Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why it may not be Oct 14th

Man, either the press couldn't really care about the Jewish vote -- or Stephen Harper doesn't. Don't most calendars denote Jewish holidays as well as the secular and Christian ones? If anyone had bothered to check, they would have noticed something.

Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles, falls this year on October 14th (or more correctly begins at sunset the night before); which just happens to also be the day that many think will be Election Day in Canada. And for observant Jews, working on that day even as volunteers or poll workers -- even going to the poll to cast a ballot -- is considered verboten.

There are quite a few religious festivals in October this year, as it so happens, and since election law requires a Monday vote (unless a public holiday which would make it Tuesday, hence the speculation about October 14), any Monday is bound to offend somebody.

Last year, the "fixed date" election in Ontario had to be moved one week so as to accomodate the Jewish festival Shemini Atzeret. Surely we can wait one more week, no matter how bad Harper's government may be.

After all, Jews may make up 1.1% of the population in Canada, but with 20 million registered voters that means potentially 220,000 lost voters. And in an election where many districts could be decided by hundreds of votes, we can't afford to disenfranchise an entire group based on religion. Otherwise, that group will go to the advance polls (as Steve has snidely suggested they might have to); and they'll vote against the incumbent party that insulted them in massive numbers.

So my guess is, we're looking at October 20th. Then again, maybe Steve thinks he doesn't need God's chosen people, the very people he's been trying to court for years. If the GG goes to Beijing for the Paralympics after all (or not), then we'll know what his election strategy is.

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