message, mostly in English.
In his video, the liberal leader also takes care to remind his opposition to the proposed Charter of quebec values presented by the Parti québécois when it was in power. “The liberal Party of Canada was the first to oppose publicly the quebec project of so-called Charter of values”, said Justin Trudeau, in English.
“We will defend the right of all to practice their religion and participate in our society. Whether you wear a hijab, a niqab or a turban or a yarmulke, nobody should be excluded,” says the liberal leader.
The conservative Party has indicated to The Press that it had not for the moment reply to the invitation of the muslim group in producing a video to encourage the community to vote.
Remains that Stephen Harper wants to attract the muslim vote. In June last year, the prime minister also held at his official residence, 24 Sussex drive, a meal with muslim families in the context of ramadan.
Stephen Harper also delivered a speech yesterday in front of an important muslim congress, in the suburbs of Toronto. It is then presented as the defender of the freedom of religion, which earned him a warm applause in this group, mainly composed of people originating from Pakistan.
“The religious persecution remains very real for those who live in Pakistan and for those of you who have family in Pakistan. Friends, you must know that our conservative Party condemns this,” said Mr. Harper.
The prime minister has also stressed the importance of the fight against the group islamic State, and to condemn those who are inspired by it to carry out attacks, such as those of last fall in Canada. “These terrorists are trying to pervert islam. They are trying to destroy the world and must be stopped.”
The muslim vote little and are divided
This appeal to the vote of the muslims is in part explained by their low rate of participation. A study conducted for Elections Canada shows that only 47% of muslims having the right to vote were cast in 2004, compared to 61% of the whole electorate.
According to some polls, the muslims do not vote as a single block. A stroke of the probe Ipsos Reid poll conducted after the election of 2011 demonstrates that the PLC had obtained 46% of the votes of muslims, closely followed by the NDP (38%). The conservatives had received the support of only 12% of this group.
Muslims represent a cultural group important then that we identified $ 1.1 million in 2011 in the country, according to Statistics Canada. More than half (582 000) of them live in Ontario and Quebec in a total of 243 000. This population group is growing strongly, it is an important part of the immigration, the main factor of growth of the canadian population. Statistics Canada estimated that the muslims could represent 7% of the canadian population by 2031.