Cricket's the ticket, eh?


An interesting pair of developments have happened in the political multicultural space since the beginning of this week.

On one hand, Canada's federal Minister for (the word "for" has rarely been so loaded with irony) Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, was discovered to have stealthily slashed visas to skilled workers by 20% and made it more difficult for elderly parents to join their adult children in Canada - it could take as long as 13 years now. Here's a link to the article as it appeared on

On the other hand, he issues a cleverly crafted, very public statement that purports to show how much he loves cricket and immigrants and Canada's World Cup cricket team - and boasts of the high volume of immigrants that came to Canada from cricket-playing countries last year.

In a surprisingly common phenomenon, pro-conservative ethnic media outlets have simply run Minister Kenney's release as is - without any reporting, no questions asked. Click here for the original.

Judge for yourself - compare the original with a quick scan of ethnic media websites next.

On the media coverage front, is this a case of the Progressive Conservatives' substantial "say the right thing while doing the opposite" policy paying heavy dividends or a mere case of printing the silly, mid-on, by sympathetic ethnic media? I leave it to you to decide, dear reader.

The deployment of cricket politics by the federal Conservatives may represent part of their new strategy for new Canadians. It's an entertaining notion. Ladies and gentlemen, next on stage Prime Minister Stephen Harper will shimmy Bollywood-style - possibly to "jhooth bole kauwa kaate..." (trans: "if you lie, crows will peck at you"). Watch for something like it at the IIFAs.

Yes, this is another case of Progressive Conservatives talking out of both sides of their mouth, but one thing's for sure: they have pursued a disciplined, sustained strategy of engaging new Canadians. They have looked for a fit in the area of Asian-style social conservatism, combined it with high-visibility opportunistic PR like the cricket world cup, while neatly skating around their anti-immigration policies. The PCs still lag behind the Liberals as the natural party of new Canadians but they have been working hard to change this. Watch this space for more.

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