Canada Federal Election 2011: Conservatives Patronize Ethnic Voters

by: Obert Madondo | Published Wed. Apr 27, 2011 @ 3:01

Undeniably, the Harper Conservatives are making unprecedented efforts to capture the “ethnic” vote during this Federal election campaign. Unfortunately, their strategy involves peddling ethnic stereotypes.

The Conservative Party’s “micro-targeted” campaign ads, recently released in minority languages like Mandarin and Cantonese and Punjabi, are everywhere.

The ads urge ethnic minorities to “finally vote” their “values”.

How patronizing!

For the Conservatives, there are ethnic values, and then there are Canadian values. No surprise there. But the ads single out only three prominent ethnic values: tradition, devotion to family and belief in hard work. To the Conservatives, this sums up the Canadian ethnic.

Canada’s ethnic communities also care about all the issues at the heart of Canada’s being, including: the economy, healthcare, the unwinnable war in Afghanistan, the environment and Stephen Harper’s disrespect of Canada’s democratic institutions. They care about Canada’s dwindling role as a leader and honest broker of conflicts on the world stage.

The Conservative ads go further to claim healthy relationship with ethnic minorities. Consider the ad below, starring Conservative MP Nina Grewal, speaking for the South Asian community:

Indo-Canadians have worked hard to build Canada. Things haven’t always been fair for us, but the Conservatives have always recognized our history and our community sacrifice. The Conservatives fight for our values: belief in hard work, respect for tradition, and the importance of family. That’s why I’m a Conservative – isn’t it time for us to vote our values?

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad 
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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.