Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gruending On Who Kenney Was Pandering To

When the Harper-led Conservatives became the government, Kenney was given a key responsibility in winning over new Canadians and certain religiously identified groups to support the Conservatives. One imperative has been to woo Jewish voters and their financial support. Kenney and the Conservatives have clearly chosen sides – supporting Israeli no matter what actions it undertakes. This unflinching support also plays to the fringe elements of the Christian right – who believe that Armageddon in the Middle East would fulfill what they believe is a biblical prophecy that End Times and the rapture are drawing near.

Throw in the fact that KAIROS has been critical of the Federal government's approach to the tar sands' development, and you have a veritable triple-play of pandering--the gov. wielding three wedges at one time, as it were.


gus williams said...

Folks please help me out here...why would the Tories (with whom I hold no torch...far from it) want to pander to the Jewish community?

Canada's Jewish community is very small, maybe 350,000. With the new donation regulations even if it were after funds it could no longer do so. Exactly what does Harper have to gain?

In fact given that Canada's Muslim community is close to double that of the Jewish community I would argue that he has more to lose than to gain. I simply don't get it

Jason Cherniak said...

Why is "money" always mixed up in commentary about the Jewish vote? I've never seen commentary on all the money from the Chinese and Indian communities that the Conservatives want. What about all the protestant money in Toronto, for that matter? This sort of garbage is why people like me are still concerned about Antisemitism.

To ansewr Gus, there are about five ridings where a shift in the Jewish vote would result in Conservatives defeating Liberals.

bigcitylib said...

Cherniak's right. I think they are all in the GTA too. And no its clearly not all about money,its about Tories adding together demographic slivers to add a seat here or there.

Marky Mark said...

There are only that handful of ridings, the swing would have to be enormous and, as noted, there is a real risk that it would affect other ridings in the opposite way. So perhaps Kenney is doing what he is doing out of conviction?

The fact is that like it or not (and I dislike it), Israel has become a wedge issue which divides ideologues of the Left and Right. If ideologues on the Right "support Israel no matter what action it undertakes," many ideologues on the Left oppose Israel no mater what it does, as if it were in fact the Great Satan.

I think Kenney does what he does as a matter of conviction and also because he wants to show Jewish voters who care about the Middle East that his party in fact is more highly supportive of Israel than are leading thinkers on the Left (which may or may not be congruent to the positions of more left political parties).

And of course that is unquestionably true.

bigcitylib said...

If that was true, then why would he go back on his own statement days later? What does he REALLY believe?

Marky Mark said...

I think he believes that the Right is more comitted to combating anti-Semitism than those who question the very legitimacy of CPCCA. I think he also believes that there is a "new anti-Semitism" that needs to be fought against.

Re: KAIROS, I think he got the facts wrong and knows that he did, but is still trying to stay on what he believes is the broader message which is more or less "we're more on your side than they are."

What's ironic is that I don't think this stuff really registers with most Jewish voters, as there is no monolithic Jewish community and also very little evidence that Jewish voters will base their vote on Israel (as Nixon, Reagan and Bush will tell you). Jewish voters, like most Canadians, base their vote on a variety of issues.

The fact that Jewish voters are perceived as so powerful (or able to muster game changing financial support) is in and of itself interesting.

Gordon Underhill said...

Thanks Marky Mark I tend to agree that the Jewish vote is negligible. So the only explanation is that Harper and Kenny are judeophiles.

On Kairos, while it has not supported a full on boycott of Isarel it has pressed for economic sanctions (a horese by any other name?)...dont think that makes it anti-Semitic but Im sure it pisses of H and K.

CanadianSense said...


99.9 of Muslims don't support the Jihadist's. They have no problem with a democracy, in fact many of them wish they have the freedom allowed in the only democracy in the Middle East.

The Angry left are simply not consistent in their outrage over human rights.
China has a much worse record than Israel. Where is the call for boycotts on China from the angry left?

Some in the Angry left are unsure why "Bible wavers", people who have a moderate mainstream religious view support the CPC more than the left.
In the next general election it will be demostrated again.

Nosferatu200 said...

CanadianSense: "The Angry left are simply not consistent in their outrage over human rights.
China has a much worse record than Israel. Where is the call for boycotts on China from the angry left?"

Then you really aren't looking all that hard.

CanadianSense said...


Are you suggesting China has a better record on human rights than Israel?

Can you link your sources?

Jason Cherniak said...

York Centre
Eglinton Lawrence
Winnipeg South Centre
Vancouver Quadra

Runners up are Richmond Hill, Willowdale and Don Valley West. Probably some others in Montreal as well.

Marky Mark said...

I grew up in Westmount-a Tory in that riding seems out of the question. I live in Eglinton Lawrence and think that's highly improbable as well. That example illustrates the point, as there may be a fair number of Jewish voters in the riding but I suspect that that group is still less than a majority of voters.

CanadianSense said...

Put in the riding and look at the decline from 2000

Vople has seen a 15,000 gap reduced to 2,000 in eight years.

GTA, 416 is no longer safe.

Marky Mark said...

Separate issue-it isn't about a Jewish voting bloc.

Nosferatu200 said...

"Are you suggesting China has a better record on human rights than Israel?"

No, I'm suggesting leftists have been critical of China as well.

Try to keep up.