Record number of visible minority MPs elected to Commons

A dramatic increase from the 2011 election. In addition to the overview, some good personal vignettes of newly elected visible minority MPs.


I am working on a more detailed analysis that should be ready in a day or so but the chart above provides the overall numbers by party:

Their family histories and beginnings tie them to countries plagued by conflict and upheaval, but in Canada they are making history: the first-ever MPs of Afghan, Somali and Iranian heritage.

Those firsts come on the back of a jump in visible-minority representation in the incoming 42nd Parliament – a measure of growing integration and participation among minority communities. At least 46 visible-minority MPs were elected on Monday, the vast majority of them being Liberal. That figure is 13.6 per cent of the total of 338 seats.

That is a record for visible-minority representation, according to data going back to 1993. Research by now-retired McGill University political scientist Jerome Black showed that the 2011 election was what he called the high watermark – when 28 visible-minority MPs were elected, representing 9.1 per cent of the total number. But 2015 has surpassed that total.

“Having visible minorities in Parliament, whether first- or second-generation, helps ensure their perspective is part of [the] discussion and debate,” said Andrew Griffith, a former federal Canadian civil servant who worked on issues of multiculturalism and citizenship.

“It also facilitates greater identification with Canadian political institutions among visible minorities as they can see themselves reflected in these same institutions,” he added.

Some experts argue that the visible minority representation in the incoming parliament still falls short of the 19 per cent that make up Canada’s total visible minority population.

Source: Record number of visible minority MPs elected to Commons – The Globe and Mail

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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