Shikha Dalmia in the Washington Examiner on What Canada's Tories can Teach the GOP About Wooing Immigrant Votes


The reason why Democrats want immigration reform is also the reason why Republicans don't want it: More Hispanic Voters. Republicans fear that with whites slated to lose their demographic dominance, more Hispanics will mean fewer buyers of its limited government ideals. One might be tempted to ask, what limited government ideals? But setting that aside, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in her Washington Examiner column this morning that:

Republicans need simply look north to realize that such defeatist thinking represents a failure of imagination.

Canadian Conservatives were in the exact same boat as the GOP in the 1990s. Rapid immigration from Asia and elsewhere had allowed Liberals to cobble together a seemingly invincible block of French-speaking Quebecers plus immigrants in Toronto and Vancouver for three consecutive electoral wins.

Conservatives were viewed as a scary "anti-immigrant, rural white man's party." In 2000, 70 percent of all identifiable minorities voted for the Liberal Party.

That was then.

In the past three elections, Canada's Conservatives have made rapid strides in wooing immigrants. By 2008, minorities were as likely to vote Conservative as Liberal. Three years later, of the 23 seats that Tories picked up in national elections, 20 were in greater Toronto where immigrants constitute more than 30 percent of the population.

How did Canada's cons turn the tables? Go here to find out — but it wasn't by throwing free goodies at immigrant voters.

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  1. Changing your views to chase voters doesn’t seem to be a tactic that screams ‘competence’ or ‘integrety’. Not that politicians have these in any great quanitity to begin with.

    I’m still not sold on ‘immigrants are unquestioningly a good thing’. I’d like the responses from the First Nations on their experience with unrestricted immigration. I, however, have a hard time finding any. I’d have to take a day trip out to a reservation.

    1. You know who else wasn’t free to gambol across the fields and plains….

      1. The Great North American Snark, alas, it has gone extinct with the importation of the faster breeding Lesser Eurasian Snark. One of those majestic beasts used to be able to feed an entire commentariat for days, but now they are forced to rely on tiny morsels extracted from the Lesser Snark, which does not gambol so much as stagger drunkenly.

        1. I was thinking “prisoners”, but OK

          1. What do you think this is, Australia? We don’t import convicts, we make our own.

    2. Changing your views to chase voters doesn’t seem to be a tactic that screams ‘competence’ or ‘integrety’.

      If your views are wrong-headed, stupid, insulting, and in conflict with your core principles of smaller government, then changing those views is indeed both competent and an example of integrity.

      And if you change bad views for good views for entirely the wrong reasons, it’s still an improvement.

      1. There was no indication that the change would be to what you regard as ‘good’ views.

        1. Well then that’s you’re beef. Not whether it’s a sign of “competence” or “integrity”.

    3. Uh…making it easier for immigrants to enter legally, lowering taxes and cutting bureaucracy on small businesses would woo more than just minorities in this country.

      This would require the GOP to put their money where their mouth has been for decades and that just. aint. gonna. happen.

    4. Last time I checked immigrants today aren’t bringing all manner of strange diseases and superior arms with them.

      1. Not arms, no, but a year or so ago a doctor told me that San Francisco has an “epidemic” of TB brought by illegal immigrants.

  2. Republicans fear that with whites slated to lose their demographic dominance, more Hispanics will mean fewer buyers of its limited government ideals.

    I lost my willing suspension of disbelief at the incredible notion that the Republican party wants limited government. Mercantilists hate limited government with a passion since it lacks the powers to execute a national economic policy.

    1. I think one of the problems the Republicans have is that they think they can have limited government for some things and unlimited for other things.

      1. I’d be curious to learn just one example of Republicans practicing (as opposed to preaching) limited government.

        1. Kinda sorta on guns. Recently anyway. A little bit.

      2. But they’re right about that: Given the proper array of “things”, they can have limited gov’t for some things and not others.

  3. Immigrants are not monolithic; each group has its own special issues and needs.

    Yes but Canada seems to have a wider variety of immigrants. The GOP is apparently worried pretty solely about Mexicans. I don’t know what specific element of that culture the Conservative platform can tap into, other than social aspects.

    1. Stopping dickish immigration policies tends to improve one’s PR with those offended by said dickish policies.

      1. Well, that’s something they could stop doing. But the article suggests that Canuck conservatives tailored existing things from their platform to the varying groups of immigrants.

    2. That’s how I see it. The article made me want to shout back, “Don’t you see the difference is in the immigrant groups, not the political parties?” Not so much the GOP, but “conservatives” generally in the USA would be much more welcoming of Asian than of Latin American, Caribbean, and African immigrants, and at least some of the former immigrant groups also seem to be much more receptive to most of North American “conservatism” than most of the latter immigrant groups are.

  4. Republicans, with the exception of the drug warrior ones, don’t come any viler then some of their extreme anti-immigration people.

    1. The worst I’ve seen are people who want a Berlin Wall at our southern border and mandatory slave prison labor for any unauthorized immigrants and those that cooperate with them.

      1. Dude I’ve seen people advocating deploying troops with orders to shoot anyone crossing their precious line.

        1. That’s pretty much part of the Berlin Wall setup. Armed wall and shootings come as a package deal.

  5. Ahahahahahaha! Sorry this is OT, but I’m just now getting to Tuccille’s great post on the NSA, and Tony answered the following question this morning when it’s not likely to be seen:

    Neoliberal Kochtopus: Yes or no – the President is morally responsible for these reprehensible actions.

    Tony: President Bush? Yes.

    Beautiful, beautiful stuff. Season 4 version of Michael Bluth is less painfully delusional than this.

    1. It’s very important to bear one fact in mind when reading Tony’s posts.

      He’s an admitted racist who thinks blacks are subordinate to whites and must be ruled by them.

      1. Any chance you have a link? I would love to save that one.

        1. It was a long time ago, and I can’t find it.

          It was during an argument about voting patterns in the run up to the election. Basically, he was arguing against voter ID laws, and decided to go the disparate effect route, and painted himself into a corner where he had to admit that he thought black people needed the government to take care of them to a much higher degree than white people and that’s why they all voted for the Democratic party en masse.

          I just can’t remember his exact phrasing and I don’t have the time to paw through the thousands of threads that he commented on trying to find it.

    2. The evil BOOOSH obviously is forcing Obama to perform these reprehensible actions, against poor Obama’s will.

      1. So he’s developed some sort of psychic powers? Because we know blackmail wouldn’t work since there’s no scandal that O’s base won’t ignore.

    3. I missed that. Behold the magnificent mendacity that is Tony.

    1. Keep it classy, San An.

  6. The article leaves out a very big issue with American vs Canadian immigration policy. Unlike the US, Canada does not share a border with a country where large numbers of immigrants are arriving from. This makes it a great deal easier for Canada to control illegal immigration.

    1. Also, does Canada have an entire cable television network (MSNBC) and numerous national newspapers dedicated to detailing whatever some racist Republican in Bumfuck, Alabama thinks of immigrants?

    2. In Canada, they are called airports, not borders. But, it is waaay easier to “control illegal immigration” if you let almost anyone into the country who wants to live there.

  7. Don’t forget that the Liberals took an awful dive following the sponsorship scandals and still haven’t recovered. So it’s not really that immigrants prefer the Conservatives, it’s mostly that they don’t like the current set of Liberals, which will probably change now that Prince Trudeau has taken his throne.

  8. Prince Trudeau has taken his throne

    Where’s Barfman when you need him.

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