Chinese voter turnout low – Cantonese

RADIO – Fairchild Radio AM 1430 News Beat (Daily) – Toronto, 21/10/2019 – COMMENTARY, Cantonese

Michael Shao – Host Michael Shao said Chinese voter turnout is frequently lowest in comparison to other ethnic voters. Guest “Ken” said there are three types of people who vote: loyal party members, friends of popular candidates, and individuals affected by policies. Some also vote based on poll predictions, and if the party in the lead is not a party they like, they will vote for another party because they do not want the most favoured party to win. Some people follow others’ voting because they have no political knowledge. In this era, many people are influenced by what others do.


Shao wonders why Chinese people are not passionate about voting. Many Chinese candidates ran in this election, but “Ken” said few of them stood out in the crowd. Voters also consider what the candidate does in the community. Most Chinese have a negative perception of politics. Shao wondered if this is the reason for the apathy. Ken said no and argued it is because no candidate really stood out.


Shao asked Ken who is considered a candidate who stands out. Ken gave the example of former MP Olivia Chow, who was also a city councillor. Chow did a lot of work on homelessness and Toronto transit. She also spoke up in parliament about acknowledging the issue of comfort women. Shao argued that candidates need to be elected before they can accomplish things. He thinks perhaps more Chinese MPs will attract the attention of the Chinese community.


Explanation for low Chinese voter turnout – Cantonese

RADIO – Fairchild Radio AM 1430 News Beat (Daily) – Toronto, 21/10/2019 – COMMENTARY, Cantonese


Michael Shao – Guest Dr. Wong has been involved in encouraging the Chinese community to vote for many years. Wong said Chinese Canadians became involved in politics late and had a rough start. He said the community needs more organizations to encourage Chinese voters to participate in politics. The fact certain ridings had more than one Chinese candidate created more complications.


In comparison, Wong said we should learn from South Asians. Chinese voters need to know the benefits of voting. If Chinese Canadians vote, federal parties are likely to pay more attention to their community and encourage more Chinese candidates to run for positions. This is still not understood by newcomers. South Asians are very religious, and this has helped to unite them as a community. Wong said we do not have this kind of bond in the Chinese community. Host Michael Shao is curious as to whether that is the reason Chinese people are not as united.


Wong agreed and said more traditional Chinese Canadians focus more on taking care of themselves and their families instead of thinking about the country. Shao asked whether this hindered them from voting. Wong said yes. Some parties do not think the Chinese vote matters, yet they still come and campaign in ridings populated by Chinese residents. Wong said they are afraid that if Chinese Canadians do vote, it will impact the outcomes. There have been many Chinese candidates in the past, but not many became cabinet ministers.

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