We asked members of our panel to discuss the controversy over the B.C. Liberal Party’s multicultural outreach strategy, specifically: What are your thoughts about the strategy and does the governing party deserve the criticism it is receiving for it?
What follows is part of that discussion:
“From a purely strategic point of view, I don’t think ‘the multicultural plan’ is a bad strategy. I believe it does work for the older generation [of] ethnic voters (people like my grandparents), or ethnic voters who vote but don’t follow news/politics closely. However, I don’t think it is ethical and respectful.
“In fact, I believe most major Canadian political parties that compete in cities/provinces with large ethnic communities have a similar plan. They just may not spell it out like this in a document. The B.C. Liberals had bad luck with this leak, and it will seriously damage their brand. Do the B.C. Liberals deserve criticism? Yes, but I don’t think they are the only party guilty of this.
“But I think the ethnic community groups are part of the issue too. I found most of them to be too focused on just issues related to their own ethnic group. Political parties would, of course, take advantage of this.”
– Stephen Fung, Vancouver
“It seems to be a proven strategy. Most of the ethnic groups reside in the Lower Mainland area and there are a lot of key ridings [there] which can be life or death for the Liberal party.
“With the leak, it just makes them look dumber. … Doing something that everybody is doing, using taxpayer-funded resources to do it, and getting it leaked; I don’t think it can get dumber than this.
“Does the governing party deserve the criticism? I don’t think so. I think this thing is a bit overblown until the facts actually come out. Think about all the partisan mail you get from your MP.”
– Kevin Fung, Vancouver
“I agree with Stephen and Kevin – this really seems like a logical strategy document.
“What I dislike about it is the use of my taxpayer dollars for it; this should come out of the B.C. Liberals’ war chest, and should only include B.C. Liberal staff, and not civil servants.”
– Adrian Mohareb, Vancouver
“I’m not a member of an ethnic group. I am a woman, and something that drives me nuts is when political parties have goals or strategies that are aimed at ‘women.’
“I hate the idea that my gender somehow puts me in a neat, tidy category. I would assume that other individuals who happen to have a different background, or originate from a different country, hate being categorized too.”
– Elizabeth Williams, Kelowna
“I think it’s despicable. Regardless of whether taxpayer money was put into the campaign, I think any apology should only be done when it’s actually meant as an apology.”
– Chris Tooley, Victoria
– Compiled by Mason Wright