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刘燕在市选中该打族裔牌?
Shelley Carroll faces another Chinese candidate in election battle




17市政选区华裔候选人刘燕的助选人员敲开我家的门,用国语展开了她的助选词。但助选词中却未着眼于刘燕作为市议员的资格和能力,却重点强调其华裔身份。她离开时甩出一句针对华裔选民的老套陈词:“华人应该支持华裔候选人!“

“Please support our Chinese speaking candidate!” a campaign foot soldier for Christina Liu – a city councillor candidate for ward 17, said to me in mandarin as she started her campaign pitch at my door. Rather than selling Liu’s qualifications as a city councillor, she stresses her Chinese Canadian background instead.

在今年早期的省选中,刘燕曾为本选区省议员候选人柯文彬的助选经理,在本次省选中,柯击败对手--自由党候选人高雪莉而站席省议会厅。柯在这一华人聚焦的选区内的当选有赖于大批拥护保守党的华人选民的强烈支持,而许多人认为他的竞选胜利反映了华人选民欲选出一位代表其利益的华裔议员之心声。而刘燕助选团队利用“我是华裔候选人,请投我一票”的拉票策略鼓动该选区华裔选民也就不足为怪了!

Liu had worked as Vincent Ke’s campaign manager in June 2018 provincial election, where Ke, a Chinese Canadian candidate beat his Liberal rival Shelley Carroll to be elected as the PC MPP for Don Valley North.  Ke won the election by relying on the massive conservative support in this Chinese Canadian concentrated riding, and some believe that his winning reflects the strong voice from the Chinese community to elect an MPP on their behalf. It is not a surprise that Liu’s campaign team would tap into “I am a Chinese, vote for me!” strategy to motivate Chinese Canadian voters in the ward.



随着近年来大批华裔奔赴海外,华裔加国人士的政治势力不断增长。众所周知的是,中国政府一直不遗余力地向包括加国在内的西方国家输出其政治权威,并试图影响海外华裔人士的政治观点。但多伦多华人社区在是否拥护中国政府问题上有着明显的政治分歧,且许多选民对北京的政治入侵反感有加。中国不良的人权记录,对不同政见人士,宗教团体和少数民族人士采取的各种镇压,折磨之手段引起那些拥护民主制度的加国华裔们的强烈不满。 

Amid a rising political clout from a rapid growing Chinese Canadian population overseas, Beijing has made unprecedented effort to export its authority abroad and influence political opinions in foreign countries including Canada. But the Toronto Chinese community is deeply divided along the political lines and many voters in the riding frown upon such influences. China’s dismal human rights record, its crackdown, torturing of political foes, religious groups and ethnic minorities have deeply upset those Chinese Canadians who embrace democracy.

显然,一名候选人是无法代表华人族裔整体的,因此以“请投华裔候选人一票”鼓动华裔选民在很多华裔选民中是行不通的。

Apparently, an individual candidate is unable to represent one ethnicity as whole, and “vote for a Chinese speaking candidate” pitch would only turn many voters away.


鼓动族裔投票行为在加国引起广泛争议,而利用候选人族裔身份拉同族选民的选票有失公允。在多元文化城市多伦多,市议员应代表该选区各种族选民的利益,代表各族裔和不同文化背景人士之心声。事实上,华裔加国人士与主流社会及其他族裔人士一样都生活在同一天空下,他们都背负房屋贷款,要乘坐公车,支付税款等。对那些早已打入主流,冲出族裔圈子华裔人士来说,他们对刘燕的“华人应支持华裔候选人“的说辞将不屑一顾,嗤之以鼻。

Courting ethnic votes is highly controversial in Canada and it is inappropriate to use candidate’s ethnicity to woo voters from the same race.  In the multicultural city of Toronto, city councillors are required to represent interests of all races, and to speak on behalf of people with diverse ethnicity and cultural backgrounds. At the end of the day, Chinese Canadians live under the same sky as their mainstream counterparts in the city. They carry mortgages, ride subways and pay taxes, etc. Indeed, the “vote for Chinese candidate” slogan wouldn’t even make a dent in those no longer living in the ethnic enclaves.

“Don Valley North voters face a painful choice”. 

高雪莉的省选挫败却并不意味着她不是一名合格的政客,具有能力,水平,资历和资格为该选区选民们服务。如果说高雪莉的省议员竞选对手得力于保守党的声望,那么在排除了党派之争的市政选举中她的对手恐怕就没那么幸运了。毕竟,这场市选选的是候选人的技能,经验和资格,而不是什么其他。


Carroll’s defeat in the provincial election didn’t mean that she was not a qualified politician with the skills, proven track records and experience to represent the interest of residents in the riding.  If her former MPP rival rode the party wave to victory, her current opponent may not be that lucky in this non-partisan municipal race. In the end, this election would be a tough competition over candidates’ skills, experiences and qualifications.  Nothing more and nothing less. 

好消息是刘燕的竞选策略看似有所改变。她的满大街遍布的竞选牌中称:“让经验来说话!”。的确,强调她市议员的能力才是赢选的唯一渠道,别把那些不着边的东西拉进来。

The good news is that Liu seems to have changed her campaign strategy. “Experience that matters!” claim her election signs flooding the street. Indeed, to promote her qualifications, rather than to exploit ethnic vote, is the right way to make her campaign pitch. 


 

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