‘We’re just better at it’

by Aaron Wherry

Laura Payton revisits the “very ethnic” ridings the Conservatives targeted in the 2011 election.

CBC News has examined the election files of a number of Conservative candidates, including those on the list of the 10 targeted ridings. The records in the Elections Canada files indicate strong control from party headquarters, large amounts of money spent on communications and polling, and tight, take-no-prisoners messaging. That said, the analysis also shows it’s not just about money. Of those 10 target ridings, the candidate who took the riding out-spent the other candidates in six of the races, but sometimes just barely …

The presentation distributed by Nejatian laid out the numbers: by 2017, about half the 7.1 million people in the Greater Toronto Area would be visible minorities. A full 1.3 million would be South Asian and another 900,000 would be Chinese. Other targeted groups included Ukrainians, who make up more than 20 per cent of the population in Manitoba’s Elmwood-Transcona riding, and Jews, who form more than 35 per cent of Quebec’s Mount Royal and, in Toronto, 25 per cent of both Eglinton-Lawrence and York Centre. For advertising purposes, those are large but focused groups, groups that you can reach easily through advertising in the language spoken at home.




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‘We’re just better at it’

  1. The Harper Conservatives have a different message for different people in different ridings and different regions. And they hope no one takes notice when they take different sides of the same issue…

    • This could very well be true but I have also heard a big deal is just making the effort to be seen as friendly to a specific community (unless it’s muslims, which the CPC has decided it’s more profitable to subtly bash). As a certain columnist here has written, Harper has been trying to bring together minorities and people who dislike minorities.

      • Harper apparently doesn’t know we have more Muslims than Jews….or he knows, but ignores it because of his fervant religious support for Israel.

    • I don’t mind them going for ethnic votes….but I do mind them encouraging SoCon behavior in immigrants….the very reasons they left their own country.

      We don’t want to either import or encourage that kind of behavior.

      • I have heard that argument, especially in regards to gay rights, and absolutely the CPC should be ashamed of these kinds of practices.

        • Wink wink, nudge nudge, eh.

        • Yeah, gays, women, religion…the patriarchal system, intolerance of others…..the kind of things that made their homelands such a mess.

      • Hmmmm.

        You’re making the case that immigrants leave their homeland in favour of Canada because the homeland has those SoCon tendancies but the immigrants don’t?

        That doesn’t make sense. If it were so, those folks should be running away from the CPC, but they aren’t. They (yes, a huge generalization) don’t actually mind the mild SoCon flavour of our CPC at all, which means they are moving here for other reasons.

        • No, a lot of countries have religious regimes….Iran for example….and it makes the home country into what it is…..poor quality of life, repressed and so on.

          People who want freedom leave….sometimes they have no choice because they’re escaping…..and they wind up here.

          Freedom is a hard thing to handle though….and so is a new country, so people tend to gravitate to what sounds familiar….assuming it won’t get that bad here.

  2. Globe/Mail ~ What Libs can learn from Conservatives:

    They are WEIRD. That is, they belong to a tiny subculture of the human population that is Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. In Canada, they are the secular liberal baby boomers who dominate the opinion elite.

    Jonathan Haidt has a lot to say about WEIRD culture (of which he is an admitted member). His fascinating new book, The Righteous Mind, is a must-read for anyone who’s dumbfounded that Stephen Harper got to be prime minister, or that so many of his obviously stupid policies are so popular, or that Albertans appear to be on the verge of electing a party full of bigots and climate-change deniers.

    Mr. Haidt is a social psychologist who studies the moral foundations of politics. He argues that conservatives and liberals operate with two quite different moral systems. Liberals are almost exclusively concerned with harm and fairness. They see society as composed of autonomous individuals who should be free to satisfy their wants and needs as they see fit. Conservatives have a wider moral palate. They are also concerned with loyalty, authority and sanctity – values that are deeply rooted in human nature and all societies throughout history. They see society as composed of people in relation to community, who have a set of roles, responsibilities and obligations to God and their neighbours. They believe there is much more to the moral domain than harm and fairness.

    Mr. Haidt argues that politicians on the right have a built-in advantage, because they understand human nature better than liberals do. Most people’s moral frameworks are far broader – and far less rational and systematic – than liberals believe. Nonetheless, liberal psychologists (and politicians) have spent most of the past 40 years trying to explain why conservatives are so misguided. Why don’t they embrace equality, diversity and change, like normal people? Obviously, they’re repressed and afraid of difference.

    Mr. Haidt believes that as long as liberals continue to pathologize conservatism, they’re doomed.

    • This kind of rubbish is why people don’t read the G&M anymore.

    • Haidt was criticized for oversimplification and lenience toward moral beliefs that historically led to grave injustices. In a response to Haidt’s suggestion that atheists “pollute the scientific study of religion,” author Sam Harris wrote, “Even if Haidt’s reading of the literature on morality were correct, and all this manufactured bewilderment proves to be useful in getting certain people to donate time, money, and blood to their neighbors—so what? Is science now in the business of nurturing useful delusions? Surely we can grow in altruism, and refine our ethical intuitions, and even explore the furthest reaches of human happiness, without lying to ourselves about the nature of the universe.” [1]

      [1] http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/1631

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Haidt

    • If it were actually true that most people’s moral frameworks are of the conservative variety, then the CPC would be receiving a far greater share of the vote than what they do.

      The fact remains they won simply because the non-conservative mindset got split up between the Liberals, NDP, and Greens.

      • Haidt might as well have said most people are inclined to climb trees, eat bananas and check each other for lice if he’s trying to make the case humans are all backwards.

    • Liberals think of society “as composed of autonomous individuals who should be free to satisfy their wants and needs as they see fit”? If only.

      • No, that’s neo-conservatism.

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