Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:59

Jagmeet Singh Out Ahead

By: BJ Siekierski and Kyle Duggan in Ottawa

Jagmeet Singh raised more money than the rest of the NDP leadership field combined in the second quarter of 2017.

According to fundraising data published by Elections Canada late Monday afternoon, the deputy leader of the Ontario NDP raked in $356,784 from 1,681 contributors for the period that ended June 30.

That was well above Charlie Angus, who finished second with $123,577 from 1,285.

Niki Ashton raised $70,156 from 1,006 contributors, while Guy Caron brought in $46,970 from 568.

Peter Julian, who dropped out of the race in June citing fundraising troubles, still raised $28,673 from 296 donors.

In a press release, Singh cited the fact that he only officially joined the race on May 15, 2017 and that he therefore raised the impressive amount in only 47 days.

“Jagmeet Singh, candidate in the federal NDP leadership race, has raised more in the first 47 days than Justin Trudeau or Andrew Scheer at the same point in their leadership campaigns,” the press release said.

It added that the median donation was $40 and that two-thirds of the donations received were under $100.

The Liberals took issue with the $40 median donation being portrayed as evidence of a grassroots groundswell, pointing out that 87 per cent of all their donations in the second quarter were under $100 and that the median donation was just $11.

They also disputed the comparison to Trudeau’s leadership fundraising. A party spokesperson told iPolitics that — though Trudeau announced his intention to run on October 2, 2012, the race wasn’t officially underway until November 14, when the party began providing administrative support to the candidates.

In the first 47 days from November 14, the spokesperson said, Trudeau raised over $700,000.

All the same, with the NDP’s fundraising hitting a seven-year low in the quarter, Singh’s success is indisputably good news for the party, which takes a 25 per cent cut of all donations to leadership campaigns.

“Singh’s fundraising numbers also revealed how his message is resonating with new supporters for the NDP. A cross reference of address, name, and postal code with Elections Canada donor records, demonstrate that roughly 75% of the donors to Singh’s campaign have never before given to Canada’s NDP,” the Singh release said.

Singh himself argued his fundraising numbers show the party can take on the Liberals and Conservatives in 2019.

“I am very proud of what our team was able to accomplish in our first six weeks of the campaign,” he said.

By arrangement with

Published in Politics

by Mohsin Abbas (@MohsinAbbasEh)

The majority of Pakistani candidates running for various offices in the recent Ontario municipal elections continued their losing streak.

Only two Pakistani candidates emerged victorious in the polls, whereas hundreds of others did literally nothing but blabber and distribute their pamphlets all over the place.

Most of these candidates suffered from a glaring deficiency in English language skills and in their knowledge of the Canadian system. Many seemed utterly indifferent towards the problems in their constituencies, and had no recourse but to play up already familiar topics to scrape up a handful of votes.

Not only did they plan their election campaigns poorly, but several of them were also involved in personal conflicts with other Pakistani candidates.

In many areas, several Pakistanis filed their nomination papers from a single constituency, effectively dividing the Pakistani vote several times.

It is fair to say, then, they had it coming.

Peoples' representatives

Pakistani candidates running for office in Canada are no more an unprecedented feat. Every four years, a large number of Pakistanis — never seen before at any community gathering — show up from nowhere, and portray themselves as ‘peoples’ representative’.

Many a candidate get their pamphlets printed in Pakistan as early as a year before the elections, and transport them to Canada with their luggage. When these flyers are distributed among people, the poor chaps are clueless about the candidate, because these candidates neither engage, nor serve the community, and hence remain unknown to a large number of people.

Indian Canadians also compete in the elections, but in contrast to Pakistanis, their success ratio is higher as they make efforts to engage with their community. On the other hand, Pakistani candidates are confined only to photo sessions for local Urdu newspapers, association with Pakistani political parties, and seeking votes on the basis of caste and clan.

Pre-poll surveys this year showed that the victory of Pakistani candidates was highly unlikely, as the results later proved. The causes for this are not too hard to comprehend.

Election manifesto

I asked one Pakistani candidate, “What is your manifesto?” only to be hear this shameless reply: “Umm … I am jobless nowadays … I’ve heard that the councillors have handsome remuneration, so I am trying my luck there …”

[quote align="center" color="#999999"] Every four years, a large number of Pakistanis — never seen before at any community gathering — show up from nowhere, and portray themselves as ‘peoples’ representatives’.[/quote]

These candidates include a Pakistani grocery store owner of my area as well. The lies on his website were traced and duly rebuked by his Canadian rivals – what a defamation of our country.

There was another candidate, a self-proclaimed business tycoon from Sialkot, Pakistan. Having no experience of business, literature and politics, this man has made a mockery of Pakistan overseas.

This business tycoon, named Riazuddin, is also known as Malik Riaz of Mississauga.

The election flyer of this candidate was printed in Pakistan. The flyer reads that Riazuddin has been member of chambers of commerce in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Australia, Sweden, France and the Netherlands, and has served as vice president at Chamber of Commerce in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Mohsin Abbas is an award-winning Pakistani-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and press freedom activist. He is the editor of Diversity Reporter, a multilingual weekly newspaper for newcomers and immigrants in Canada.

This post was republished with permission from Diversity Reporter.
Published in Commentary

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