Canada Elections: Who’ll win?748 views
By Tariq Ahmed Saeedi
All eyes are on the elections’ results in the conservative-led Canada. Keen observers are sanguine that what’s been unprecedented up to now may be going to happen: Liberals will clinch victory!
And, if they make their ways into the power corridor the list of celebrators will abundantly include those who are contributing towards the North American economy. Yes, the immigrants.
An analyst said immigrants, who account for more than 20 percent of the country’s population of approximately 35.85 million, are largely in favour of Liberal Party of Canada.
“In fact, immigrants put their weight behind the Liberals due to some anti-immigrant policy of the Conservative,” he said.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, 43, and incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 56, vie for winning votes in the today’s fiercely-contested parliamentary elections.
An opinion poll disclosed on Sunday that the Liberals secured 37.3 percent, seven notches ahead of Conservatives’ 30.5 percent.
However, the Conservative has been holding the office for the last three terms and this is Harper’s fight for the fourth term.
Speaking from Calgary, Alberta, the analyst said that his state had been an undefeatable stronghold of the Conservative for the last many decades.
Media reports said the Elections Canada will mainly revolve around two issues: immigration and the role of Canada in the Middle East.
Front-runner Trudeau wants to restrict the country’s role in Syria crisis and favours bolstering of local security, while Harper has an opposite view on this.
Further, he is still adamant to push for the ban on veil (niqab) worn by Muslim women to partially cover the face at citizenship gatherings and for government employees.
Harper pulls towards immigrants as he vows to repeal at least one of the two controversial laws: Anti-terrorism Act after assuming power.
“We strongly believe that Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 (also known as Bill C-51) violates the human rights,” said the analyst, who is also a campaigner for a Sikh candidate in the ongoing elections.
He said the Bill C-51 allows the Canadian authority to detain a suspect for up to seven days without charges.
“They can now eavesdrop my calls, access my emails and intrude my privacy in the name of eliminating jihadists (Islamic extremists),” he rued. “Now, anyone’s alienated neighbour could bring forth a trouble if he complains a security agency” on a misperceived notion.
He said criminals should be booked and not an innocent civilian.
The Canadian Citizenship Act, popularly called C-24, is equally, perhaps more, annoying for immigrants.
The analyst said under the law an authority can invoke a provision to revoke a citizenship of dual citizenship holder if s/he is found in a suspicious activity, “that may be a provocative remark.”
An Indian girl and a Pakistan boy were the recent victims of this law.
Statistics Canada data showed that the population of seniors has already outnumbered youth aged 14 and under for the first time as there was a drop in international migration. Harper also has a strict policy for refugees compared to Trudeau and New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair.
The writer is a Karachi-based journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.