Are new immigrants voting Liberal for the wrong reasons?
Canadian immigrants and the Liberal party have a long history of friendship, but given recent trends, their loyalty might be misplaced.
Stephane Dion failed miserably to prove himself worthy of becoming the next Prime Minister. His platform was fundamentally flawed and he carried him self with the confidence of a wet towel. The vast majority of Canadians saw this, and cast votes against him.
But here in east Scarborough, Liberal support, especially among new immigrants, has never been stronger. Why?
It was Lester B. Pearson’s Liberal minority government that brought forth not just Canada’s, but the world’s first race-free immigration system.
This system eliminated restrictions that barred people of certain ethnicities from entering Canada, and gave people from all over the world a chance to come here and start fresh.
This of course, garnered a tradition of loyalty between Liberals and immigrants. A bond that is still very prevalent today.
But much has changed since the 1960s, when Pearson ran the show.
Today, one of, if not the biggest issues facing east Scarborough is crime.
Everyone in this community, regardless of how long their families have been Canada, or where they came from, want their kids to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. This is going to be some what problematic if gun violence and gang activity continue to spiral out of control in east Scarborough.
Of all the parties in federal Canadian politics, the Conservatives have the toughest stance on crime.
Since they have come to power they have introduced mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes, tougher sentences for violent offenders and brought forth legislation that limits sentences served under house arrest, to ensure those convicted of violent crimes serve their time in jail.
One would think that given the amount of deadly shootings in this area, residents of all stripes would appreciate the Conservative’s hard line on crime.
However for some, especially those new to the country, the word Conservative has negative connotations.
For some immigrants, the word Conservative may stir up memories of imperialism, or right-wing dictatorships.
Of course the Conservative Party of Canada doesn’t reflect these values, but for many these old biases are hard to reshape.
If the Conservative’s hope to make any headway in our three ridings, they need to start reaching out to recent immigrants.
They need to educate newcomers on how the Conservative party can make their lives safer and more prosperous.
If more people knew what the Conservatives were all about, understood their platform, and looked past dated conceptions, then perhaps east Scarborough wouldn’t be quite as much a Liberal monopoly.
Or perhaps not. Once they get a look, a proper decision can be made.
Meanwhile, the Liberals seem to have lost their way.
As for us, we need to think long and hard next time we go to the polls, as to who has our best interests at heart. Liberal’s may have built up loyalty here over the years, but that loyalty isn’t unconditional.