Toronto council debases Canadian citizenship.

The City of Toronto took a long step backward yesterday. City Council wants to give recent immigrants the right to vote in municipal elections before becoming Canadian citizens. This is typical of the wrong-headed decisions of this leaderless and wayward council. They are not only encouraging corruption of the voting process but they are saying that Canadian citizenship is not important.

And to make matters worse, supporters of expanding the vote in this manner are saying that you are a bigot and hate newcomers if you disagree. People should be careful of the labels they apply to others. Anyone who has worked in elections across Toronto over the years can give you chapter and verse on the problems of immigrant block voting. This can be a very emotional issue. Inexperienced municipal politicians are foolish to think they can control ethnic blocks.

Through the 1980s in Toronto, the concerted efforts to form and use ethnic voting blocks was the disgrace of all political parties. And at the time there was little effort made to ensure these blocks of voters all had their citizenship. They were never asked to prove it. It was even better if most of the block did not speak either of our official languages.

It started with the courting of ethnic community leaders. These people were flattered and brought their groups with them to support local candidates. The only problem was that they often saw little return for their efforts once the politician was in office. These groups saw how they were being used and soon their own leaders started running for office. Their slogan was “Now it’s our turn.” The dominant ethnic groups soon had their own people in municipal, provincial and federal office. They were not all good at it.

It was so bad at the federal and provincial levels, the parties searched for some means to control the situation. Their solution was to take control of candidate selection away from the party riding associations. It worked. They effectively put a stop to the huge sign-ups of ethnic block voters. It was no longer worth the effort. They also destroyed the backbone of party politics in Canada. The parties were now run by the party leader. The parties have created the imperial prime minister. The party leader is Big Brother!

Rebuilding the political parties has started but it is a long and painful process.  Rebuilding on the municipal level will have to happen after we have fixed the problems first at the federal level and then at the provincial level. We will get around to our municipalities sometime. Not soon.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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