American comedian Sarah Silverman has waded into the Canadian election by publicly endorsing the NDP — even though it appears to break federal rules.
The celebrity tweeted her support for Tom Mulcair's NDP and in particular Vancouver-Granville candidate Mira Oreck on Sunday morning.
Silverman highlighted the debate around the niqab which has taken over the campaign narrative in recent days.
The Tories seek to ban the wearing of face coverings during the oath of citizenship, while New Democrats and Liberals back a court ruling calling such a ban unlawful.
Oreck, who is in a tight Vancouver race against Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould, is a political activist and consultant. She worked with Silverman on a video about voter engagement during the 2012 U.S. election.
Oreck told The Province newspaper that she still emails Silverman, including some recent information on the Canadian debate around the niqab.
“I occasionally send her stuff that is happening in Canadian politics,” Oreck told the outlet. “I know she is very passionate about women’s rights and freedom of religion and so I just thought she would be interested in the discussion and decided to send her some stuff.”
While the high-profile endorsement from Silverman is eye-catching, it may also be illegal. Under Section 331 of the Canadian Elections Act, foreign citizens not living in Canada are prohibited from endorsing political candidates. However, the statute is rarely enforced.
Despite that, Mulcair welcomed the support.
Silverman also retweeted a post from Canadian entertainer Raffi Cavoukian that called out a proposed Conservative tip line for "barbaric cultural practices" like forced marriage, polygamy, or female genital mutilation.
Last month, Jeremy Bird, a former top organizer for Barack Obama — who is now advising the NDP — predicted that Mulcair is the only person who can defeat Stephen Harper.
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