Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Buying the ethnic vote

There ought to be a law!

Naresh Raghubeer’s article in today’s National Post emphasizes a serious downside of the Canadian interpretation of multiculturalism. In their zeal to buy ‘ethnic’ votes politicians inevitably corrupt the political process.

Giving as an example the McGuinty government’s recent splashing of millions in grant money to various Ontario cultural groups. 2007 grant recipients included:

- Islamic Institute of Toronto ($500,000)
- St. George Arab Cultural Centre ($300,000)
- Bengali Community Centre ($250,000)
- Armenian Community Centre ($500,000)
- Six Sikh temples ($750,000)
- Chinese Professional Association [CPAC]($250,000 )
- Museum of Hindu Civilization ($200,000)
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Toronto, ($250,000)
- United Jewish Appeal ($15 million)

The Iranian-Canadian Community Centre's $200,000 grant was disbursed despite there being "no written request for funding."
[...]
A CPAC board member also worked in the Minister's office.
[...]
Awestruck Sikhs beheld $250,000 landing in a temple that was embroiled in a court battle over the alleged mismanagement of funds.
[...]
...two grants of $100,000 each went to Sikh gurdwaras in Malton and Rexdale, where certain Sikh devotees promote the Khalistan movement and push to break up India. ... Even an image of Talwinder Singh Parmar is posted there, despite his masterminding 329 murders .... in the 1985 Air India bombing

It’s not just McGuinty either. All politicians engage in this highly questionable practice:

...may well explain why Liberal leader Stephane Dion had his party vote down crucial expiring provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law introduced by his own party in 2001.

[...]
Last October, Mr. Harper turned over $30-million and Ottawa's venerable old War Museum building to establish the Centre for Global Pluralism. The Centre is to be captained by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 15 million Shia Ismaili muslims.

And what’s wrong with any of this? Well, it’s pretty much self-evident, but Mr. Rughabeer spells it out anyway:

We risk importing into Canada the tribal politics that afflict the countries from which many of our immigrants have fled.
[...]
We also risk melding the realms of state and religion. This is a mixture that apparently appalls "progressive" Canadians when the religion at issue is Christianity. Why should the phenomenon be any less pernicious when the faith is Islam, Hinduism, Judaism or Sikhism?

I’ve said it before - I have nothing against anyone practising or promoting their various cultural enthusiasms as long as they’re within the law and aren’t forced down my throat. But they should be funded strictly privately not with taxpayers’ money. In fact, there ought to be a law prohibiting governments from giving money towards any group or activity that does not directly serve the interests of all taxpayers - more bluntly, a law that forbids buying votes with public funds.

3 comments:

Louise said...

While McGuinty is in power, I am starting the Ottawa Cricket Association. Pro-rated with cricket players in southern Ontario, I figure I'm good for about a $250K gift.

I'll make sure I have members of every ethnic group possible, not too heavy on Francophones. They don't get as many points as other groups these days and they tend to vote Liberal anyway. (sarcasm off)

How much of this money can we get back, Dalton? Will you even try?

KC said...

What about John Tory and his faith-based schools initiative? Or Harper slashing the immigration landing fee? Without passing judgment on either policy they BOTH sound like buying the ethnic vote to me. You are selective in your examples--choosing only instances where Liberals have supposedly tried to "buy" the "ethnic vote".

JR said...

kc,
You need to buck up your reading comprehension or read the whole post before commenting.