Political candidates from Mainland China must appeal to all voters


2018 municipal elections are now over, it is time for me to look at the results closely and try to make some sense of what has just happened. I need to find out why some of the predictions that I have made prior to the elections did not turn out.

Many of the factors affecting election results were properly identified before the elections. However, we consistently underestimate the magnitude of these factors and therefore their total impact on the election results. The ethnic vote is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It can work magic for the politically unknown. Take the case of one of the Chinese Mainland candidate in the Markham Mayoral election. Over ten thousand votes went to that candidate.


Many considered those as “protest votes” against the Mayor. Some also attribute those as partisan votes for the Ontario PC party since the candidate campaigned on “Getting rid of one more Liberal (the Mayor)”. Both factors are actually at play here. As for the increase in the popularly vote percentages for the Mayor, I would connect that to the last minute resolution spearheaded by the Mayor in a special session of Council to ban the smoking of marijuana in all public places.

族裔选票是一把双刃剑。在华裔选民占多数的第五选区的竞选中,许多中国候选人的票被分散。结果凯斯在万锦市全部选区中以最低票(1266票)当选。而Compass Chung以920票排第二名,得票数低于他2014年所得的票数。在5名华裔候选人中,有3157张华裔选票可能被分散。第三选区也面临同样的情况,选票在两名华裔候选人之间分配,结果让另一位候选人得胜。

Ethnic votes can be a double-edged sword as well. In the Ward#5 contest where the constituents are a Chinese majority, the many Chinese candidates ended up splitting the votes. Andrew Keyes won with the smallest number of votes in all of Markham (1266). Compass Chung was second at 920 votes, a drop from his last election in 2014. 3157 potentially Chinese votes were divided up between 5 Chinese candidates. In Ward#3, the Chinese votes were also divvied up between two Chinese Candidates allowing another candidate to win the race.
这一情况还发生第7选区。泰米尔裔的候选人们争夺Logan Kanapathi在当上了安省议员后空出的市议员席位。由于泰米尔裔选民不团结,Logan Kanapathi的女儿以不到700的票输给了市议会“任命的”现任议员。在同一个选区,自2015年以来一直担任联邦议员Bob Saroya(Unionville)助理的候选人王翔以2079票排在第三。他的情况与其他华裔市长候选人的情况非常相似,尽管他曾在OMNI华人节目的新闻部工作,给他更多的政治经验和“明星”效应。

This fact is also true in Ward#7 where Tamil candidates fought for ethnic votes vacated by the election of Logan Kanapathi to the Ontario Parliament. Without a united front, the daughter of the departed Tamil councillor lost to the “appointed” incumbent by less than 700 votes. In the same ward, candidate Shawn Wang who is federal MP Bob Saroya's (Unionville) assistant since 2015, managed third place at 2079 votes. His situation is very similar to that of the other Chinese Mayoral candidate albeit with a lot more of political experience and “star” quality from his days working at the OMNI Chinese TV mandarin news department.


Another new factor that came into play this year is a lack of debates and speeches for contesting candidates, relative to the previous elections. Without these activities to showcase the potentials and platforms of the candidates to the public, all the advantages go to the incumbents. A serious of “meet and greet” meetings sponsored by the City neutered the new candidates. Without name recognition, their vote totals cannot match those of the incumbents.

In the Regional Councillor contest, the incumbents vote counts doubled those of the new candidates. The only except being that of Don Hamilton who captured top votes. Even though it is his first time running for Regional Councillor, don was the Ward#3 incumbent who took 6200 votes in the last election and had the highest vote totals of all elected ward councillors.


Candidates also benefit from political party affiliations. Many were suspected of using provincial party members lists to improve their chances. Both my wife and I received telephone calls from campaign volunteers in a way that I can trace to political party memberships. We were not the only ones as many of our friends also reported similar incidents. The winning candidate (a non-Chinese) in Ward#7 used heavy endorsements from party celebrities of Chinese origins to entice Chinese votes.

When it comes to ethnic votes, many Chinese candidates from Mainland used WeChat to connect to Mainland voters and focused on getting their votes. I mentioned in many of my articles that candidates have to work for all constituents within the election boundaries and not just a group of their choice. This solicitation with WeChat alone is not the proper way to get elected.

There are not enough Mainland votes in any particular ward or riding to allow for the capturing of the contest by sheer numbers of Mainland voters.  Many of the Mainlanders are non-citizens simply because they want to hang onto their Chinese passports. Either that or they have not met the residency requirements to qualify for citizenship as yet.

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张力军 (未验证) on 星期二, 十一月 6, 2018 - 23:07