Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wildrose Candidate Ron Leech: I Can Speak For All Because I'm White

During the interview, Leech said, "I think, as a caucasian, I have an advantage. When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslin leader speaks they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community."

Even better is party leader Danielle Smith's response:

"I'm not concerned about [his remarks]. I think every candidate puts forward their best argument for why they should be the person the way represent the community....

Apparently that's the best Ron could come up with.

6 comments:

Steve W said...

Aboriginal Canadians will be familiar with the all-knowing, Great White Father routine.

Skinny Dipper said...

Unfortunately, the Wildrose candidate who mentioned by being a caucasian was an advantage is probably right. Under our first-past-the-post voting system used in Canada, someone who is caucasian--more specifically, white--will have an advantage over somenone who is not. Voters do have hidden biases, and they may be more likely to vote someone who shares the same racial/ethnic/religious background. Even if only five percent of the voters show these biases, this affects the results so that a disproportionate percentage of whites gets elected. Canada and its provinces/territories do need some form of proportional representation.

sharonapple88 said...

Skinny Dipper -- It will really depend on whether a party would be willing to create candidate lists with visible minorities. In our first-past the post system, if a party is worried about getting visible minorities elected, how about running them in safe ridings, instead of something like what happened when the Conservatives sent Don Meredith up against Bob Rae in Toronto Centre.

But although visible minorities could be represented in higher numbers, they're not doing that badly when it comes to The House of Commons. (The numbers I believe declined in the last election.) The problem in the GTA I believe is the municpal level.

But overall, on hidden biases, I found it's better to challenge them than to create a situation where you allow people to hold them. As a visible minority, you don't have a choice.

But I must say, hidden biases don't always appear to pop up. There are ridings where a visible minority wins despite the apparent "odds" against them. Check out Kingston and the Islands. Ted Hsu won there, and visible minorities make up around 5% of the riding's population, and getting a higher percentage and vote total than the previous MP, Peter Milliken.

Reality Bites said...

BCL, if you still have my email address, please email me. Thanks

Way Way Up said...

Can't say I'm surprised at the amount of negative attention given to the Wildrose by the CBC . Ultimately, I'm interested in ideas, rather than fear-mongering and dirt digging. Sadly, this has taken away from any meaningful debate. Clearly if the PC's are using this to convince Albertans not to vote Wildrose rather than presenting reasons why voters should instead support the PC's, the ruling party here has some serious issues.

bigcitylib said...

RB, I have. Email is from a couple of years ago though.