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Friday, April 20, 2007

How chasing the ethnic vote can backfire

Today's policiticans like to be seen as more culturally sensitive than in the "good old days" when they relied on whiskey and cultural intimidation for the votes they need to get, or stay, in power.

But, as this article illustrates, paying lip-service can backfire.

The federal Conservatives have expressed their regret for participating in a Sikh parade that celebrated an Indo-Canadian viewed by many in Canada as a terrorist and murderer.

But other political parties continue to remain silent on their participation in the event they say was a celebration of Sikh culture. ...

Full article here.

To avoid this sort of controversy, politicians (and their handlers) might consider taking a more genuine interest in ethnic communities.

But they don't really need to. It will blow over soon, as these things always do.

Opposition politicians don't need to issue an apology, which is seemly for the governing party (being more "accountable"). But even for the latter, it's no major concern. There will be opportunities to appease the outraged. In the meantime, all the politicians involved will have reaped the benefits of a great photo-op in a sizable and identifiable voter demographic.

How shallow.

I like to think I am above that sort of thing. I believe in equal opportunity and don't play favourites. That is why I am a swing voter.

And do Ukrainian radio! ;-)


Anonymous said...

this is a manufactured controversy... none of the people whose pictures were displayed was ever convicted of any terrorist offences... Indian diplomats shouldn't be trying to stifle CANADIANS from expressing their opinions and beliefs in Canada or anywhere else. In Canada there is such a thing as freedom of speech, not in India, where an kind of dissent will get you labeled or killed as a 'terrorist'

Pawlina said...

I don't at all see it as a matter of Indian diplomats attempting to stifle dissent in Canada.

The "controversy" was over public officials implicitly endorsing someone who is held responsible for the Air India bombing.

The story I read referred to just one person who was, in fact, actually convicted of directing the bombing. As I read it, the "outrage" was over that one individual, not any of the others. And that it was "many Canadians," rather than Indian diplomats, who were outraged.

So I don't know what point you were trying to make?

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