Ethnic Media Election Coverage 21-28 October

This week about 140 election-related articles were analysed, with about half prior to the election results.

Major issues covered:

Ethnic vote: Chinese, Italian, Latino, Muslim, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Somali and Tamil media all had articles on the importance of voting, the various initiatives to encourage voting and  an analysis of the number of ridings where communities formed a higher percentage of the population.

Chinese language media focussed particularly on the relatively lower voting rates and thus political influence of Chinese Canadians compared to other groups and the different voting patterns between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese:

“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.” (Chinese, Fairchild Radio AM 1430 News Beat)

Italian media noted the success of Liberals in the 33 ridings where Italian Canadians numbered 10,000 or more. Polish media commentary noted a possible link with the defeat of two of three Polish Canadian candidates to their being under the banner of the Conservatives. Muslim media noted the re-election of Muslim candidates running under the Liberal banner. Somali media urged Somali Canadians to vote Liberal citing, the Ford government cuts in Ontario as a reason to vote Liberal.

An article in Russian media noted:

“…on Facebook, our compatriots [Russian-speaking Canadians], who are ardent fans of the Conservatives, are outraged that the crosses on the ballots had to be put in pencils. In their opinion, these marks would have been easy to erase. The newspaper asked experts why they [Elections Canada] didn’t use ink pens. The answer was simple: millions of pencils were much cheaper, and it is almost impossible to erase or correct the inscriptions because observers from all parties participate in the vote counting.” (Russian, Canadian Courier)

Results: General results coverage in all outlets surveyed largely mirrored mainstream media with more specific issue related covered under other headings.

Campaign: Coverage focussed in various media on the general importance of voting. In addition, there were a number of articles on the number of expatriates registered to vote, the ongoing invoking by the Liberals of Ontario Premier Ford as a reason to not vote Conservative and the overall negative tone of the campaign:

“Vote! The electoral campaign was confusing, marked by personal attacks, and also embarrassing lies. But you, the voters, are the ones who can bring the politicians to their feet on the ground, who must remind him [sic] that he is in your service, and not the other way around. You have on Monday, on voting day, an important opportunity to do so. Vote without having higher expectations from politicians than you would have from yourselves. They are people. They will make mistakes and they will not be able to be perfect, no matter the party. Any vote is good and important! Even the one made from the heart, the one made strategically, and the one made to punish the party or politician who disappointed you. There is no stupid vote in a democracy. Think about, if you still choose Canada as your adopted country, how you want the country to look, how you want to leave it for your children.” (Romanian, Pagini Romanesti)

Immigration: Coverage included a mix of party platform comparisons prior to the election and assessment that the re-election of the Liberal government meant few changes beyond the platform commitments.

“A caller said that many people have been highlighting Syrian refugees and international students, and have been linking increasing crime to it. Where are they now? He said all the issues were confined to radio shows. Responding to the caller, Kamandeep Gill said that the election result means we like the Liberals’ immigration policies. Some were talking about Justin Trudeau’s flexible immigration policies as a major issue. However, the results show that we actually want the same immigration policies to continue. A caller said that this election actually defeated divisive thinking and divisive politics. Another caller voiced the same thoughts and said that Indian-style divisive politics should not be encouraged in Canada.” (Punjabi, CJMR 1320 Desi Rang Morning)

Candidates:

  • Brampton South: NDP candidate Mandeep Kaur criticized the Liberal government for not addressing healthcare issues and the need for a second hospital. Conservative candidate Ramandeep Brar criticized the Liberal government for not meeting Brampton’s infrastructure needs along with the need for better integration of international students (both defeated).
  • Brampton West: While Liberal incumbent Kamal Khera (re-elected) defended the government’s record, Conservative candidate Murarilal Thapliyal committed to work towards meeting Brampton’s infrastructure needs.
  • Davenport: Julie Dzerowicz, Liberal incumbent, was profiled (re-elected).
  • Humber River-Black Creek: Judy Sgro, Liberal incumbent, was interviewed on immigration (re-elected).
  • Laval-les-Iles: The loss of Greek Canadian CPC candidate Tom Pentefountas was covered in Greek media.
  • Markham-Unionville: Alan Ho, Liberal candidate, was interviewed (re-elected).
  • Port Moody—Coquitlam: The victory of Nelly Shin, Conservative candidate and first Korean Canadian MP, was covered:

“Nelly Shin’s winning the seat in Parliament means a lot to Korean community in Canada. It would have been better if she were a Liberal candidate, but hopefully Shin will enhance her influence in politics and represent Korean-Canadians.” (Korean, The Korea Times Daily)

  • Scarborough-North: David Kong, Conservative candidate, was interviewed (defeated).
  • Scarborough-Rouge Park: Kingsley Kwok, NDP candidate, was interviewed (defeated).
  • Vaughan-Woodbridge: Francesco Sorbara, Liberal incumbent’s accusation that the Conservative Party claims the Liberals would increase property taxes and the carbon tax was covered (re-elected).
  • Vimy: Greek media covered the victory of Liberal Annie Koutrakis, noting the controversy over her replacement of previous Liberal MP, Eva Nassif.
  • York Centre: Andrea Vazquez Jimenez, NDP candidate was profiled (defeated).

China: There was considerable pre- and post-election discussion of relations with China, contrasting the positions of the Liberals and Conservatives, what was perceived as relative silence by the parties on Hong Kong/China issues, and the differences between Hong Kong and Mainland China origin Canadians on China-related issues:

“… U.S. President Trump congratulated Trudeau on Twitter: ‘Canada is well served over the past four years.’ The writer says that this feedback from the South comes as no surprise considering that Trudeau has been obedient to the U.S. After all, in the past four years, Canada’s economic and political interests have been closely tied with the United States – this can be seen when Canada dared to openly politically kidnap the executive of a foreign company. But this U.S. government believes in ‘America First’, so the writer says that being tied too tightly to such a government is bound to sacrifice a lot of this country’s (Canada’s) interests.” (Chinese, Chinese Readers)

Social media: The CPC WeChat ad and candidate comments falsely claiming that a Liberal government would legalize hard drugs was covered, along with an interview with PM Trudeau stating the government had no such plans.

Multiculturalism: The incident of an elderly couple being called Nazi scum by protesters at a Bernier event was covered, along with online rumours that PM Trudeau wanted to implement sharia law in Canada.

Third party: Articles noted that unions were the largest funders of third party election advertising.

Citizenship and others: An article noted the political importance of citizenship ceremonies in encouraging voting for the Liberals:

“The author said there were many people at the citizenship oath ceremony. There were seniors, babies, Indian immigrants, Arabic immigrants and some Chinese immigrants. There were a few dozen immigrants who were getting naturalized, and there were different skin colours and ethnicities and a huge range in age. A month after receiving the right to vote, the author’s family member cast their first vote in their lifetime. The author could not help but wonder about the other people who took the oath and became citizens that day; who would they vote for? After the election results came out, media outlets were asking how Trudeau achieved his revival. The author said he/she thinks those radio hosts must not have attended a citizenship oath ceremony in a very long time, otherwise they would have known that Trudeau’s victory could be foreseen at the naturalization events. You can almost say that, from the time of the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party has been preparing its vote inventory. The author provided more details and argued that the future of Canada belongs to the immigrants of Canada and that the one who controls immigration will be able to influence Canada’s future.” (Chinese, lahoo.ca)

Other issues included: housing costs, polling on the relative importance of issues and NDP leader Singh’s statement after the election that he would press hard for electoral reform.

Andrew Griffith, ethnic media provided by MIREMS

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