The Conservative Party has caused considerable controversy and stirred a lot of debate with their recent attempts to prevent new Canadians from taking their citizenship oath while wearing a Niqab. This is a risky move, as even though it may help solidify one block of their voters, and may help lure some undecideds in Quebec, it also risks alienating some of their Muslim supporters. One of the overlooked strengths of the Conservatives is that they have been quite successful at increasing their support among recent immigrants, including Muslims, who tend to be more socially conservative. It was a major strategic error to alienate a group of voters who would at least consider voting for them, particularly when they could just as easily gone after a group of people who would never vote Conservative; hipsters.
Hipsters never vote Conservative. They used to all vote NDP before everyone started doing it and now they vote for parties you’ve never heard of. Rather than banning the Niqab, Stephen Harper should have banned the wearing of wool hats in the summertime. Rather than arguing with Justin Trudeau over the legalization of marijuana, he could have also deflected to banning hemp necklaces.
For most Canadians, it is hard not to feel bad for a recent immigrant being prevented from wearing something that is part of their culture, even if we don’t necessarily agree with it. We generally like to stick up for the defenseless in this country and that makes us feel like we are sticking it to the defenseless. The only think Canadians dislike more than picking on visible minorities is hipsters.
Stephen Harper could literally send Paul Calandra around to coffee shops around the country with his own camera crew to film him actually yanking the hats off hipsters and you wouldn’t be able to find a voter backlash with a microscope. It is amazing to me that the Conservatives and their high priced imported campaign gurus didn’t see this golden opportunity staring them in the face.