Knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s comedian Sarah Silverman, tweeting her support for NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Mira Oreck, a candidate in the B.C. riding of Vancouver-Granville on Twitter Sunday night.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) October 4, 2015
Her tweet is alluding to what has become a divisive issue during the election trail — mainly, the Conservative Party’s push to prohibit Muslim women from wearing a face covering during citizenship ceremonies, while the NDP believes women have the right to wear it. And then she goes on to endorse NDP candidate Mira Oreck.
An hour later, Thomas Mulcair’s Twitter account kindly replies to Silverman, thanking her for the support.
— Tom Mulcair (@ThomasMulcair) October 4, 2015
The well-known American comedian met Oreck in 2012 when she was in New York producing a video starring Silverman for Barack Obama’s campaign in the U.S. presidential election. The two have kept in touch since then. However, according to a CBC News report, the endorsement on Twitter was somewhat unexpected.
“Occasionally, I send her things on the election — sent her something last night and off she went. I woke this morning to a tweet from her,” said Oreck, who emailed Silverman concerns she had received from voters regarding their religious freedom.
She hopes the celebrity’s popularity will catch the attention of voters. The tweet has since received over 1,000 retweets on Twitter since it was posted.
However, it turns out that Silverman’s post could possibly be illegal. Foreigners are not allowed to encourage electors to vote for a particular candidate during an election period (though it doesn’t appear there has ever been a conviction for a violation of that section of the law).
Oreck said she didn’t believe Silverman had violated any election laws. “I think she’s entitled to tweet what she wants to tweet,” she said.
Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act states that “no person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to … vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate.”
Anyone who “wilfully contravenes” that section of the act can be punished by up to six months in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000 or both. With such a passionate and enthusiastic plea from the comedian, we genuinely hope the joke won’t be on Silverman!