Edmonton Journal

Jagmeet Singh wins the Muslim vote, but loses most everyone else

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The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, who has been leading the left-wing party for almost seven years, has been pressing hard to appeal to Canada’s 1.8 million Muslims. View this email in your browser W — INFORMED@PINION Curated by Dharm Makwana Wataru Kakiuchi’s job title was cook, but he had the skills of a chef and loved creating new menus, said a coworker of the Japanese man murdered early Wednesday in Vancouver. Kakiuchi, 32, was waiting for a ride near a friend’s apartment at Union and Main streets at around 3:30 a.m. when he was stabbed. He died before he could be transported to hospital. Vancouver police continue to hunt for his killer. AHMADIYYA il O AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAM Canada MUSLIM RALGE ) AHMADIYYA (The Canadian Press) Jagmeet Singh wins the Muslim vote, but loses most everyone else Q Douglas Todd b The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, who has been leading the left-wing party for almost seven years, has been pressing hard to appeal to Canada’s 1.8 million Muslims. And it’s working, according to a revealing May poll by the Angus Reid Institute. Forty-one per cent of Canada’s Muslims are now ready to vote for Singh, compared to 31 per cent for Justin Trudeau. Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives appeal to just 15 per cent of Muslims. However, for Singh that’s about the only good news. Despite his constant effort to appeal to various identity groups, he’s now trailing badly among his fellow Canadian Sikhs, of whom there are about 800,000. And don’t even ask about Canada’s Christians, or especially Jews and Hindus, who Singh regularly alienates and offends. Meanwhile, the overall popularity of Singh's party keeps dwindling, to just 17 per cent of decided voters. Projections now suggest the NDP would embarrassingly hold on to a pitiful 20 of the country’s 338 seats. It’s hard to believe past NDP leaders, like Jack Layton and Thomas Mulcair, would have so failed to capitalize on the self-destruction of Canada’s minority Liberal party, which Singh is choosing to prop up until October 2025. Judging from the silence from docile NDP members, his shortcomings can't be talked about. Like too many other contemporary Western politicians, Singh, MP for Burnaby South, has made the mistake of building his career on identity politics, which by its nature compartmentalizes individuals into competing groups. He’s the opposite of a coalition builder. In recent months he’s been outdoing his usual slogan-filled rhetoric, this time in regard to the Israel-Gaza conflict. He’s pressed anti-Israel positions harder than even Trudeau, who attempts a modicum of balance so as not to alienate all of Canada’s 335,000 Jews. In addition to leading the charge for Ottawa to declare Palestinian statehood and to stop Canada sending arms to Israel, Singh frequently says Canada must “prevent a genocide” of Palestinians, ignoring the United Nations' actual definition of the term. While there is much to question about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu’s relentless assault on Gaza, Singh habitually sidesteps complexity to spotlight what he calls the “horrific,” “inexcusable” and unprecedented “brutality” of Israel. Right or wrong, Singh’s rhetoric has made him the most popular leader among Canada’s Muslims, who make up about one in 10 voters in electorally crucial Greater Toronto and Montreal and one in 20 in Metro Vancouver. Meanwhile, the Angus Reid Institute’s polling shows Trudeau is now lagging among Muslims, despite the prime minister’s decade-long efforts to appeal to Muslims, support Palestinians and warn of Islamophobia. To be sure, it’s not as if Trudeau and Singh are alone in chasing Muslim votes. Britain’s Labour party, which is expected to win the election called for July 4, is also worried it’s losing Muslim support because it’s not seen as sufficiently pro-Palestinian. Labour party leader Keir Starmer recently watched helplessly as former Labour MP George Galloway, a left-wing firebrand, won a byelection by being about as anti-Israel as one can get. Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering there are more election issues in Canada than the Israeli-Gaza conflict. Omer Haziz, who served as a foreign policy director in the Trudeau government, is among many people worried too many Canadian politicians are obsessed with “ethnic domestic battles.” They’re “pandering in lowest-common-denominator ways in B.C. and Ontario suburbs,” Haziz says, while “playing up ethnic grievances to win votes.” The divisive strategy has finally begun falling apart for both Trudeau and Singh, who have long pandered to Sikhs who want a separate homeland in India. It turns out Poilievre is by far the most attractive leader to Canada’s Sikhs, with 54 per cent support. That will be electorally important in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. For his part, Singh now attracts only one in five Sikh voters. That's despite winning the 2017 NDP leadership convention almost entirely on the backing of Sikh and South Asian supporters. More than nine out of 10 of his donors in that year had South Asian names, specifically Punjabi and Sikh. It’s not normal for a religious-ethnic group to abandon a politician in such a drastic way, judging by the research of a University of Toronto political scientist, Randy Besco, author of Identities and Interests: Race, Ethnicity, and Affinity Voting. Besco found ethnic self-identification is powerful in Canadian elections. The largest groups — South Asian Canadians and Chinese Canadians — tend to support candidates of their own ethnicity, Besco says, regardless of ideology or even their own self-interest. In that vein it's foreboding for Singh that a recent Leger poll shows that only seven per cent of recent immigrants of South Asian background, the largest cohort of newcomers, support the NDP. That compares to the 31 per cent who back Poilievre’s Conservatives. And only 18 per cent of the country’s 825,000 Hindus would vote for the NDP. Indeed, Singh consistently fares badly among the two out of three Canadians (excluding Muslims) who identity as religious. Only 11 per cent of Canada’s 20 million Christians, for instance, intend to vote for the NDP. The only group that comes anywhere close to Muslims in supporting the NDP are atheists, 30 per cent of whom back the NDP. That’s along with 26 per cent of a larger group in Canada: those who have “no religious identity.” It makes for strange NDP bedfellows. It means the country’s non-religious are politically allying with members of a powerful global religion. All in all, it’s not a winning formula for Singh nor the NDP. Given the collapse of the Liberals, one would think the NDP would have had a chance to return to the days of Layton, who once won 103 seats for the party, or Mulcair, who at least had a team of 44 fellow MPs. Maybe, with a different leader, the NDP could even be on the verge of forming the next government. But Singh seems to lack the ambition. For some reason he’s bought into flaccidly propping up the Liberal minority, while making unusually strong denunciations of Israel. Meanwhile, the once venerable party crumbles around him. Voices The most stunning sign of the B.C. Conservatives’ rise is that they are utterly dominating among non-white voters. In early May, a survey by Mainstreet Research found that the B.C. Conservatives were the clear first choice for voters identifying as Black, East Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern and South Asian, writes National Post columnist Tristin Hopper. In all of this, B.C. is becoming a particularly dramatic microcosm of trends taking place at the federal level. *** Few Americans questioned the legitimacy of the Second World War after Pearl Harbor, unlike their challenging of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, writes Postmedia contributor Andrew Cohen.  Amid today’s divisions and disinformation, a legion of critics, on social media, seeded in bot farms, one would wonder: Why fight for Europe? It’s not our war. America First! Secure our borders. Hitler is no threat. Democracy’s dead. The Holocaust is fake news. Blame the profiteers, the liberals, the warmongers. Donald Trump would be unmoved by the internationalism of Franklin Roosevelt. Let’s make a deal, he’d invite Herr Hitler. Do what you want with them, he’d tell the advancing Axis. Those poor bastards dying on the beach, he’d say, they’re losers! *** On May 30, just minutes after securing a guilty verdict against former president Donald Trump on 34 felony counts, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg boasted, “I did my job.” Bragg’s not doing his job, writes Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York.  The mainstream media are gushing with adulation. But New Yorkers living in constant fear should find Bragg’s stardom nauseating. He’s being hailed as a hero, but he’s a menace. What we’re reading • Michael Petrou: D-Day — Grief, pain and pride, 80 years later • Randall Denley: The private health-care scare doesn't work anymore. Someone tell Ontario's opposition parties • Rick Bell: Danielle Smith deep-sixes public auto insurance in Alberta • Don Braid: Take Back Alberta had a plan to sabotage NDP leadership race. It flopped • Qiuyu Julia Chen: Why my five-year-old is helping with my PhD thesis on nutrition Readers’ choice • ’A no from me’: Killer refuses to hear Burnaby murder victim’s father ahead of sentencing • Police suspend search for three mountaineers missing near Squamish • No confirmed sightings of orphaned B.C. orca: DFO Advertise with us © 2024 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. 365 Bloor St East, Toronto, ON, M4W 3L4 You received this email because you are subscribed to the Vancouver Sun's Informed Opinion Newsletter, registered as [email protected] • • • Contact us • Digital Ad Registry POSTMEDIA © 2024 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.  
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