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Ethnicize this shit

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Ethnicize this shit

"Rogue Page" Brigitte DePape's act of civil disobedience recast into public consciousness the election blues of the left. After accomplishing the unprecedented feat within Canadian political history of being found in contempt of parliament for a lack of transparency regarding spending on F-35 fighter jets, prison expansion, and corporate tax cuts, Harper's minority-rule Conservative government was dismantled, then promptly re-elected as a majority government with a voter turn out of just over 61%, only 3% over the historic low 58% turnout of the 2008 elections. 

With fresh youth-focused initiatives such as "Voting Mobs" aiming to persuade the oft-overlooked demographic to inform themselves and vote, I was convinced that youth engagement would amount to some attenuation of Harper's power. When I realize how utterly wrong I was, I started reflecting on voter trends within certain demographis and was puzzled by how unfounded were my predictions of immigrant voting trends.
After speaking to other first-time voters sharing my middle-class, second-generation immigrant identity, the appeal of the lofty, vapid rhetoric of tax-cuts and economic stability became chillingly clear to me as they unveiled their support for Conservatives (in our much-campaigned-by-Conservatives - and successfully so - riding of Markham, Ontario where since the groundswell of housing developments in 2001 an influx of immigrants have de-Italianized the suburbia)
Immigrants are certainly one of the many demographics that are disproportionately disadvantaged by Harper's austerity measures. For instance, as of last autumn, $43 million-dollars in funding was cut from several newcomer service centers. As such, many non-profit immigrant community service centers that previously received funding for summer job programs to payroll job-needy students while servicing capabilities have received no funding this year. Tories also blithely reject the pro-CPP measures from which the many immigrants who live paycheque-to-paycheque lifestyles would benefit most.
The grievances of immigrant communities, which are already in disproportionately disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions, will only be compounded by austere, social-service-diminishing, "deficit-addressing" measures central to Harper's platform.
Yet with a sinister cunningness, it precisely these communities that Harper targets as a constituency. Courting "the ethnic vote", as it has been officially christened by a Conservative-commissioner-penned report, was a tactical necessity for the Conservatives, as became evident through Harper's campaign-frequenting within immigrantful quarters such as Brampton, Ontario.
So, initially my second-generation-immigrant friends'  - Indians, Egyptians, Chinese - Conservative penchant struck me as unpatriotic (to the "non-Canadian" half of their identity). Think of the toil of your parents after arriving to Canada, and how the Cons don't give a fuck about us working class folk toil, only seeking an X beside their predominantly rich-white-male names, I wanted to clamour. But before unveiling my impassioned ideologue partisanship, I decided I would investigate. 
Why, I asked them, did you vote Conservative?
Friend #1: Harper is against taxes, I don't want higher taxes
Friend #2: Harper has actually done a lot for our economy and (acknowledging my affinity for the NDP) where will the NDP get their funding for all their wonderful but unrealistic ideas?
Friend #3: I'm not really informed, but my parents were like, vote Conservative
While these responses irked me, they were simply microcosmic to the cosmetic reasons that Harper was re-elected into his much more cozy reign. Just as Machiavelli so presciently illuminated in The Prince, people don't want a loveable huggable teddybear of a leader, they want one that at the very least bears the semblance of gettin shit done. Globe and Mail's editorial endorsement for Harper certainly propounded this image of Conservative efficiency and get-shit-doneability.  
And now that this reputation has garnered him the ethnic vote and beyond, look for the Conservatives to reintroduce Bill C-12, which would create 30 new seats - 18 in Ontario, 7 in BC, and 5 in Alberta - to regions with booming population growth, precisely those teeming with new immigrants.
Why? Because they know that they likely got the ethnic vote down, as was evidenced in Vancouver's Chinese-replete community of Richmond B.C. in the 2008 elections, after both Libs and Cons fielded Chinese-Canadian candidates, Tory Alice Wong outplayed Liberal cabinet minister Raymond Chan, surpassing him by nearly 20 points.
I liken Conservative ethnic calistehnics to when Asian-girl-fetishizing white guys woo me with the ever-so-smooth "So, where are you really from?". Most of the time, they don't really want to know. Othering, more often than not, simply gives you a sense of power over others. In the case of the last election, parliamentary power was conslidated through this otherizing.

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