Ethnoracial Identities and Political Representation in Ontario and British Columbia

Article 5 / 13 , Vol 42 No. 4 (Winter)

Ethnoracial Identities and Political Representation in Ontario and British Columbia

Political representation of minority groups is an important aspect of modern societies. Are our parliaments generally reflective of the people they serve? In this article, the authors use the results of two recent Canadian provincial elections (Ontario, 2018 and British Columbia, 2017) to explore whether majority and minority groups are proportionally represented in legislatures and to probe some explanations as to why these groups may be over-represented or under-represented. They address notions of residential concentration and the assumption ofethnic affinity to partially explain where ethnoracial minority candidates are likely to be elected. In contrast topast work which has found a general under-representation of minority groups, this analysis finds some nuance.Some racialized groups, notably Chinese Canadians, appear to be proportionally more under-represented than others. The authors explore a range of arguments to explain this finding. In conclusion, the authors highlight two key findings from this research. First, they suggest it is difficult to make the case that being part of a racialized group has a negative impact on political representation at the provincial level – at least currently in two provinces with large racialized populations – without introducing nuance that subdivides ethnoracial minority groups. The second finding is conceptual: ethnic affinity cannot solely predict voting behaviour. The authors contend that the concept must be broadened to include centripetal ethnic affinity and transversal ethnic affinity.

Pascasie Minani Passy and Abdoulaye Gueye Continue reading “Ethnoracial Identities and Political Representation in Ontario and British Columbia”