Saturday, May 2, 2015

Harper nominates Somali MUSLIM to replace John Baird

Just the other day we found out that Stephen Harper has nomimated a black muslim as the allegedly “Conservative” party candidiate – Abdulkadir Abdi – for the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean. 

I wonder if Harper’s buddy – and Assassin chief – the Aga Khan, will contribute his illegal foreign money to the campaign – again?

From here:
By MOHAMMED ADAM Ottawa Citizen Friday 01 May 2015, P.#C4.

Excitement and debate has gripped the Ottawa ethnic community over the surprise nomination of Ottawa police officer Abdulkadir Abdi — seen here on April 2, 2011 — as Conservative party candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean.
Caroline Phillips / Ottawa Citizen

The federal election is six months away but already, considerable excitement and debate has gripped the Ottawa ethnic community over the surprise nomination of Ottawa police officer Abdulkadir Abdi as Conservative party candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean.

And it is a debate that could have a significant bearing on who wins this bellwether riding on October 19. The city’s black community in particular, has worked long and hard for the day when someone from their ranks would be elected to office.

With the blessing of now-departed incumbent John Baird and support from local Conservative stalwarts such as Senator Vernon White, Abdi won the nomination. Unlike many past candidates who had neither the community profile nor a powerful organization behind them, Abdi appears to have both. A member of the Somali community, he has been a police officer for more than 10 years.
You’d think such a candidate would be embraced by a community hungry for a winner, but you’d be wrong. The excitement over his candidacy is tempered by considerable unease over his choice of party. Generally, the ethnic minority community in Ottawa tends to gravitate toward the Liberal party, and the Conservative outreach to ethnic minorities hasn’t been felt in the capital. Antipathy toward the Conservative party is particularly strong in the Muslim community where many believe that Prime Minister Stephen Harper not only dislikes them, but fuels prejudice against them. They point to his recent comments on the niqab and their use for Conservative party fundraising as the latest example.

Even though many in the ethnic community are excited about the prospect of the city’s first black or Muslim MP, there is considerable opposition to voting for someone who would not only help Harper win, but go on to vote for his policies. A number of community leaders I spoke with, including Muslims, (this is no scientific poll) are agonizing over this, and for now, are not willing to tip their hand. Somali community leaders are reaching out to other communities for support and it remains to be seen how successful they’ll be. It goes without saying that there’s no love lost between Harper’s Conservative party and many Muslims, but the irony here is that the city’s first Muslim MP could well turn out to be a Conservative.

Abdi will face Liberal Anita Vandenbeld, and it is not fanciful to think he could win. Liberals and Conservatives have both won the riding in its current and earlier incarnation. But since long-running Liberal MP Marlene Catterall retired in 2005, Baird has held the seat for a decade. In 2011, he won with about 45 per cent of the vote, compared with 32 per cent for Vandenbeld, and 20 per cent for NDP’s Marlene Rivier. Baird’s larger-than-life profile was clearly a key factor in his chain of victories, and Abdi obviously doesn’t have Baird’s cachet. Liberals will fancy their chances this time, but with the Conservative political machine, and a reputedly large war chest behind him, it would be a mistake to write Abdi off.

Whatever happens on election day, Abdi’s nomination is a coup for Conservatives, who can say that they are a big tent party that is welcoming to all. The Somali community is certainly excited about Abdi’s candidacy, and is sparing no effort to back him, just as they helped him sign up new members to win the nomination. Ethnic minorities make up about 28 per cent of Ottawa West-Nepean, and if they can be mobilized to come out in numbers and vote for Abdi, October 19 could be a long day for Vandenbeld. But it is a big “if.”

Ottawa West-Nepean has a knack for offering must-watch races, and the coming election will be no different. This will not be a battle of giants, but the prospect of a Muslim running on a Conservative party ticket in a must-win riding for both Liberals and Conservatives, will be no less fascinating.

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