I’m shocked! The Liberals had an outreach plan specifically designed to win ethnic votes in the May election .. and using both party and government spending to do it!
I AM shocked … not by the plan … but by all the indignant “harrumphing” coming from political and media sources.
Let’s keep it real!
For as long as I can remember, EVERY political party in BC and Canada has wooed ethnic voters and, yes, directed all kinds of public spending at various communities to curry (oops! maybe not the best word?) public favour.
In fact, all of us would be hard-pressed to name ANY mayor, or councillor, or municipal council, or provincial premier, or MLA, or legislature, or federal MP, or Prime Minister, or government that has not “reached out” to various ethnic nationalities with public vows, speeches, resolutions, laws and, yes, spending to impress and WIN political support.
How many of these same political leaders have YOU seen wearing all kinds of little hats, pieces of cloth, headscarves, , taking their shoes off, putting ethnic clothing on, marching in parades,attending festivals, visiting all kinds of religious institutions, eating all kinds of ethnic foods before the cameras, always pronouncing how GOOD it is (but never asking for the recipe!) ?
In fact, try to find a Chinese, East Indian, Filipino, Greek or other ethnic dinner or celebration where is NOT a politician trying hard to win backing and/or handing out a cheque.
It may all be fun …but believe me, when a politician does it, they’re not just doing it for amusement. It’s about winning support … in the form of bodies at the ballot box.
And, yes, when in power, they ALL shovel public bucks towards ethnic events, community centres and social programs.
They may justify it (and often I would even agree) as righting an old wrong, family reunification, cultural outreach, special educational needs etc. etc. … but the aim goes well beyond the stated goals.
Sometimes it goes too far.
In my view, the Liberal announcement of $9.5 MILLION in PUBLIC funds for the Times of India Film Awards to be held here in April is an outrageous waste of public money …designed PRIMARILY to win the ethnic East Indian vote.
The government says the event will generate $15 million in spending here (that’s spending, not tax revenues) and lots of publicity that will be good for our economy (still waiting for the thousands of permanent post-Olympic jobs thanks to all the publicity).
It’s a crock! A bribe to the ethnic community in an effort to win votes.
The feds are even worse: the Liberals and the Tories have shelled out HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on programs/projects directed specifically at winning ethnic votes. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has even attended Richmond events where ONLY ASIAN media were called on by his staff to ask questions …… and one of his ministers was exposed holding an ASIAN ONLY INVITED media event … no “white” media being informed of the happening.
But it works … that’s the REAL problem: BC and Canada would be better for it if the leaders and members of these communities REJECTED such overt payoff practices instead of encouraging and asking for them.
It’s all very titillating that the Liberals got caught in a leaked “secret” memo linking the party and the government to an effort to co-ordinate the latest ethnic bribery effort.
But the real shock is that anyone is surprised at all!