Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51636
Title: Conservative Politics, Policy and the Ethnic Vote
Authors: Bandali, Farahnaz
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Citation: Bandali, Farahnaz (2015). Conservative Politics, Policy and the Ethnic Vote ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Abstract: Ethnic and immigrant communities have become a powerful constituency for winning federal elections. The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has done an excellent job of recruiting, maintaining and increasing the support of this constituency over the past three elections, bringing a triple threat on the basis of values, policies and optics. The Conservatives have communicated common values between the base and ethnic communities, enacted policies on the basis of these values and look more like Canada than the other political parties. Despite receiving a majority government in the 2011 election, which is largely attributed to ethnic voters, the Conservative government has tightened legislation around immigration, making it more difficult to come to Canada. This research study explores the relationship between politics and policy and why immigrant communities are increasing their support for the Conservative party despite stricter immigration policies. Qualitative interviews with seven political and community leaders outline that the CPC was able to institute its policy agenda because of good politics. This paper proposes seven perspectives on why immigrant communities are voting for the CPC despite some perceived unfavorable policies. Political parties have the advantage of presenting issues selectively rather than identifying their position on all policy matters. Politicians control the message and citizens rely on politicians to tell them what the important and relevant issues are. The average voter does not have the time to delve into policy and relies on those responsible for policy setting to steer them in the right direction because there is asymmetric knowledge between politicians and voters. It is rational for the average voter to be apathetic towards policy matters due to the large amount of time and effort needed to maneuver in the political landscape. There is little incentive for an individual to become well versed on all policy matters. The average citizen therefore relies on a leader that they believe has their interest at heart. This is where ethos becomes very important. The character and credibility of a leader is a powerful rhetorical tool and Minister Jason Kenney has been a consistent figure for immigrant communities. Pathos is also a very important tool in persuading voters. The CPC’s emotional appeals on same-sex marriage, crime and family values appear to have made an impact on immigrant communities. Ethnic and immigrant communities have become a powerful constituency for winning federal elections. The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has done an excellent job of recruiting, maintaining and increasing the support of this constituency over the past three elections, bringing a triple threat on the basis of values, policies and optics. The Conservatives have communicated common values between the base and ethnic communities, enacted policies on the basis of these values and look more like Canada than the other political parties. Despite receiving a majority government in the 2011 election, which is largely attributed to ethnic voters, the Conservative government has tightened legislation around immigration, making it more difficult to come to Canada. This research study explores the relationship between politics and policy and why immigrant communities are increasing their support for the Conservative party despite stricter immigration policies. Qualitative interviews with seven political and community leaders outline that the CPC was able to institute its policy agenda because of good politics. This paper proposes seven perspectives on why immigrant communities are voting for the CPC despite some perceived unfavorable policies. Political parties have the advantage of presenting issues selectively rather than identifying their position on all policy matters. Politicians control the message and citizens rely on politicians to tell them what the important and relevant issues are. The average voter does not have the time to delve into policy and relies on those responsible for policy setting to steer them in the right direction because there is asymmetric knowledge between politicians and voters. It is rational for the average voter to be apathetic towards policy matters due to the large amount of time and effort needed to maneuver in the political landscape. There is little incentive for an individual to become well versed on all policy matters. The average citizen therefore relies on a leader that they believe has their interest at heart. This is where ethos becomes very important. The character and credibility of a leader is a powerful rhetorical tool and Minister Jason Kenney has been a consistent figure for immigrant communities. Pathos is also a very important tool in persuading voters. The CPC’s emotional appeals on same-sex marriage, crime and family values appear to have made an impact on immigrant communities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51636
Appears in Collections:Master of Public Policy Capstone Projects

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