“Rent-a-Vote” services for political parties.

It has been going on for many years. As someone who taught others how to communicate with Canada’s ethnic groups, I have always been disgusted by how the information is being used. Something that started out as an honest effort to bring newer Canadians into the political process has become a rent-a-vote scam.

How do you think Patrick Brown won the Ontario leadership of the conservatives in 2015? He had his friend Jason Kenney, now of Alberta, to thank for arranging for Patrick, when an MP, to be the parliamentary liaison with India and the Sub-Continent. It not only got him free trips to India and recognition in the Indian president’s office but recognition throughout the Sub-Continent diaspora in Canada. And there are more than 100,000 of those immigrants and their progeny in Ontario alone.

All Brown needed to do was hire the key people from the Hindi temples and the Sikh community to get his sign-ups. He swamped the Ontario conservative party’s normal membership with almost 40,000 sign-ups. Even if his backers paid for the party memberships it was a bargain. Brown won the conservative leadership in a complicated counting process by over 60 per cent. It was also why, when he tried to run to replace himself, he was prevented from running.

It was also why when he chose to keep trying to find a place to run municipally, he chose Brampton. That city has the largest Sub-Continent immigrant population in Ontario. It was the key to that city. He would have lost badly if he ran in his home town of Barrie. I am waiting to see if, as Brampton mayor, he keeps his promise to turn most of Brampton’s parks into cricket pitches.

The practice of using large numbers of an ethnic group is common in the larger cities across Canada. It is noted, for example, that Italian immigrants really stick together and they love to support fellow Italian immigrants and their children. Now, just how do you think liberal Steven Del Duca would do among Ontario residents who came to Ontario from Italy? It is something akin to fishing in a barrel. But one of the problems you face is similar to the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh’s problem. After you have used your ethnic group to get you the nomination or the leadership, you had better start appealing to a broader audience of voters.

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