Religion and ethnicity in Canadian politics – Punjabi

RADIO – Red FM 88.9 Good Morning Toronto – Brampton, 10/09/2019 – PHONE IN, Punjabi

Image source: Vancouver Sun and Ipolitics mash

Political candidates in Canada are now openly using communities’ religion and ethnic background to woo voters, said show host Shameel Jasbir. A big question we need to pay attention to is whether South Asian voters are divided or are being divided on the bases of religion. The unfortunate thing is that even the political parties are seen feeding this thing, he said. It’s such a serious issue that if not addressed, it can poison those values such as better society and better community that make Canada a better country to live in.

The host said we need to be really very careful about such practices and should bring those people into the light who are involved in these practices. He said Muslims are being attached to a specific candidate, and Sikhs or other groups are being attached to another. People need to be careful of these divisive tricks, he added. A caller on the show agreed with the host and said we came to Canada because it’s a country where you are not judged based on your religion and ethnic background and are provided equal opportunity everywhere, including in jobs and politics. He criticized religion-based politics and gave the example of the last Brampton municipal elections, involving Mayor Patrick Brown, in which many WhatsApp messages were sent to people telling them which candidate was supporting which religion most and who was making the most visits to Hindu temples, or to mosques or gurdwaras. He said it’s not good to have only a specific community-based group or even friend circle rather than a diverse group.

Another caller said religion-based politics are very dangerous and are not acceptable in Canadian society as it can bring all those bad things into Canada for which they left their home countries. Another caller, however, said religion-based politics are inevitable and can’t be stopped. Division is everywhere in the world, be it based on religion, money, culture or geography, he said. Another caller said voters are intelligent enough not to be swayed away by such religion or community-based rallies by the candidates and can make their own decisions, as was proved in the last elections.

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