It turns out the Conservatives didn't get much help from immigrant and "ethnic" voters after all.
“Across the board, there doesn’t seem to be anything but a minor shift in terms of the immigrant versus non-immigrant vote where Conservatives are concerned,” said Stuart Soroka of McGill University.
“Up to this point, there’s a bit of gain there, but it seems tiny,” said Patrick Fournier, of the Université de Montréal.
The Canadian Election Study has found little evidence to back up the suggestion — now almost conventional wisdom — that the Conservatives owe their majority to Kenney’s wooing of the immigrant vote, at least on a national scale.
“Many politicians and journalists, during the campaign at least, bought into a story about the immigrant vote that isn’t reflected in our data,” Soroka told the Star.
So where exactly did the Conservatives find their support to secure a majority?
The academics involved with the Canadian Election Study calculated what they call the “immigrant vote gap” — the percentage of votes from immigrants minus the percentage of vote from non-immigrants. Only the Liberal party, traditionally seen as the party for new Canadians, registers positive figures in this analysis (though less positive than when they were the ruling party). The Conservatives, meanwhile, are still getting more votes from non-immigrants than they are from immigrants, and the vote gap hasn’t changed much since 2008, the researchers found.
According to Bricker’s findings, immigrants and ethnic minority voters lean Conservative the longer they’ve been in Canada. After about 10 years, in fact, their voting patterns and motives are not that different from Canadians born in this country. The same is true of second-generation Canadians who hail from so-called “ethnic” communities, Bricker told the conference.
In short, the core of the Conservative vote came from Canadians along with some support from immigrants who have been in the country at least for 10 years. So it appears Jason Kenney and the Conservatives accomplished nothing more than import more supporters for their political rivals. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
They should wise up. The Conservatives cannot woo ethnic vote blocks with promises of more immigrants and more liberal immigration policies. It has proven to be a failure this election as it proved to be a failure when the Mulroney Progressive Conservatives were reduced to two seats in parliament effectively destroying the party.
Armed with this knowledge the Conservatives should cut back on immigration targets since we don't need the vast majority of them anyways. Having a majority government grants them power for a minimum of four years, five tops. If they stubbornly insist on maintaining the immigrant inflow they will have imported over one million immigrants into the country during their governance most of whom we can assume will support the Liberals come next election.
My prediction is the Conservatives will try to out-Liberal the Liberals when it comes to immigration (yes I think they're that stupid). As the report in the article notes the Liberals still enjoy widespread support from immigrant and ethnic communities. The Conservatives will work to change that by giving us more of the same which means more immigration even in opposition to economic reality and popular will. And it will get them nowhere.