Monday, April 30, 2007

Minority Report

I don't usually read the Toronto Sun. I think it's the kind of right wing fish-wrapping whose major selling points are the Sunshine girl, the extensive sports coverage, and the XXX adult ads in the back pages. A few days ago, Red Tory had a great summary of a horrific piece by Sun columnist Connie Woodcock.

On April 25th, another Sun columnist Ajit Jain wrote a piece outlining Jason Kenney's assertion that the Conservatives are in fact the friendliest party for visible minorities. The very suggestion is absurd to any thinking Canadian, and more disturbing still is that Jain (himself a visible minority) wrote the article as though he was penning it from the public relations desk of Kenney's office. Jain dutifully scribed the outright lies told by Kenney:

"Proportionally we have a higher number of MPs from visible minorities: First Muslim elected to Parliament, Rahim Jaffer, first Hindu ever elected, Deepak Obhrai, and first Indo-Canadian woman MP, Nina Grewal."

Jain reports this hogwash with a dumb grin and a 'please sir, may I have another?' attitude. But let's set the record straight.

1. According to the Parliament of Canada website, the Conservatives have 125 MP's. Of these, the visible minorities I am aware of are Nina Grewal, Rahim Jaffer, Deepak Obhrai, Inky Mark, Mike Chong, Bev Oda and Wajid Khan. This equates to a total of 5.6% visible minority MPs.

2. The Liberals, by contrast have (by my count - and I may have missed a few) 11 visible minority MPs: Alghabra, Bains, Rodriguez, Jennings, Chan, Dhaliwal, Dhalla, Dosanjh, Fry, Karetak-Lindell and Malhi. On a total of 100 MP's, this equates to 11%.

I haven't done the calculations for the NDP, but the point is made. Kenney is a shameless liar. Proportionally or otherwise, the Conservatives have scant few visible minorities. And the ones they have aren't exactly model parliamentarians either. Grewal's husband left politics in shame after wiretapping staged conversations to secure cabinet posts for the two of them in exchange for crossing the floor. Jaffer had a staffer (hey I kinda like that rhyme) pose as himself on a radio interview, then lied to cover it up, and was finally forced to make a tearful apology in the House. And we are all still waiting to see a single word of Khan's magnificent mid-east 'report'.

Proving only that minority or not, the Conservatives are proportionally well stocked in liars.

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