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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Republican Like Me

Winning the black vote in America.

But not all black voters are the same, any more than all white voters are the same. Those black voters that Republicans have any realistic chance of winning over are people who share similar values and concerns.

They want their children to get a decent education, which they are unlikely to get so long as public schools are a monopoly run for the benefit of the teachers’ unions, instead of for the education of the children. Democrats are totally in hock to the teachers’ unions, which means that Republicans have a golden opportunity to go after the votes of black parents by connecting the dots and exposing one of the key reasons for bad education in inner cities and the bad consequences that follow.

It's an approach Canadian conservatives should keep in mind. Rather than playing the collectivist flattery game, which the Liberals have spent decades perfecting, and instead taking the novel tactic of regarding minority voters - whatever their race - as individuals with day to day concerns. Jason Kenney, the current federal Minister of Immigration, has spent much of his time in cabinet doing the ethnic junket, giving speeches at this community association and that. This is probably necessary political work, showing ethnic voters - basically non-WASPs and non-Francophones - that Tories come sans horns and tail. 

For political support to be lasting the Tories need to offer more than pleasantries. Ethnic voters tend to be immigrants, who in turn are typically more entrepreneurial and socially conservative than average. They are natural conservative voters. They would prefer government stay out of their way, as most small business people do, and turn to family and neighbours before the state in times of crisis. They vote Liberal, and have historically, because right of center parties, whose base has been mostly rural since the 1960s, have failed to pay them more than glancing attention. Just as Conservatives don't, generally, get urban issues, so they don't get urban voters, among them ethnic voters. Though Thomas Sowell is talking about American blacks, a viable strategy for reaching minorities is the same in both countries, treating them like thinking individuals with values and concerns.

Posted by Richard Anderson on January 28, 2010 | Permalink


Winning black voters to the Republicans won't work while Obama is in the White House. Gallup polling shows that Obama's approval rating among african americans hovers between 90-91%. This is the same number that his approval rating was among blacks in January 2009. It has changed all year among the black population. Obama's numbers have fallen sharply among whites(and evendouble digits among non-black minorities). Mark my words in 4 years, his approval rating among blacks will stand around 90%.
The 2008 Canadian federal elections seemd to show that the Conservative Party is starting to make inroads among the immigrant communities. However, it seems that there are some policies that the Conservatives could add to their platform to attract immigrants and even some working class NDP voters. For instance, Angus Reid(on January 25, 2010) released a poll on support for the death penalty in Canada the U.S., and Britain. The poll showed that while the death penalty was higher in Britain(67%-23% for murder) and the U.S.(74%-14% for murder, 62%-36% for rape, and 53% for kidnappers)that the Canadian public approved of executing murderers by a 62%-29% margin. This is more than a 2 to 1 margin and shows that there is significant support in the center(and even some on the left) for executing murderers. The Conservative Party could probably win a lot of votes by calling for a binding referendum at the next election on reinstating the death penalty for killers. Even a leftist like Mulroney promised a parlimentary vote on the death penalty in the 1984 election. The result was the PC's winning 50% of the vote and 211 of 281 seats. This time however, Harper could leave it up to the voters to decide(not politicians) and promise to simply adhere to their wishes. The current data would seem to prove this a political winner for the Conservatives.

Posted by: Jack | 2010-01-28 2:31:06 PM

I have a question out there for discussion. Macleans had a poll showing that Canadians find abortion morally acceptable by a 66%-22% margin. However, I have now read a January 15th Angus Reid poll showing that most Canadians want abortion legal but with some restrictions. The poll showed that only 20% of people knew that abortion in Canada is unrestricted for all 9 months of pregnancy. Most seemed to think that abortion was either very restricted after the first 3 months or that abortion on demand didn't even exist during the first 3 months. When told about the current abortion legal arrangment, the poll showed Canadians disapprvoving by a 63%-30% margin. 24% called for abortion on demand for the first 3 months but limiting it to use in cases of life of mother, rape, and fetal defects. Another 15% called for abortions to be allowed only for the life of the mother after the first 3 months. Finally, another 24% either wanted abortion illegal in all instances(5%) or allowed only in instances of preserving the life of the mother, rape, or fetal defects. Also, the poll showed that people support parental consent laws by 53%-34% and are splitting on ending public funding. The poll seems to show that Canadians want abortion legal but with some limits on it.
This view puts Canadians in the same frame of mind as most of europe. Most of europe has made peace on the abortion issue by legalizing it but placing some restrictions on it. Ireland, Poland, and Malta outlaw it. France allows it on demand for only first 7 weeks. Finland and Germany severely restrict it. Austria, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Russia, and many eastern european countries allow it on demand for only the first 12 or 13 weeks. Even socialist, ultrafeminist Sweden severely restricts abortion after 18 weeks. With the exceptions of the United States and Cuba, Canada is surrounded in the western hemisphere by countries where abortion is either outlawed or severly restricted. Polls generally show strong support for the status quo there. Most of Africa and Asia also either outlaw or put very tight restrictions on abortion. Canada's low birthrate means that the country requires large scale immigration to keep our population numbers. Most of these immigrants are coming from countries where the people disapprove of unrestricted abortion. Meanwhile, it seems that native Canadians are actually middle of the road on abortion and not the pro-choice zealots that the mainstram media would have us believe. It would seem that a Conservative Party that comes out and supports legal abortion but calls for restrictions after the first 12 months wouldwin the votes of both pro-life leaning immigrant communities and mildly pro-choice Canadians who want abortion legal but don't want a baby be aborted in the 8th month.

Posted by: Jack | 2010-01-28 3:07:43 PM

As long as governments participate in race/ethnic politics, by pigeonholing people accordingly, and making such pigeonholing official with government implemented programs such as affirmative action, multiculturalism, et cetera, the problem will remain.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-28 5:58:21 PM

The whole abortion issue is very toxic and divisive. No politician wants to touch it and parties that run on the issue (Christian Heritage) do poorly. The status quo will remain as is, simply because all politicians are afraid to go there.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-01-28 8:39:32 PM

Alain, peterj, agreed.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-28 8:49:34 PM

This time however, Harper could leave it up to the voters to decide(not politicians) and promise to simply adhere to their wishes. The current data would seem to prove this a political winner for the Conservatives.

Posted by: Jack | 2010-01-28 2:31:06 PM

The problem with this is that for the sake of a political victory the government would get into the killing business. I would never vote for such a party even if I agreed with all other policies.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-28 8:52:51 PM

I would never vote for such a party even if I agreed with all other policies.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-28 8:52:51 PM

Exactly what I meant. There is no middle ground on this subject. Toxic and divisive = political suicide.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-01-28 9:46:55 PM

peterj, interesting. I didn't mean it that way yet we agree.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-29 10:48:43 AM

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