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What a ‘majority’ says

October 3, 2018 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Globe & Mail (October 3, 2018) The Coalition Avenir Québec won a majority – 74 of 125 seats – in Monday’s election, but the results are a far cry from voters rejecting old-line Liberals and the Parti Québécois. Indeed, the Liberals and PQ together amassed some 41 per cent of the popular vote, more than the about 37 per cent garnered by the CAQ, which won just two ridings in Montreal. If anything, the election demonstrated again the “tyranny of the plurality” in the first-past-the-post system, which not only wastes the votes of many people, but also makes possible inane outcomes. It is time to incorporate some element of PR in our electoral system. Kai L. Chan, Montreal Article as it appeared online. © Copyright 2018 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved.

Diversifying Canada’s most diverse parliament

June 1, 2018 Articles, Media / Op-ed
By Anna Desmarais. Published on Jun 1, 2018 3:00pm (The Weekender Weekender 22 2018) Even after Canada elected its most diverse parliament ever in 2015, there is more work to be done to ensure that the Green Chamber is representative of the Canadian population at large. In 2015, Canada elected its most diverse Parliament ever — but experts say more can be done in the upcoming election to encourage various forms of representation in the Green Chamber. The 42nd Parliament is represented by 47 visible minority MPs from various cultural backgrounds and 10 Indigenous MPs, smashing the previous record of 28 and seven MPs belonging to each respective group. [caption id="attachment_3636" align="alignleft" width="212"] Ziad Aboultaif became the first Lebanese member of Parliament when elected as the Conservative representative of Edmonton—Manning in 2015.[/caption] One of the new faces to emerge from the 2015 election was Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif, a prominent Lebanese business-owner representing Edmonton—Manning. Aboultaif decided to run for office to give back to the country he now calls home. On October 19, 2015, he became the first Lebanese member of parliament to represent a riding in Western Canada, winning a decisive victory with 47 per cent of the vote. “It…

MP laughed at for his bus-driving past? Elitist attitudes persist in politics, experts say

February 16, 2017 Articles, Media / Op-ed
By Tania Kohut National Online Journalist, Breaking News  Global News A sharp chorus of laughter was heard in the House of Commons on Tuesday as Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi mentioned his past career as a bus driver, while offering condolences for a slain Winnipeg Transit employee. On Wednesday, Liberal MP Adam Vaughan asked that the laughter heard the day before be withdrawn, and the record corrected. He called it offensive to the House, the values of Canadians and to the country’s diversity. “Laughing at the previous employment status of a member of this House is offensive, especially when that service was a public service to the people of this country.” In response, Tory MP Candice Bergen agreed with Vaughan’s message of inclusion, and rebuffed the accusation that her party members would laugh at a person’s past profession. After all, it’s called the House of Commons due to its intent to represent common Canadians. “We absolutely respect and honour all of the jobs that we have done, and the experience that we bring to this House,” Bergen said. But with all the talk of diversity in politics — getting more women involved, people of all ethnic backgrounds — professional experience and education can be added to the list of invisible barriers. Politicians tend to…

‘We live in a globalized world,’ House most ethnically diverse in Canadian history, but still has long way to go: research

November 21, 2016 Articles, Media / Op-ed
‘We live in a globalized world,’ House most ethnically diverse in Canadian history, but still has long way to go: research A record 47 visible minority and 10 indigenous MPs were elected in this House. [caption id="attachment_3076" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright and the Parliament of Canada[/caption] By ABBAS RANA PUBLISHED : Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 12:00 AM PARLIAMENT HILL—It’s the most ethnically diverse House of Commons in Canadian history, but it still has a long way to go. The House is still mostly white, male, and English-speaking, according to a study conducted by Kai Chan, who released his data to The Hill Times, and most MPs are married, 30 per cent are bilingual, 13 per cent were born outside Canada, women make up 26 per cent of the House, 14 per cent are visible minorities, three per cent are indigenous, most studied politics, most were lawyers, and most have post-secondary education. Among the 338 MPs elected in the last general election, the most common age group is 50-59, 214 MPs are married, and 26 MPs have four or more children, according to Mr. Chan, an expatriate Canadian economist who now resides in the United Arab Emirates and who holds a…

Trudeau Cabinet reflects more diversity in new House

November 16, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Trudeau Cabinet reflects more diversity in new House By CHRISTOPHER GULY | Published: Monday, 11/16/2015 12:00 am EST While women represent half of the 30-member Cabinet, they only account for 27 per cent of the Liberal caucus, or 50 of the record 88 female MPs elected from all five parties in this year’s election.   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet might not perfectly reflect Canadian society, but it’s a better representation of the country’s diversity than the composition of the last Parliament, according to political economist and self-described “knowledge junkie” Kai Chan, an expatriate Canadian currently based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While he said that the share of female, minority, and French-speaking ministers in the new Liberal Cabinet, excluding Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) are essentially in line with their share in national demographics (at half, a quarter, and a quarter, respectively), there are no members from East Asian, black, Southeast Asian or Latin American communities, despite the fact those groups together account for 13 per cent of the Canadian population (and half of the minority population) with East Asians—the single largest ethnic minority group—representing 5.3 per cent. “There are also no Southeast Asians in the Liberal caucus, but…




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