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Conservative Jewish New Year Card Questions Back

The CBC notes that the Conservatives are again sending out Jewish New Year cards that raise questions about where they obtained the list of names.

Update: The Globe and Mail also covers the issue, but misses a more likely source of identity – door-to-door campaigning where the presence of a mezzuzah is noted and logged by the candidate/campaign worker and uploaded to the main party database. 

5 Comments

  1. Clay
    If I were a Jewish person I would be concerned. The last time a Government had a list of all Jewish constituents (and singled them out)things didn’t work out too good.
    Question: Are other faiths being singled out too?

  2. Montreal voter
    More lies from the Conservatives! Their claim that the mailing list for the Jewish New Year card from Stephen Harper is compiled by means of personal references is patently false. I am not Jewish, yet I received a card. It is addressed to my maiden name, which is similar to a common Jewish name. But I do not use that name, and it appears only in government files.

    Today\’s Globe and Mail quotes a Conservative spokesman as denying that the party uses any prepared lists. And yet my address is written in an unusual format that appears only on the voters\’ roll.

    This is clearly a case of ethnic or religious profiling, and Canadians should fear that just as they do racial profiling.

  3. Actually, the person interviewed by the Globe almost certainly doesn’t have a mezzuzah on his door.

  4. Clay, it’s nothing to worry about for humans who happen to be Jewish and live in Canada that the Conservatives keep tabs on on certain people’s religion or ethnicity. Jason Kenney, as the Conservatives like to point out, has often shown up at various ethnic events and festivals.

    They probably just want to be liked by appearing to care about people’s ethnic identies.

    Other possibilities:
    1) (I’m sorry if some people may find it insulting, but it deserves to be said) Political parties, especially Conservative political parties here and in the US, seem to value Jewish public opinion more than the opinion of, say, Bangladeshi Hindus or Muslim Persians or Christian Haitians, and want desperately for it to be on their side. Perhaps this is because many Jewish people are very politically active, and make their opinions (usually on utterly secular issues though) known in the community. Other ethnic groups have not traditionally been as active, although this is changing quickly with some groups, such as Indo-Canadians.
    2) Mindless concern about people’s religion and ethnicity as opposed to their ideas. It’s a way of looking at the world: through a prism of religion. (As an atheist, I think it’s dumb. But, for example, look at wikipedia: it seems to think it’s important to note the religion of everyone, even if religion is an unrelated to whatever notable thing they’re known for. Since wikipedia, by nature, reflects what concerns people, I guess religion is seen to be of great importance.)
    3) Palestinian/Israeli issues. The CPoC likes to mention how it likes Israel (and, I guess, by extension, Jews). I think the mailings might be to further associate in the minds of Jewish potential voters (and other voters), that the CPoC holds these positions. So the mailings are a reinforcement of that message.

  5. Shana tova, Michael. Not sure if you were on Harper’s list for a card.