Thursday, October 11, 2007

Picking and choosing Canadians based on their religious affiliations

On the heels of Harper pitting Nova Scotia against Newfoundland with his side deal announcement yesterday, get a load of this. Harper's apparently targeting Jewish Canadians via a new mailing list meant to seek their political support. Rosh Hashanah greetings were sent to some Jewish Canadians who were quite surprised and irked to have become part of Stephen Harper's new tactic.

Targeting voters based on their religious affiliation. Hmmm....let me think real hard...where oh where might we have seen this before?
The federal privacy commissioner is being asked to investigate how Prime Minister Stephen Harper compiled a mailing list of Jewish Canadians.

The office of Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says it has begun preliminary inquiries following news reports that a number of households received unsolicited Rosh Hashanah greetings from Harper last month.

Some of the recipients complained to news media that they had no idea how they came to be on a mailing list based on their religious affiliation. Stoddart's office says it received several complaints.

A spokesman in the commissioner's office says it is looking at where the mailing originated, and what information was used to compile the list.

Liberal MP Marlene Jennings is among those requesting an investigation, saying the mailing violates the privacy rights of those who received the religious holiday greeting.

The federal Conservative party boasts one of the most sophisticated electronic databases in Canadian politics, with more than two million names - but Stoddart's office says such lists are not within the privacy commissioner's jurisdiction.
Thanks but no thanks to this proven divisive tactic. We don't need U.S. style religious electoral politics imported here. Message from the Ontario election campaign, voters do not like divisive political tactics meant to elicit votes from religious constituencies.

Harper's penchant to divide and conquer surfaces once again...