Wooing the ethnic vote is nothing new in the political world – especially in the scrappy mud-wrestling that defines election campaigns and often politics in general in B.C.
Over the past few decades, ethnic communities – particularly South Asian – have wielded increasing political power, both in terms of individual voting, and fielding their own representatives.
Winning favour in these communities can secure a mainstream candidate’s seat, or significantly bolster a party’s fortunes.
And so it’s little surprise the beleaguered B.C. Liberals looked to the ethnic vote as partial salvation from the political quagmire in which they find themselves.
Except, in what has become virtually predictable Liberal fashion, the initiative was fumbled.
What was conceived as an ethnic outreach effort turned into another embarrassment, with distasteful references to “quick wins” via government apologies to ethnic communities for historical wrongs.
Apparently, it never occurred to the Liberal strategists involved that they were playing catch with a live hand grenade should the NDP – and thus the media, and thus the public – were ever to hear about this ill-considered plan.
Of course, that’s what happened, and Premier Christy Clark had to do some apologizing of her own.
It seems the Liberals learned little from the last internal pratfall, when it was discovered they were breaking the rules by using taxpayer-funded computers and facilities to launch anti-NDP websites.
Premier Christy Clark must be growing weary of having to say sorry for the mistakes of her team.
It may well be that she won’t have to for much longer.