Let’s celebrate our City’s racial racist diversity.
The UGLY Chinese Canadian loves honesty.
Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight wrote an interesting article yesterday, “Racism is alive and well in Vancouver municipal politics“. I agree with Charlie. I’ll post my thoughts later…
Here’ a portion of Charlie’s article:
Racism is alive and well in Vancouver municipal politics
November 16, 2008
Why is it that a candidate of South Asian descent always attracts fewer votes in Vancouver municipal elections than other members of his or her party?
The only possible explanation is racism when it happens again and again and again.
Yesterday, Vision Vancouver’s only council candidate of South Asian descent, Kashmir Dhaliwal, came 15th.
The next worst performance by a Vision candidate was Geoff Meggs’s ninth-place showing, almost 5,000 votes higher than Dhaliwal, the well-regarded president of the Khalsa Diwan Society.
Vision’s only park-board candidate of South Asian descent, Raj Hundal, was elected, but he came more than 6,000 votes behind the next lowest Vision candidate, Sarah Blyth.
Hundal is extremely well-educated and worked as a political aide to former NDP MP Penny Priddy. In other words, he’s no slouch at politics.
COPE’s only school-board candidate of South Asian descent, Alvin Singh, came 2,227 votes behind the next lowest COPE school-board candidate, Bill Bargeman.
Singh, a brilliant young politician, has been referred to as the “South Asian Spencer Herbert” inside the Straight newsroom because he’s such an articulate dynamo. But apparently, that wasn’t good enough for the voters.
What I’m trying to say is that Dhaliwal, Hundal, and Singh were all very credible candidates, and they all came last on their respective slates.
The only explanation is that thousands of voters who otherwise voted for the Vision slate chose not to include one or all of them because their last names didn’t correspond with their “vision” of who should be serving on council, the park board, and school board.
It doesn’t stop there. The NPA’s only council candidate of South Asian descent, Daljit Singh Sidhu, was last among NPA candidates, 4,516 votes behind the next lowest NPA council candidate, Sean Bickerton.
For Sidhu, long-time president of the Punjabi Market Association, it was a case of deja vu. He came last on the NPA slate in 1993. Like Dhaliwal this year, he was the only member of his team not to get elected to council that year.
This year, the NPA’s only park-board candidate of South Asian descent, Naresh Shukla, came last among NPA candidates—5,779 votes behind the next-lowest NPA park commissioner, Sharon Urton.
Face it: Urton and Shukla are not well-known, so the only explanation for such a large discrepancy is racism, particularly when people look at the broader pattern.
There was a similar story at the school-board level. The NPA’s only candidate of South Asian descent, Lakhbir Singh, trailed the next-lowest ranking NPA candidate, Margit Nance, by 1,355 votes.
In 2004, I wrote a cover story about the debate over wards called “Shred the System“. I researched the history of candidates with South Asian descent in recent Vancouver municipal elections.