Friday, January 12, 2007

Harper and the Conservatives: The Immigrant Party?

Yesterday (the 11th), you may have known that Stephen Harper was in the GTA doing two things: a) announcing a whopping $2 million to create a database; and b) to rally support for the latest action of Wajid Khan (defection to Conservatives, of course). But probably b) was the most significant.

Stephen Harper was in some building in Mississauga (watch CBC Politics show covering this story) making a speech talking about the things he is doing, and also 'selling' Khan's decision. So what? What's the problem? Politicians are always doing stuff like that.
The problem was that many (possibly most. It's harder to see on TV) people in the audience were immigrants. There is no point on claiming the immigrant vote for the NDP, as the Liberals and the Conservatives are already doing that. So my point is this: for a long time, immigrants have not supported the Conservatives (even in the last election), but now they are, meaning more support for the Conservatives. After the event, many members of the audience who were immigrants were commenting on how much they "trust" Stephen Harper, and support his 'good work'. And it's not just that those people were supporting Stephen Harper, but that it's sending a message to other immigrants and to Canadians, that Stephen Harper is actually gaining support. But alas for Harper, there were protesters at this gathering, mainly protesting the lack of ethics held by Harper and Khan. The problem? They were all white people from Canada, no immigrants.

So there are a couple things that need to be worked on. The NDP has to revive it's immigrant-friendly label by (like it used to) bringing the issues of immigration up in Parliament more often, creating immigration bills, and rallying the immigrants around the NDP. The Conservatives' immigration agenda has to be attacked more, it cannot be ignored any longer.     And remember, many immigrants are voters, too, and if they aren't now, they could be someday (or their children).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can immigrants support Harper? For the sake of Canada (as immigration is the future), the NDP better get back on track. Jon