Monday, January 22, 2007

White Out

Another article, this one in The Hill Times, detailing the Conservative strategy to win the ethnic vote. First off, referring to fellow Canadians as "them" denotes part of the problem:
"Look at the traditional voting patterns. They [ethnic minorities] have been voting for the Liberals for years, so I don't know if they're going to change their vote right away," said a top Conservative insider who requested anonymity.

What I find particularly distasteful, the overt admissions that the Conservative don't take action based on conviction, but merely part of a marketing strategy:
'We're doing the Air India inquiry or we addressed the Chinese head tax [issue].' Those are very important symbolic things to get you in the door..

So, the Chinese head tax issue was an initial sales pitch? Gotcha, hard to imagine why those ethnics generally aren't buying. What callous manipulation, that rightfully deserves a complete rebuff. The entire Conservative approach to issues starts from a bad place, a soulless calculation that looks to maximize and acts accordingly. I don't think "they" are foolish enough to not see through this ruse.

The article goes to great lengths to create the impression that Conservatives are making inroads. The only problem with the optimism, my reading of every single poll in the last months show NO hard evidence to support the illusion. I doubt the large Liberal lead in Ontario is the result of Conservative erosion in the farm belt, more correctly a testament to traditional support. Note to desperate Conservative, if you really want to "get in the door", trying being genuine and stop looking at people as a marketing demographic, a novel idea I'm sure.


Anonymous said...

From the Hill Times:

" That means more than just talking about, 'We're doing the Air India inquiry or we addressed the Chinese head tax [issue].' Those are very important symbolic things to get you in the door but for people to vote for you, they have to trust you and they have to have confidence in you that you're going to do what you're saying you're going to do and what you're going to do is going to help these people."

When you put what was said in context, it sounds sincere enough.

The party acknowledges that they have to *earn trust*.

I don't see that using the words, "them", is particularly distasteful. It is identifying which group, *within the context of his full statement*.

Do we always have to be pretzling ourselves to have a full debate anymore.

There will be things to pick apart, but that is pretty triffling.

If we honestly want a better place for people from other countries to come to, we have to be able to speak out, say our piece, without always being thought to be some kind of hood-wearer.

Frankly, does anyone think we are not referred to as 'them', by new-comers or minorities?

I saw nothing that makes me feel the Air India inquiry, or the expression of regets on the head tax, was not sincere.

The Air India event was horrible, and is unfinished business for loved ones left behind.

The head tax has been settled to the satisfaction of the individuals or families affected.

But in the greater scheme of things, I am old enough to see just how far we really have come to welcome newcomers in this country.

Steve V said...

"I saw nothing that makes me feel the Air India inquiry, or the expression of regets on the head tax, was not sincere."

If it's sincere, then why are you trying "to get in the door", ala make the sale. A genuine concern is just that, not a calculation. See what you want, the intentions seems obvious to me. "Them" implies the opposite of "us", which from the Tory perspective is probably true, I prefer "we".

wilson said...

Being in a party that is run top down, you have not experienced the power of the grassroots. Grassroots movements swell over time. Hence the Bloc, Reform, Greens.
By the time others really notice, it is done. Khan was not an exception, just a visible indicator, tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

wilson61 is entirely correct in his assessment. While the Liberals sit around and debate whether the word "them" is used correctly, minorities are moving toward the Conservatives. As Liberal blogger Vijay Sappani wrote: Liberals should start re engaging the Indo-Canadian community who have been strongly wooed by the Conservatives. The Hindu community at large is moving towards support for the Tories and the Liberal party does not even have one Hindu MP (there are more Hindu’s in Canada than Sikhs). So Hindu (or Mainstream Indo-Canadians) are moving towards the Conservatives. It is time the party started looking into addressing the issues of ethnic communities and not take them for granted or face their wrath at the booth.

Steve V said...

"Khan was not an exception, just a visible indicator, tip of the iceberg."

I bet he lose his seat next election :)

Anonymous said...

Harper has a ways to go to get away from his not so long ago feelings about "those people" :
Stephen Harper 2001

"You've got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society."

Just how stupid does Harper think Canadians are?

Steve V said...


Electoral reality is an excellent way to help one "evolve". I'm sure Harper was taken out of context, and I'm also sure he really didn't help craft the anti-immigration polices of that grassroots juggernaut know as Reform. Anyways, that is just so yesterday, before the slick packaging. The entire Harper platform is predicated on the assumption that Canadians are stupid.

Anonymous said...

Steve V,

I would be careful about pulling anything out of the Hill Times.

Its the PPG. This group is very distrustful of the government and would like it to go away. So I take everything from that source as spun.

However to the point, I think what you are reading is that Harper is uncomfortable playing politics the "ethnic" way.

He is a man that measures a man by their individual qualities and not those assigned by membership. So doing the Joe Volpe thing is not something he looks comfortable with. Hopefully he will never look comfortable speaking to people's ethnicity. I want my PM to speak to each of us as citizen's of Canada.

I think Harper is best when he does that.


Steve V said...


There have been several articles, from multiple sources, that have talked about the same idea.

Is it the PPG that is suspicious of Harper, or the other way around? It would appear that the paranoia comes from the PMO. I did notice that Harper had no problem inviting said media to his big birthday party tomorrow.

My only point, if the Conservatives are to make "breakthroughs" then it can only be achieved if the impetus is genuine policy, as opposed to transparent attempts to curry favor. If there has been a historic tension between minorities and conservatism, the blame falls squarely on the policies that haven't exactly been open or inclusive. People should be suspicious, because the rhetoric we hear now shows no relation to the Reform/Alliance hostility.

The Liberal Party has a history of inclusion, while the other side has a spotted past. This is not to say the Liberals can rest on their laurels, but a trust was developed. I see no evidence that Harper is making any serious inroads, I think he is trying to create false momentum and then have it offered as fact. Interesting strategy.

Anonymous said...

Steve V,

You are correct that I am taking Harper on faith.

I have no reason not to.

The Air India investigation was something that the country clearly wanted and needed. It seemed a simple and forward thinking idea.

The Chinese Head Tax was, I think, fully genuine, but also expedient. Why not? And why wait any longer, people are dropping dead of old age.

Harper has to dispell the (primarily) eastern myth that the Reform base has racist tones. That is because the reform movement, by definition, was not ever going to curry to a group's entitlement. It was built on the strength of the individual. Individualists were seen at Reform Rallies saying unflattering things about groups. The media jumped on that stuff and the myth of racism was born.

Peggy Nash and Jane Tabor should know better than to forward racist stereotypes, but they didn't with their attacks on Gwynn Morgan. So the opposition and the media keeps the myth alive. Its enough to scare urban voters in eastern cities.


Anonymous said...

Hey Thomm, when do Canadian aboriginals get to be expedient? Isn't it their turn?

You say (Harper): He is a man that measures a man by their individual qualities and not those assigned by membership.

Membership in what? The human race? Does that count?
Nah, Harper measures men. Period. If he can't buy you, he'll squash you if he can. Man as a concept is to be overlorded. Harper has delusions of military grandeur glazed with a sheen of righteousness.
Humanity as a reality is beyond his ken, as displayed recently in Harper's dismissal of his promise to Aboriginal Canadians.
Go figger, eh.
The guy who said:

"You've got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society."
Stephen Harper 2001

had a real handle on what people, Canadians new and old, were all about.

Of course a man such as this will just talk about issues, spend money on go-nowhere-studies, then show up en masse at a park in a riding with a token gay in tow to pretend to prove he's all about the people.

Scotian said...


How can you take a proven liar on faith about anything?!? This man is a proven liar from the Grewal fraud, which I have pointed out to you before. Leaving aside for the moment whether he was a dupe or an active participant in the creation of the faked evidence he did everything he could to pretend that no one in the CPC had done anything wrong in the affair. This despite the recordings were made by a CPC MP, turned over to the CPC/Harper Office of the Official Opposition leader for authentication, translation and transcription, released on May 31 05 as full and complete and vouched for as such by Harper on downwards, meaning that from moment of recording to the release of the first "full and complete" set of recordings those recordings were totally in the control of the CPC. Therefore someone(s) in the CPC is clearly responsible for the editing that created false evidence of Martin's government selling Senate seats for MP floor crossers, got the CPC leader and party to vouch for these lies placing Harper and the CPC in the position of committing serious slander, and then once the media exposed the edits quietly and without any public/formal acknowledgement released the actual full recordings but then claimed no wrongdoing. Then Harper spent the next several months claiming Grewal was a good and honest man and that no one in the CPC had done anything wrong and that any claims of such were from the Liberal war room and the evil Liberal biased media (which apparently you swallowed whole instead of actually doing your own verification).

If Harper is willing to cover up a truly unprecedented dirty tricks operation/scandal like this despite clear evidence in the public record which makes it impossible for the CPC to not have dirty hands in this, what else will he lie about to the advantage of himself and his party, hmmm? The Grewal fraud pissed me off because it was a clear deception and cover-up of a party and party leader making false specific criminal allegations against a minority government with the clear intent of using it to bring the government down (since the Grewal fraud first came to public notice a day or two prior to the May one real non-confidence vote). In other words Harper and the CPC played every Canadian for stupid with this stunt and then once the fraud was exposed did everything he could to run away from any accountability.

If Harper truly believed in accountability, honesty, honour and had any real integrity he would have been outraged that someone in the CPC set him and his party up like this, would have done a thorough investigation to find out who was responsible and then publicly admitted all this, exposed the identities of the wrongdoer(s) and apologized for placing his trust in those that failed to deserved it. This is one of the things I find most puzzling about many CPCers like yourself Tomm, the evidence is there to show that Harper is at best no more honest than any other party leader/politician yet you are willing to take him on faith and place such trust in him despite his actions showing why you should not.

Do yourself a favour Tomm, stop assuming that every media report that casts the CPC in a bad light is media bias and instead start considering that the reports may actually have some fact/truth to them. As to your notion that the PPG doesn't like Harper, well given that he has put in place the most restrictive combination of media controls in several decades that is hardly surprising (a good example is the making when a cabinet meeting is happening secret, all to prevent reporters from trying to question Ministers after a meeting and showing them not answering questions as prior governments including Chretien and Martin had to deal with and please note this has nothing to do with keeping a cabinet agenda and discussions secret which was an accepted practice), and people only put such controls in place when they have things they want to be able to hide. That is logic 101, especially where politicians of any political persuasion are concerned. Harper picked the fight with the PPG, and Harper (and many CPCers including it would seem yourself) believe that Harper should not have to deal with the media scrutiny and aggravation that his predecessors of both LPC and PCPC persuasion had to face. What makes Harper so special, so deserving that he should not have to run the same unpleasant gauntlet that we have made our past PMs do, hmmm?

This is your problem Tomm; you are so full of anger at the "left"/Liberals and so full of faith/trust in the CPC that you are not much better than a dupe/pawn. You refuse to accept anything critical of Harper unless it comes from CPC/Conservative friendly/approved sources, you refuse to actually take a clear look at what Harper's actions are as opposed to his mighty words, and you fail to recognize that Harper is as expediency driven as any other political leader if not more so as the Grewal fraud and cover-up most clearly underscores.

You think I am a Liberal party partisan because I have fewer problems with them than I do with the CPC. You cannot grasp that my main concern is to defeat a form of conservatism that I consider dangerous and that Harper/Reform/CA has represented in this country for 2 decades now. That for me the Liberals represent the best chance of doing so which makes them where my current support lies, but that this is as a direct result of current political circumstances/dynamics and not because I am a blind partisan of the party, unlike yourself with the CPC and Harper given your prior commentaries. I oppose Harper for specific reasons rooted in Harper's own words and actions over 2 decades. Whether you agree or disagree with my views the fact that you refuse to accept that these are my views, formed by myself by my own observations and are somehow percieved as instead the result of brainwashing/conditioning by the Liberals either directly or through the liberal media conspiracy in the media speaks volumes for your own set of partisan blinders far more than anything else. Let alone any partisanship on my behalf, which I might remind you to be a partisan means you are in support of a movement/party, whereas I am only committed in my opposition to a movement/party which while making me an opponent of the CPC does not make me a Liberal or indeed any party’s partisan.

Steve V said...

More evidence that Conservative are winning people over in droves, in the 905, 416, ethnic hotbed:

"In the key battleground of Ontario, the Liberals broadened their lead, pushing up four points to an impressive 46 per cent while the Conservatives fell fi ve points in the last month to 32 per cent and the NDP held steady at 15 per cent."


Anonymous said...

Let's see if I can do this...

the Liberals broadened their lead...

Conservative supporter: "No they didn't."

Pretty much all Conservative discourse is mindless gain-saying. I guess when you realise you don't have any actual "first principles," gain-saying is all you've got.

Isn't that right, Tomm?

Anonymous said...


Your embarrassing yourself I'm afraid.

Conservative supporters aren't mindlessly drooling after poll results like Grit hard liners. We're just happy that for 6 months, or one year, or four years, that there is a government interested in governing and not pandering to every little minortiy that walks past.

Just think of this as our "Prague Spring".

Open the windows and smell that fresh air!