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Charting citizenship : the political participation of immigrants in Richmond and Surrey, BC Rose, John Stanley 2007

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CHARTING CITIZENSHIP: THE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF IMMIGRANTS IN RICHMOND AND SURREY, BC by JOHN S T A N L E Y ROSE B.A. , University of British Columbia, 1996 M.A. , University of British Columbia, 1998 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 2007 © John Stanley Rose, 2007 ABSTRACT This thesis presents an examination of immigrant political participation in Richmond and Surrey, BC, during the 1990s, with a particular focus on Chinese-Canadians from Hong Kong and South Asian-Canadians from the Punjab region of India. The purpose of the thesis is to examine the extent and direction of citizenship, as measured by political participation, among these Canadian citizens. The research addresses various contemporary theories on citizenship and immigrant settlement: how immigrants are being incorporated as citizens in their country of settlement, and/or sustain political transnational activities that span the borders of nation-states. Electoral returns for the 1991, 1996, and 2001 British Columbia Provincial General Elections, and returns for the 1993, 1997, and 2000 Canadian Federal General Elections, are compared with census data for Richmond and Surrey to assess the relationship between immigrant status, ethnic origin, and voter turnout. Focus groups and interviews with 100 Punjabi-origin and Hong Kong-origin residents are also drawn upon to assess voter participation rates, as well as participation in extra electoral political activities, non-electoral politics, and transnational political activities. The research finds little evidence of transnational political activity, and that most participants' political energies are directed towards formal Canadian electoral politics, especially voting. Additional electoral and non-electoral participation was also evident. Electoral analysis indicates that immigrant status is only modestly related with voter turnout, though by the turn of the 2000s, immigrant status—especially recent immigrant status—becomes increasingly associated with declines in voter participation. The research also finds, in the realm of voting and other electoral and non-electoral activities, little differentiation in the overall participation rates between Hong Kong-origin Chinese Canadians and Punjabi-origin South Asian Canadians. Their considerable participation in formal Canadian politics notwithstanding, the thesis also finds that immigrant-origin, ethnic minority citizens harbour considerable concerns with the way in which the Canadian political system addresses their concerns, and believe that co-ethnic representation is necessary to make the political system more responsive and representative. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents i i i List of Tables vii List of Figures x Acknowledgements xi 1 On the Significance of Political Participation Research 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Political Participation in Modern ('National') Citizenship 10 1.3 The Direction of Participation: National and Post-National Citizenship 14 1.4 'The Good Citizen': Political Participation as a / Normative Activity 16 1.5 Immigration, Political Participation, and Citizenship 23 1.6 Immigrant Political Participation and National Citizenship 25 1.7 Immigrant Political Participation and Multicultural Citizenship 30 1.8 Immigrant Political Participation and Transnational Citizenship ....34 1.9 Conclusion: Immigrant Political Participation and . Discourses on Citizenship 36 1.10 Advancing the Argument 43 2 Get Out and Vote: The Geographic Patterns of Electoral Participation in Richmond and Surrey, BC 46 2.1 Introduction 46 2.2 Methodology 61 2.3 Geographic Patterns of Electoral Participation 65 2.3.1 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections 65 2.3.2 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections 68 2.3.3 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections 72 2.4 Overall Participation Trends: 1991-2001. 75 2.5 Conclusions: Making Sense of Spatial Patterns of Voter Turnout ...80 3 The Residential Ecology of Political Participation: A Quantitative Analysis of Voter Turnout in Richmond and Surrey, BC 84 3.1 Introduction 84 3.2 Methodology ,89 iv 3.3 The Social Correlates of Voter Turnout in Richmond and Surrey, BC : 93 3.3.1 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections 93 3.3.2 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections 97 3.3.3 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections 101 3.3.4 Discussion: Simple Correlations 102 3.4 Narrowing Down the Focus: Factor Analysis of the Independent Variables 110 3.4.1 1991 Census Variables: Factor Analysis 110 3.4.2 1991 Factors: Correlation and Regression Analysis of 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Election Turnout 112 3.4.3 1996 Census Variables: Factor Analysis 114 3.4.4 1996 Factors: Correlation and Regression Analysis of 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Election Turnout 115 3.4.5 2001 Census Variables: Factor Analysis 117 3.5 Discussion and Conclusions 119 4 Voting and Beyond: An Individual-Scale Examination of Immigrant Political Participation 126 4.1 Introduction .126 4.2 Methodology 130 4.3 The Social Correlates of Participation: Revisiting the Questions 138 4.3.1 Participation in Elections: Focus Group Overview 1... 138 4.3.2 Participation in Elections: Interview Overview 145 4.3.3 Participation in Elections: Analysis of Interview Results 149 4.4 Additional Electoral Activities? Further Developing the Analysis of Immigrant Political Participation 154 4.4.1 Introduction and Focus Group Overview 154 4.4.2 Additional Electoral Activities: Interview Results 157 4.5 Political Participation in Canada Outside the Electoral System? Political Activity in the 'Civic ' Arena 165 4.5.1 Introduction and Focus Group Overview 165 4.5.2 Non-Electoral Participation: Interview Results... 168 4.6 Political Participation in Just Canada? Political Activity in the 'Transnational' Arena....' 174 4.6.1 Introduction and Focus Group Overview ...174 4.6.2 Transnational Political Activity: Interview Results 179 4.7 Conclusion: Immigrant Political Participations-Voting and Beyond 180 5 The 'Substance' of Participation—A Qualitative Assessment of Immigrant/Ethnic Minority Political Participation 184 5.1 Introduction 184 V 5.2 Factors Influencing Participation: Focus Group Themes 188 5.2.1 Interest in Participation 188 5.2.2 Ability to Participate.... 198 5.3 Factors Influencing Participation: Interview Findings 202 5.3.1 Factors Inhibiting Participation 202 5.3.2 Factors Promoting Participation 209 5.4 The 'Substance' of Political Participation 216 5.4.1 Introduction 216 5.4.2 Conceptual Issues 218 5.5 Citizenship Acquisition and Substantive Participation 223 5.5.1 Focus Group Findings..'.... 223 5.5.2 Interview Findings 226 5.6 Political Issues and Substantive Participation 231 5.6.1 Focus Group Findings 231 5.6.2 Interview Findings 234 5.7 The Political Process and Substantive Participation 245 5.7.1 Focus Group Findings.... 247 5.7.2 Interview Findings 251 5.8 Co-Ethnic Representatives and Substantive Participation 262 5.8.1 , Focus Group Findings 262 5.8.2 Interview Findings 268 5.9 Conclusion: Political Participation and Substantive Citizenship 274 6 Immigrant Political Participation: Conceptual and Practical Implications of the Research 278 6.1 'Modern' and Transnational Citizenship 278 6.2 Participation in Canadian Politics: Immigrant Participation and Variations Within the Immigrant Community: Guides for Action... 286 6.2.1 Voting and Other Forms of Participation 286 6.2.2 Participation in Canadian Politics: Perspectives on Political Issues 289 Bibliography 294 Appendix I Focus Group Question Script 312 Appendix II Focus Group and Interview Participant Questionnaires 313 Appendix III Interview Question Script 315 Appendix IV UBC Ethics Review Approval for Field Research, 2001-2002 317 Appendix V Selected Contingency Tables: Voters/Non-Voters 318 VI Appendix VI Selected Contingency Tables: Extra Electoral Participants/ Non Participants ..330 Appendix VII Selected Contingency Tables: Non-Electoral Participants/ Non Participants 333 V l l LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1 Top 10 Municipalities with 5,000+ Population Having the Highest Proportions of 1990s Immigrants, 2001 56 Table 2.2 Table 2.2: Residents of Chinese and South Asian Origin, Richmond and Surrey, 1991-2001 ...60 Table 2.3 Simple Correlations of Provincial and Federal Voter Turnout, by Census Tract, 1991-2001: Richmond and Surrey, BC 76 Table 2.4 Municipal Variations in Voter Turnout: Provincial minus Federal, Number of Census Tracts, 1991-2001 78 Table 3.1 Highest Simple Correlations Between 1991 Census Variables and Voter Turnout, 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections (n = 64) 94 Table 3.2 Highest Simple Correlations Between 1996 Census Variables and Voter Turnout, 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections (n = 64) .' 98 Table 3.3 Highest Simple Correlations Between 2001 Census Variables and Voter Turnout, 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections (n=104) . 101 Table 3.4 Summary of Highest Simple Correlations: Provincial and Federal Elections 1991-2001 ,103 Table 3.5 Highest Simple Correlations Between Total Population: Low Income and other 1991 Census Variables 108 Table 3.6 Highest Simple Correlations Between Total Population: Home Ownership, Youth: 20-29 Years, and other 1996 Census Variables 109 Table 3.7 Highest Simple Correlations Between Home Ownership and other 2001 Census Variables 109 Table 3.8 Rotated Factor Matrix: 1991 Census Variables 111 Table 3.9 Correlations: 1991 Factor Loadings and 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Voter Turnout 113 Table 3.10 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1991 Factor Scores and 1991 Provincial Voter Turnout '. 113 V l l l Table 3.11 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1991 Factor Scores and 1993 Federal Voter Turnout 113 Table 3.12 Rotated Factor Matrix: 1996 Census Variables 115 Table 3.13 Correlations: 1996 Factor Loadings and 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Voter Turnout. 116 Table 3.14 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1996 Factor Scores and 1996 Provincial Voter Turnout 116 Table 3.15 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1996 Factor Scores and 1997 Federal Voter Turnout 117 Table 3.16 Rotated Factor Matrix: 2001 Census Variables 118 Table 3.17 Correlations: 2001 Factor Scores and 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Voter Turnout 118 Table 3.18 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 2001 Factor Scores and 2001 Provincial Voter Turnout 119 Table 3.19 Stepwise Regression Analysis of 2001 Factor Scores and 2000 Federal Voter Turnout 119 Table 3.20 Highest Simple Coefficients of Determination for Individual Factors and Voter Turnout, 1991-2001 122 Table 4.1 Profile of Focus Group Participants 133 Table 4.2 Profile of Interview Participants 136 Table 4.3 Results of Contingency Table Analysis of Voters/Non-Voters at -Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Levels of Participation: Highest Chi-Square Values 151 Table 4.4 Table 4.4: Results of Contingency Table Analysis of Additional Electoral Participants/Non-Participants: Chi-Square Values 159 Table 4.5 Results of Contingency Table Analysis of Non-Electoral Participants/Non-Participants: Chi-Square Values 170 Table 5.1 Factors Identified as Inhibiting Political Participation in Canada: A l l Interviewees 202 ix Table 5.2 Factors Identified as Promoting Political Participation in Canada: A l l Interviewees 210 Table 5.3 Stated Reasons for Acquiring Canadian Citizenship 226 Table 5.4 Political Issues of Importance Identified by Interviewees 234 Table 5.5 Views on the Fairness and Representativeness of the Canadian Political System 251 Table 5.6 Perspectives on the Significance of Co-Ethnic Representation 268 X LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 Richmond and Surrey Within Greater Vancouver 51 Figure 2.2 Canadian Immigration Intake, 1944-2000 52 Figure 2.3 Proportion of Provincial and Territorial Populations Comprised of Recent Immigrants (Arriving Within Past 10 Years), 1991 and 2001 54 Figure 2.4 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1991 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 66 Figure 2.5 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1993 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 67 Figure 2.6 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1996 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 69 Figure 2.7 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1997 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 70 Figure 2.8 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 2001 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 71 Figure 2.9 Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 2000 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC 72 X I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, I must acknowledge the sacrifices made by my wife Tanya, son Derek, and the rest of my family during my doctoral programme. This has been a hard, long road and I could not have reached the final destination without your support. Now that this thesis has been completed, I hope to be able to give you all the attention you deserve. I also thank my colleagues (and administration) at Kwantlen University College, my workplace for the past five years. The understanding and supportive environment you have provided for me during this time has been greatly appreciated. I am indebted to Dr. Dan Hiebert, Dr. Geraldine Pratt, Dr. Elvin Wyly, Dr. David Edgington, Dr. Tom Hutton, and Dr. Brian Ray for their time and effort in reviewing drafts of the thesis and for their constructive written and oral critiques. The input of my fellow geography graduate students, as well as Dr. Katharyne Mitchell, during the early stages of my doctoral programme was also helpful. Progressive Intercultural Community Services (P.I.C.S.) and the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.) generously assisted with the recruitment of focus group participants. Devinder Chattha and Philip Yan provided indispensable translation services for questionnaires, and select focus groups and interviews. Research also takes money, and I am personally thankful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for awarding me the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship which provided financial support to me during the early stages of this thesis. A University Graduate Fellowship (UGF) awarded by the University of British Columbia also provided welcome economic backing. Furthermore, a research grant from the Vancouver Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis (R.I.I.M.) was instrumental in enabling the focus groups and interviews to proceed. Finally, a special note of gratitude to Dr. David Ley, my mentor for the past decade of my undergraduate and graduate life. Simply stated, this thesis would not be possible without his emotional, intellectual, and administrative aid, and seemingly bottomless reserve of patience with this most recalcitrant of graduate students. 1 1 ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IMMIGRANT POLITICAL PARTICIPATION RESEARCH 1.1 Introduction Voting Results By Electoral District: List of Candidates By Electoral District and Individual Results (candidate) (party) (residence) (occupation) (#votes) (%votes) Raymond Chan (Lib.) Richmond Research Engineer 21457 37.1% Nick Loenen (R.P.) Richmond Businessman 17900 30.9% Tom Siddon (P.C.) Richmond Professional Engineer 11033 19.1% Sylvia Surette (N.D.P.) Richmond Sales Agent 3633 6.3% Fred Pawluk (Nat.) Richmond Small Businessman 2271 3.9% Kathy McClement (N.L.P.) Richmond Businesswoman 333 0.6% Judith Campbell (NIL) Vancouver Manager 317 0.6% Clyde E. Vint (C.H.P.) Langley Aviation Repairs 282 0.5% Jerry Haldeman (Ind.) Richmond (Retired) 166 0.3% Kerry Daniel Pearson (Libert.) Richmond Security Guard 155 0.3% John Edgar Square-Briggs (NIL) Richmond Plumber 29 0.1%, Elections Canada (1993) "The New Democratic Party of British Columbia held a leadership convention in February 2000. Ujjal Dosanjh was elected leader." Elections B C (2000) The official announcements outlined above describe two Canadian political events of the past decade. The first describes the election of Raymond Chan, in 1993, as Member of Parliament for the riding of Richmond, British Columbia; the second notes the nomination of Ujjal Dosanjh to the leadership of the British Columbia New Democratic Party and, by extension (the NDP having held the position of governing party in BC since 1991), his appointment as Premier of British Columbia. On the surface these events appear unremarkable, and indeed, the spartan prose of these official announcements gives little impression that the election of Chan, and the nomination of Dosanjh, are of anything more than passing interest, more than just another footnote in Canadian electoral history. Yet these were, and are, significant political events, ones that were highlighted in a series of narratives, 2 focused on the various identities of these politicians, that coursed through media reports at the time of these milestones. Given that the rise of Chan and Dosanjh were political events, occurring within the context of democratic electoral politics, dominated by political parties as the vehicles of political organization, much of the media attention highlighted the two politicians' party affiliations, and the significance of their achievements in relation to their parties, other political parties, and the larger political context. In Chan's case, one of the most remarkable features of his ascendancy to Parliament was the fact that it was accomplished in the riding of Richmond, BC, long a stronghold of the Progressive Conservative Party and defeated incumbent MP Tom Siddon, who had held the seat since 1977. Though seemingly anomalous, Chan's victory made sense within the larger context of the 1993 Federal General Election itself, which saw the federal Liberal Party return to power after a nine-year absence, reducing the deeply-unpopular Progressive Conservative Party to two seats in the House of Commons. Dosanjh's rise also was framed, in the popular media, in the context of party politics but, in this case, primarily politics internal to the provincial New Democratic Party. Having joined the party in the 1970s, Dosanjh had risen to the position of Attorney General of British Columbia in 1995, a position he would hold until becoming leader of the party in 2000. This leadership position had been opened with the resignation of disgraced premier Glen Clark, who had been forced to resign in August of 1999 due to a conflict of interest scandal, and had been replaced by interim premier Dan Miller. Facing Dosanjh in the nomination fight were Corky Evans, the relatively innocuous Minister of Agriculture, Len Werden, a labour activist involved in the construction industry, and Gordon Wilson, former college instructor and 3 former leader of the provincial Liberal and short-lived Progressive Democratic Alliance parties (having joined the NDP in 1999). The leadership race was a bitter affair, marked by a significant controversy over the sign-up of new party members by Dosanjh and Wilson, and considerable jockeying by the candidates during the leadership convention. Even before the voting began, Welden pulled out to throw his support behind Evans; Wilson did the same just hours before voting was to commence. Regardless of this change, expected to push the voting to at least a second ballot, Dosanjh managed to prevail over Evans on the first and only ballot, by a margin of 769-549. Following this victory, Dosanjh was sworn in as the 33 r d Premier of British Columbia on February 22 n d, 2000 (Nuttall-Smith, 2001). Interestingly, in contrast to the extensive coverage of their political party identities and positions, nothing was said about Chan and Dosanjh's gender identities, namely, the fact that both politicians were men. Similarly, there was no comment on the fact that both politicians were middle-aged at the time of their noteworthy electoral successes, Chan at 42 years of age and Dosanjh 53. Likewise, rather little was made of Chan's class identity, outside of biographical information that noted (but did not comment further on) his academic achievements (a BSc in Engineering) and employment status (past restaurant owner and research engineer). In the case of Dosanjh, education and work history were also noted as part of the biographical information presented in the media. This was of rather greater importance, newswise, in the context of the NDP leadership convention: though possessing a history of radical left-wing class politics, Dosanjh explicitly positioned himself as a 'moderate', in contrast to the disgraced Clark, who would bring the party back towards the more centrist position staked out by former leader Michael Harcourt, who had led the party to victory in 1991. 4 In 1993 and 2000, however, it was not Chan and Dosanjh's party, gender, age, or class identities that made their achievements the focus of such popular interest. It was, rather, their status as members of ethnic minority communities, and immigrants to Canada, that garnered the most attention, and which seemingly made their political achievements of particular interest. Chan, it was noted, was of ethnic Chinese origin and had immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1969; shortly following his victory, in November 1993, he would become the first Chinese-Canadian ever appointed to the Privy Council, when he was appointed Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific Region. (Lee, et al., 1993). In 2000 very few media reports failed to point out that Dosanjh was of Punjabi-origin, coming from the Punjab state of India, via England, to Canada in 1968. Upon becoming Premier of British Columbia with his 2000 nomination to the NDP leadership, Dosanjh became the first Indo-Canadian—or any visible-minority for that matter—in Canada to hold the position of provincial Premier, (see, for example, Beatty, et a l , 2000; Bolan, 2000; Grewal, 2000) At times both politicians struggled with this particular emphasis on their ethnic and immigrant origins. Chan, for example, argued publicly that "most people don't care if I'm Chinese, but rather, if I can represent my riding well in Ottawa," emphasizing his Canadian national identity and support for 'common' Canadian concerns (Gill, 1993, p. 7; Johnson, 1993, p. 3). Likewise, Dosanjh, in particular contexts, de-emphasized his ethnic identity in relation to his position in public office, stressing the private nature of his ethnic, linguistic, and religious heritage, and arguing that it would be no impediment to his handling of the job of premier (Chohan, 2000). Such sentiments were similarly echoed in various articles and letters to the editor from the public that appeared in the wake of Chan and Dosanjh's political 5 triumphs, expressing the opinion that both men's ethnic and immigrant identities were of little importance, and that to comment upon them was unnecessary, if not racist. These protestations notwithstanding, Chan and Dosanjh's ethnic and immigrant identities did appear to have considerable public salience, with various reasons for their larger importance highlighted by the media and even the politicians themselves. Acknowledging their ethnic and immigrant origins, Chan and Dosanjh contended that their electoral success was an indication of the openness of the Canadian political system and acceptance of ethnic minorities and immigrants by the Canadian public. This theme was frequently emphasized in media reports of Dosanjh's political success, which was often contrasted with the expulsion of Sikh immigrants aboard the Komagata Maru, off the shores of BC, in 1917 (Nuttal-Smith, 2001). Over and above this 'symbolic' importance, Chan and Dosanjh's political success suggested a broader and growing participation of Chinese- and Punjabi-origin immigrant communities in the Canadian political process. Media coverage of Chan's political rise, for example, noted his efforts to access the Chinese-Canadian community within Richmond, via interviews in the Chinese-language media; ethnic-Chinese support was also noteworthy in his hard-contested nomination battle against Indo-Canadian Herb Dhaliwal for the Richmond Liberal candidacy (Lee, et al., 1993). Similarly, Dosanjh's political success in the provincial NDP leadership convention was largely attributed to the large-scale recruitment of Indo-Canadian party members—an ethnic community also courted by Dosanjh's competitor for the leadership, Gordon Wilson—particularly those in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey (Palmer, 2000; Vancouver Sun, 2000). Finally, and emphasizing Chan and Dosanjh's immigrant origins more explicitly, another narrative strand in the popular media outlined the transnational linkages between these two men and their 6 countries of origin. Both Chan and Dosanjh's political achievements, for example, were the subject of media commentaries in Hong Kong and India, respectively. Moreover, Chan and Dosanjh appeared to be involved, not only in Canadian politics, but also—to some extent—in the political affairs of their origin countries. Part of Chan's publicized biography, for example, noted his involvement, in 1989, in pro-democracy protests in Vancouver against the People's Republic of China's suppression of dissidents in Tienanmen Square, Beijing; following his election as MP in 1993, his appointment as Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific Region was generally seen as a means of capitalizing on Chan's links with the region; subsequent media reports highlighted Chan's involvement in overseas politics and meetings with Hong Kong-based pro-democracy politicians (Lee, et al., 1993). Similarly, following his appointment as Premier, Dosanjh embarked on a trip to the Punjab in December of 2000 in which he visited his home village and negotiated road building and power transmission projects in India with local politicians (The Tribune House, 2000). After their respective successes, Chan and Dosanjh experienced varying political fortunes. Chan, successfully re-elected as MP for Richmond in 1997, was defeated by Canadian Alliance (later turned Liberal) candidate Joe Peschisolido in the 2000 election; Chan subsequently defeated Peschisolido in the Liberal nomination process and regained the position of MP for Richmond in 2004. Dosanjh's 2000 NDP nomination victory turned out to be a pyrrhic one, with Dosanjh losing his seat in the May, 2001 Provincial Election, and the NDP reduced to just two seats of 79 in the legislature; in 2004, however, Dosanjh ran under the federal Liberal banner in Vancouver South and was elected MP, subsequently being appointed to the high-profile cabinet position of Minister of Health by Prime Minister Paul Martin. Arguably, with the passage of time, there has been less interest in the 7 accomplishments of Chan and Dosanjh, as 'representatives' of key immigrant-origin, ethnic minority communities, yet their appears to be no diminishment in popular interest around ethnic minority immigrant political participation. As evidenced in the spate of articles circulating in the Vancouver newspapers during the 2004 federal election (Skelton, 2004a, 2004b), the political participation of such community members continues to be of considerable public interest, with questions remaining about the extent of political participation among ethnic minority, immigrant-origin citizens, the issues of importance that animate such participation, and the social significance of ethnic minority, immigrant-origin political representatives. One particular dimension of this discourse has been an apparent public distinction between the political behaviour of the South Asian- and Chinese-Canadian communities. On the one hand, members of the South Asian community, Punjabis in particular, have been depicted as an especially politically active group, playing an increasing role as voters, party members, candidates and elected officials in the Canadian political process (Grewal, 2006). On the other hand, a persistent theme has been the comparatively low profile of Chinese-Canadians—especially those of Hong Kong origin—in the Canadian political process (Hansen, 2001; Vanden Bussche, 2005) Such messages beg the questions: is this popular perception accurate and, if so, what are the causes for this distinction? The primary purpose of this thesis is to provide a greater understanding of the direction, extent, and forms of political participation among relatively recent immigrants to Canada. This framing of purpose in such stark, empirical terms is consistent with much of the literature on immigrant/ethnic minority political participation in Canada, in which a dearth of existing research is—implicitly or explicitly—asserted to exist, providing the animus for the authors' own efforts (see, for example, Black, 1991; Black and Lakhani, 1997; 8 Stasiulis, 1997; Abu-Laban, 1997; Simard, 2002). At some point, though, with the accumulation of individual works adding up to provide a broader portrait, the invocation of a general 'lack of knowledge' becomes an insufficient justification for research on immigrant political participation. When this point is reached, which I believe it to be, one must be more specific in framing the empirical evidence and gaps in knowledge that are to be addressed. This I will do as I proceed through this and the subsequent chapters of this thesis, presenting a quantitative and qualitative assessment of immigrant political participation in Canada that speaks to various research projects and findings. Empirical considerations, however, do not provide a single, or sufficient, explanation for a research project such as this; the selection of 'immigrant political participation in Canada' as a topic is freighted with a host of conceptual assumptions, from the definition of'political participation' as an activity of significance, to the choice of'Canada' and 'immigrants' as the geographic sphere and agents of inquiry, respectively. Curiously, while Canadian researchers of immigrant/ethnic minority political participation have been forthright in describing the empirical motivation for their works, they have been rather more quiescent in exploring conceptual and theoretical underpinnings. This is not only, in my opinion, a serious blind spot in much of the research, but also a missed opportunity. I concur with those who state that examinations of immigrant/ethnic minority political participation are important, owing to the growing numerical significance of immigrants and ethnic minorities in the Canadian population (eg. Abu-Laban, 1997; Biles, 1998; Simard, 2000). Likewise, I agree with those who cite political participation as a significant measure of social integration, both in the degree to which immigrants engage with the polity and the degree to which the polity is receptive to such participation (see Abu-Laban, 1997; Black, 1991; Black and Lakhani, 1997; Bloemraad, 2006; Reitz and Banerjee, 2007). However, I believe that the examination of immigrant political participation inherently addresses—and should be called upon to address—many more theoretical and practical issues, ones which are often discussed primarily at the conceptual level, begging for empirical analysis to provide further insight and substantiation. An ancillary objective of this thesis, then, is to bring the empirical research on immigrant political participation into closer engagement with wider theories on citizenship, democracy, and immigration. To this end, this chapter presents the intellectual foundations for this research project: the concepts and theories which inform it, the normative position that underpins it, the social, economic, and political contexts within which it is situated, and some basic questions that it seeks to address. The chapter is organized on the basis of a progressive unpacking of the research topic 'immigrant political participation in Canada'. It begins with a consideration of political participation as an activity of importance, both conceptually and normatively, within the rubric of citizenship. Following from this, I then discuss the 'in Canada' component of the research question: why the study of political participation has tended to focus on 'nation'-states, such as Canada, and some of the contemporary developments that raise interesting questions about this relationship. With these general parameters established, I then turn to consider the significance of immigrant political participation in receiving nation-states. Here I emphasize not only the growing numerical importance of immigrants as Canadian citizens, but how their distinct identity—as newcomers and (often) as ethnic minorities—argues for a greater appreciation for and understanding of their political activities in Canada. I also stress the potential role of immigrant-origin Canadians, not just as participants within existing political structures, but as agents changing the direction and discourses of political participation altogether: away from a (single, receiving) nation-state model, towards a transnational model which cuts across nation-state boundaries. With these issues considered, by way of conclusion I consider how an empirical examination of immigrant political participation in Canada can provide insight into the various issues and questions foregrounded in this chapter. 1.2 Political Participation in Modern ('National') Citizenship Although various definitions of the concept exist, a minimal description of citizenship is that of a relationship through membership between an individual and a socio-political community. Furthermore, this relationship can be conceived as 'horizontal', with other members of the community, and, in most instances, 'vertical', a relationship between the individual and political decision-making institutions which mediate and regulate relations among community members (Smith, 1989, p. 147; Heater, 1990, p. 2; Cairns, 1999; Bloemraad, 2000, 2006). More substantively, this citizenship relationship has been identified as consisting of a variety of components, including: legal status, identity, rights that the individual may claim against the community members and political institutions, and responsibilities or obligations which the community and political institutions may claim against the individual. Within this general framework, the content of these components (legal status, identity, rights, responsibilities), of course, can vary over time and space (Marshall, 1964; Heater, 1990; Volpp, 2000). Within democratic socio-political communities and institutions, one key that governs the relationship between the individual and socio-political community is the right of the individual to participate in the public decision-making process. Within this context, the act 11 of political participation can be thought of as another dimension to the citizenship relationship in democratic societies. Indeed, historically, it was the enjoyment of political rights which defined citizenship as a particular type of relationship between an individual and his or her community, as well as the citizen as an individual bearing a distinct legal status and identity, in sharp relief to the subject who was at the whim of political decision-makers in a relationship of subjection. Following from this observation, a number of contemporary theorists have emphasized the specificity and importance of political rights in the citizenship equation. As Ericksen and Weigard (2000, pp. 15-16) contend, ". . .only political rights are of an irreducibly collective nature, as they involve the citizens in processes of opinion and will formation above and beyond their own private reality." Likewise, Philip (2000, p. 167) points out that, in contrast to the other rights components of citizenship, political liberties should be accorded central status, recognizing that ". . .certain political liberties are necessary to safeguard these other civil and personal rights." Moving further than this emphasis on political rights, other theorists have stressed the significance of political participation as a defining characteristic of the type of individual/state relationship known as citizenship. Miller (2000), for example, notes how historical republican conceptions of citizenship highlighted participation as the activity which distinguished the 'citizen' from the subject; recognizing other conceptions of citizenship which de-emphasized participation as a criterion, Riesenberg (1992) nevertheless points out that this participatory component of citizenship has been more influential, historically, than more passive formulations. Such an emphasis on political participation rights and practice in citizenship is also present in the critiques presented by Smith (1989), Young (1989) and Soysal (1994), who challenge the citizenship relationship as an exclusionary process which marginalizes particular groups and 12 issues from the public sphere. Neatly summarizing the view that holds participation to be a crucial component of citizenship, and concurring with it, Tully (2000, pp. 213-214) writes of citizenship as an 'achievement', something brought into being through political engagement: A free people subject themselves to the law through their own participation. That is, they are 'free citizens' just in so far as they have a voice in their form of self-government. To be a 'free citizen' it is not sufficient simply to be a member of a free people. It is necessary to participate in some direct or indirect way in the exercise of political power: to be an 'active' citizen. If members do not have a voice in the way in which political power is exercised, and this power is exercised over them without their say, 'behind their backs', as in the market or bureaucratic organizations, then they are, by definition 'subjects' rather than free citizens. . .A member of a free people becomes a 'free citizen' only in so far as she not only has the opportunity to participate in some way or another, but actually participates, (italics added) In these views, then, the concept of 'citizenship' becomes much more specific than in the minimal conception outlined at the beginning of this section, conflated either with the possession of political rights, or further, with participation in public decision-making. Following from these views, analyzing political participation becomes a central component in any analysis of citizenship. This definition of citizenship as a particular relationship between the individual and the socio-political community has not gone unchallenged. Engin Isin (1995, 1999), in particular has argued that yoking citizenship with the rights and practice of political participation is Eurocentric, failing to encompass different individual/community contracts that exist outside of Europe and North America. Following from this, Isin has used the concept of citizenship to describe individual/community relationships in explicitly un-democratic societies. Similarly, in their analysis of recent Asian immigrants in Australia, Ip, et al. (1997) highlight differences between the history and components of citizenship in Asia and Australia. While I am inclined to argue against such a 'conceptual inflation' of the 13 concept of citizenship, and favour a more specific definition of'citizenship' as a democracy-dependent mode of socio-political relationship, even a minimal definition of citizenship still leaves room for the analysis of political participation. Even if one chooses, semantically, not to conflate citizenship with political participation, there is no denying that in democratic socio-political communities political participation is a key, though not the only, component of the citizenship relationship. In other words, while the study of the citizenship relation could focus on legal status, identity, rights, and responsibilities, such a study would not be complete (for democratic societies) without some consideration of the extent and nature of political participation on the part of the community's members. Over and above this basic conceptual justification for studying political participation in democratic societies there is an additional, related reason: the 'substantive' assessment of how democratic a nominally democratic society really is. As has been noted, a key right in a democratic society is the right to participate in the political process. One can conceive of these rights as structuring the potential to participate, and of course, they do play a dominant role in determining who has the ability to take part in the political process, by relating political participation rights with formal citizenship status. As such, these sets of rights are worthy of study, but the analysis of political rights is incomplete without an assessment of how they are actually exercised by those who hold them. Political participation, then, can be conceived of as an act of agency on the part of citizens, with the level and extent of participation indicating just how democratic a society really is (Bloemraad, 2000). In this sense, the 'lens' of participation acts as a key link between the individual and society, and an empirical 'test' of the system. Such a lens serves to illustrate, moreover, the structures—over and above legal status and the enjoyment of political rights—which serve to enable and limit 14 political participation in a democratic society, suggesting policies and actions to eliminate obstacles and promote greater political engagement. 1.3 The Direction of Participation: National and Post-National Citizenship Lastly, beyond fleshing out the citizenship relationship, and providing an empirical 'test' of a society's democratic status, the analysis of political participation may also serve to illustrate the direction of citizenship. As Isin and Wood observe, 'modern' citizenship—that is to say, contemporary citizenship—"originates with territory, with birth and or residence in a particular nation-state. Before modern states, citizens were members of a multiplicity of intersecting and overlapping polities." (1999, p. 50; also see Hanagan 1999, pp. 2-3 on 'consolidated states'). So, these authors argue, for most of the world, contemporary citizenship involves ties between the individual and his/her territorial social community—the 'nation'—and the corresponding territorial political entity, the 'state'. Recognizing the continued salience of territorial states, which—as Bloemraad (2000, 2006) points out— continue to be the primary regulators and focus of political rights, this thesis adopts this somewhat 'traditional' focus on immigrant participation in the state politics of the country of settlement (in this case, Canada). This focus, however, does not neglect the emergence in recent years, of contrary theories about the nation-state as the container of citizenship. Expressing variations of'post-national' theory, numerous commentators have challenged the primacy of the territorial state as the sovereign institution, regulating legal status, shaping individual identity, and structuring rights and responsibilities. As Scobey (2001) points out, there has, in recent years, been something of a 'funeral oration' for the nation-state, the development of an argument positing that 'national communities are no longer the sole 'address' for the loyalties, rights, and grievances of its residents, and those who can address the state with claims and grievances need not be loyal citizens within the national polity." Soysal (1994), for example, contends that claims to rights rooted in 'belonging' to a national polity have been replaced by claims justified by a logic of universal personhood (a 'global citizenship') which supersedes the logic of national citizenship. Producing this change in citizenship, it is argued, are factors which serve to diminish the status of the state as a self-sufficient entity: external challenges such as large-scale international migration (to be discussed in further detail in this chapter), as well as border-spanning 'cultural', economic, political, military, and ecological interrelations (ie. globalization), pan-national institutions such as the European Union, and internal challenges, such as regional and local nationalisms (Held, 1991; Falk, 2000; Hettne, 2000). Identifying these same factors as ones serving to corrode the sovereign authority of the nation-state in general, Richard Gwyn (1995) argues that Canada, in particular, is a nation-state especially vulnerable to such changes, lacking as it does, a singular 'nationalism' among its citizenry, consequently being especially dependent on the state (whose authority is now being challenged) to bind its population together. Such theories about the direction of social membership, and the decline of the nation-state as its focus, are certainly provocative, and weigh heavily on any analysis of the citizenship relation. Notwithstanding re-considerations of this counter-thesis to modern citizenship— even commentators such as Soysal (2000), for example, have scaled back their earlier arguments, recognizing a continued role for the nation-state in a 'post-national' citizenship regime—any analysis of political participation in the nation-state must consider the potential for national political activity to be engaged in by 'non'citizens (in a legal sense), or for its national citizens to be involved in political projects outside the nation-state. In other words, 16 while focused on national citizenship, it must come to grips with the possibility that citizenship has moved to a post-national paradigm. Yet the analysis of political participation need not simply be 'reactive' in nature: an examination of political participation, in general, could offer a significant empirical contribution to such debates about the future of citizenship, serving—as with the assessment of how 'democratic' a polity's citizenship really is—as a practical 'test' of the post-national thesis, illustrating the extent to which patterns of political agency follow (and reinscribe) the traditional model of citizenship focused on one territorial state, or stake out new modes of belonging and participation (Bloemraad, 2000, 2006). 1.4 'The Good Citizen': Political Participation as a Normative Activity As important as these potential contributions, of the analysis of political participation, are to the understanding of democratic citizenship, they still do not fully explain and justify the investment in political participation as a topic of inquiry. The issues addressed so far are primarily theoretical and conceptual in nature, utilizing political participation as an analytical category to assess both the democratic status and direction of citizenship. Behind these theoretical concerns, however, lie a host of normative assumptions about political participation. There appears to be, for example, considerable contemporary concern about the extent of political participation in democratic states, a perception that democratic citizenship is in crisis (Isin, 1995; Lasch, 1995; see Miller, 2000, though, for interrogation of these claims). Studies of electoral participation suggest that voter turnout in democratic societies has been steadily declining over the past thirty years (Centre for Research and Information on Canada, 2001; Pammett and LeDuc, 2003). Fewer and fewer citizens, it 17 appears, are engaged by the democratic political process as it stands today, leading to exhortations by government and various social groups, for citizens to participate in the political process (namely, to vote in elections), and to various studies about what people feel about the political process, the obstacles that they may face, and re-considerations of the electoral systems in place. Underpinning such concern is a view of political participation (often stated, but rarely articulated) as a social good, as a desirable activity that is to be promoted among the citizenry. A mandate of state institutions in Canada, such as Elections Canada, for example, is to identify and remove obstacles to voter participation (Elections Canada, 2005). Likewise, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2005) emphasizes political participation not only as a right enjoyed by Canadian citizens, but as a responsibility that individuals have to the community. Similarly, states such as Australia have put into place compulsory voting laws to make participation a required activity (Centre for Research and Information on Canada, 2001). While such institutions and actors often emphasize that participation is an 'important' activity, the reasons behind this are generally murky, and usually unstated. As we will see, within political and citizenship theory this question has been addressed, but has not provided a definitive answer as to the importance of political participation: while de-essentializing the significance of participation, by discussing it, this process is effected by deferring the essential (a positive assessment of participation) to another set of terms, from 'democracy' to 'social cohesion', for example (see, for example, Pammett and Leduc, 2003). Within citizenship and political theory, perhaps the position which is the closest to the un-examined popular emphasis on and valorization of political participation as a desirable activity is the civicrepublican view of politics, which conceives of involvement in political life as the 18 highest goal of the citizen, but provides little elaboration as to why this should be the case (Miller, 2000). Other positions on political participation flesh this out, somewhat, by contending that the act of political participation creates virtue in the individual citizen, the inculcation of characteristics such as civic mindedness, awareness and tolerance of others, and the sacrifice of selfish, individual wants for the greater good (Oldfield, 1990; Glendon, 1991). Two other views on political participation also emphasize the positive impacts that such participation is said to have, from both ends of the individual/community (state) ends of the citizenship relationship. On the one end, advocates of greater devolution of power, and greater empowerment of individuals, contend that the practice of democracy—via greater individual political involvement of individuals—is a social good in itself, not simply a conceptual category of the citizenship relationship in democratic societies. In other words, they conceive of participation—agency—not as just a 'means to an end' in a democratic society, but as a practice with value which should be encouraged and developed (Smith, 1989; Galston, 1991). On the other end of the citizenship spectrum, another line of normative reasoning emphasizes the legitimacy, in a participatory democratic society, that political participation confers on the socio-political community and the state. In this vein, it is argued that political participation on the part of citizens is a positive process, one that promotes social cohesion among members of the socio-political community, and the stability of state institutions (see, for example, Habermas, 1992; a similar argument is made by Kymlicka and Norman, 1994). To be fair, one must also acknowledge that while the popular and academic consensus (though marked by varying justifications and degrees of emphasis) appears to be that political participation is an important activity, there are dissenting voices which challenge 19 this assumption. Libertarian views of citizenship, for example, seek to downplay the scope of such collective decision making, viewing it as a means of ensuring the freedom of other, 'private' affiliations, outside of citizenship. Indeed, Kymlicka and Norman (1994), noting the support for this view across the political spectrum, contend that this assumption—that politics is a means to private life—defines the modern view of citizenship. More critically, the political philosophy of anarchism has, to various degrees, argued against participation in state political processes, on the basis that the state represents a coercive and violent political institution, to which voting confers an unwarranted legitimacy (Watner and McElroy, 2001). Like these two viewpoints, in terms of its de-emphasis of political participation as desirable activity, but different from them in its continued view on the importance of the state is a third view. In this line of normative reasoning it is argued that high levels of participation are not necessary for a democratic system to survive and be healthy. The argument which is advanced is that a democratic system—properly structured with checks and balances on the exercise of power—can function effectively without such participation. More important, then, than the continual exercise of power by the populace is the potential for them to intervene (via participation) in the political decision making process should they feel it necessary; consequently, non-participation is not to be seen as problematic, and may indeed be indicative of positive social developments: satisfaction with the system, and the richness of personal and professional lives which diminishes the need to become politically involved. As Philip (2000, p. 180) argues: On this account, a citizen who wishes to live an utterly private life of religious devotion, and who disdains all political involvement remains, nonetheless, a citizen, since her standing vis a vis other citizens is secured by a system of rights, and she has the right to participate if she chooses, but she is not to be seen as failing her citizenship by not participating. 20 Philip concludes, on this basis, that there is no need for widespread 'virtuous political activity' as long as there is a plurality of institutions and a climate of political transparency. In short, actual political participation is not as important as political rights, which provide the opportunity for motivated individuals to participate. Outside of these three viewpoints, one can chart views more conciliatory to those emphasizing the significance of political participation, but which nevertheless provide key qualifications to this perspective. In an interesting contrast to the pro-participatory view that sees participation as an activity promoting civic virtue, there is an alternative perspective on participation that views civic virtue as a pre-condition for participation, thus providing only conditional support for the significance of political engagement. In this view, it is a particular kind of participation that is of importance, 'good' participation that is informed and explicitly public-minded. Walzer (1992), for example, points to voluntary associations as 'seedbeds' in which the virtues of mutual obligation and civil discourse—which he identifies as critical to appropriate political participation—are learned. A similar, though more critical, gloss on the necessity for civic virtue before political participation, was evident in the opposition to various exercises in direct democracy, such as the 2002 British Columbia treaty referendum, in which the general public's knowledge of, and ability to deliberate on, aboriginal rights issues was derided by the referendum's opponents (see, for example, Berger, 2002). As such, this view does not inherently see non-participation as a problem, particularly if participation is seen not to conform to one's stated definition of'appropriate' political discourse. Given such varying perspectives on the importance of political participation, it is tempting to effect a retreat and simply state that political participation is a worthy topic of 21 inquiry for the theoretical/conceptual reasons outlined at the beginning of this section, and normatively, because the consensus is that it is an important and desirable activity, regardless of the reasons and notwithstanding the alternative viewpoints noted above. As attractive as this may be, though, the varying normative positions—including those which downplay the significance of political participation—need to be considered. What follows, then, is not a definitive statement on why political participation is important, (impossible, at any rate, given that these are normative positions) but, through consideration of these various views, clarification about the normative ground that animates this particular research project. First of all, I acknowledge that I am in partial agreement with some of the positions (or at least, portions of them) which downplay the significance of political participation, and do not concur with all of the arguments and specific points advanced in support of it. In the context of individual rights, it seems reasonable and un-problematic to me that some people may choose not to participate in the political process—for various reasons, whether it is because they fundamentally disagree with the state as a political system, or prefer involvement in the private sphere—but have, practically, the ability to participate if they wish. In this sense, I would agree that efficient and effective collective decision-making can be performed in the absence of widespread participation in the political process, and that, ultimately, the freedom to participate in the political process and check abuses of power—ie. political rights—is more fundamentally important than participation itself. Likewise, I also—partially—concur with the qualification on participation made by those emphasizing the need for political participants to be informed and tolerant of others with dissenting viewpoints. Following from this, claims that participation in the political process will inculcate participants with such values seem to be more untested assertions, rather than facts. 22 In cases where the political system is used by participants advancing explicitly hateful and destructive views towards other citizens (or non-citizens, for that matter), I agree that there may be something which can be described as 'bad' participation, which should be discouraged, and which is unlikely to be substantively modified by further 'engagement' in the political process. In this sense, participation—as a social value in itself, both in terms of promoting 'virtuous behaviour' and democratization of decision-making—may have limits, and be superceded by other considerations of justice. On balance, though, I am more convinced by the political and citizenship discourses which, such reservations notwithstanding, nevertheless emphasize the significance of political participation and, consequently, lead to efforts to identify barriers to participation and promote further citizen involvement. With regard to the concerns expressed over the 'content' of participation, I would argue that considerations of what constitutes 'good' or 'bad' forms of political participation should not determine, a priori, whether or not political participation is worthy of analysis. Indeed, even if one were to make an assessment on the so-called quality of participation—and here, were I to determine exactly what constitutes this, I would advocate for a broad conception of 'positive' participation—it would be necessary to actually examine political participation in the first place, in order to determine the nature of that participation and whether it should be encouraged or restrained. Addressing the points made by those who downplay the significance of political participation, on the basis that it represents an intrusion into the private sphere or supports what they consider to be an illegitimate state, I would argue that such views notwithstanding, the state and the socio-political community, de facto, structure and influence individual lives on a daily basis. The point here is that, given that states and communities need to make 23 decisions regardless of non-participation, the latter seems to be an ineffective strategy to change the political system, or the balance between public and private rights. Indeed, in a democratic society, participation is the vehicle by which the individual can express agency, and make such changes. 1.5 Immigration, Political Participation, and Citizenship So with the justifications for studying political participation expressed, the question arises: why focus on the political participation of immigrants to Canada in particular? The most straightforward answer—as noted in the beginning of this chapter—would be to point to an empirical gap in the understanding of political participation, and re-iterate the claim made by numerous researchers in the field that this area has relatively neglected in the political participation literature (Black, 1991; Abu-Laban, 1993, 1999; Stasiulis, 1995, 1997). This is an important point to make in support of such research—and one that I will return to in short order—but one that does not fully flesh out the (many, I will argue) reasons for analyzing the participation of immigrants in the political process. Obviously, following from the previous discussion, there are some general justifications for the interest in studying political participation which can be applied here to this specific population. If one concurs with the normative statements about the importance of political participation as an activity to be encouraged, with the conceptual interest in political participation as a component of the citizenship relationship in democratic societies, and with the continued importance of the nation-state as the venue of political participation, then it is understandable to study a population whose engagement with the political process is little understood. 24 There are, however, additional reasons why the study of immigrant political participation in Canada is of particular interest. Numerically, within Canada, immigrants represent a considerable (and growing) share of the population, especially in Canada's major cities. Since the late-1980s, immigration has been at a (sustained) historical high, averaging between 200,000-250,000 people per annum, a rate which exceeds natural increase as a component of population growth (Statistics Canada, 2002). Most immigrants have settled in major urban areas, with 94% of Canada's immigrant population in the 1990s living in a Census Metropolitan Area, versus 64% of the population overall. Within this distribution, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have been by far the most popular destinations for recent immigrants, with 73% of arrivals during the 1990s settling in one of these three CMAs. In the context of this significant and on-going in-migration, affecting Canada's C M A s most prominently, the question of immigrant political participation is one of particular conceptual interest. As newcomers to the socio-political community, immigrants both represent a unique challenge of incorporation to the community (especially countries with large-scale immigration, such as Canada), and face unique challenges in exercising their agency. Most directly, and unlike native-born community members who enjoy full political rights on account of having been born within the territory of the state, immigrants must first obtain formal citizenship status to obtain full political rights in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2005). Obviously, this process represents the first condition of participation that is unique to immigrant populations, though one that is conceptually similar to the age requirements placed on young voters. Empirically, accounts of the level of political participation among immigrants have produced mixed results. While there appears to be very little examination of immigrants as 25 elite participants (representatives) in the political system—'immigrant' typically being subsumed by the general category of 'ethnic minorities' (see the discussion later in this section)—there have been a number of studies on immigrants' participation as voters in the political process. While American studies such as that by Junn (1999) suggest that immigrants are less likely than the native-born to participate in 'system directed' political activities such as voting, the evidence from Canada is a bit more complex. Stasiulis (1997), in her literature review on ethnic minority political participation in Canada, suggests that there has been a temporal shift: while studies examining immigrant participation in the 1970s (see, for example, Richmond and Goldlust, 1977) conclude that immigrant participation is lower than average, Stasiulis suggests that there has been a shift in the 1980s, with Chui, et al. (1991) finding that (on the basis of the National Electoral Study of 1984) there is no statistically significant difference in most forms of political participation between immigrants and the native born. Confounding this neat narrative, however, are the findings of Black (1991) which, based on survey results from Toronto in 1983, indicate that foreign-born Canadians participate less than the native born in voting, campaign activity, contacting politicians, and protesting. More recently, Reitz and Banerjee (2007) have determined that immigrant political participation describes an arc, with low levels of participation among recent immigrants, higher rates among the long established, and a decline in the participation rates of immigrants' children, the so called 'second generation'. 1.6 Immigrant Political Participation and National Citizenship Over and above the numerical significance of immigration to Canada, and the conceptual challenge of immigrant incorporation into the political process, the changing 26 national and ethnic origins of recent immigrants to Canada also factor into the explanation of why immigrant political participation is an important topic of inquiry. Prior to the 1970s, most immigrants to Canada originated from Europe; since the 1970s, in the wake of Canada's introduction of the points system of immigrant selection, most immigrants to Canada have come from so-called 'non-traditional' sources, particularly Asia (Statistics Canada, 2002). These developments in the ethno-national origins of immigrants resonate with the topic of political participation in a variety of ways. Garnering the most attention has been the level of participation in state politics by ethnic minorities, particularly visible minorities, groups which have been subject to past formal exclusion from the political process. Within Canada, for example, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian immigrants were (alongside aboriginal Canadians) stripped of political participation rights in the late-1800s and early-1900s, only recovering these rights in the late-1940s (McGillivray, 2000). Such past exclusion raises the question of continued marginalization from the political process, even in the contemporary context where ethnic minorities have obtained full political rights. Research on ethnic minority political participation exists at both the 'elite' and 'mass' levels. Examinations of numerical ethno-cultural representation at the national scale suggest that, while there was a dearth of minority representation for most of Canada's history (Stasiulis, 1997), there has been a shift towards greater levels of representation during the 1990s. Black and Lakhani (1997) note that in the 1993 federal election, the level of minority representation in the House of Commons achieved a rough parity with the proportion of minorities in the overall Canadian population; they note, however, that there remains a significant gap in visible minority representation in the federal system. These findings are consistent with some of the smaller scale studies performed by Biles (1998) and Simard (1999) for Ottawa 27 and Montreal, respectively, which indicate a deficit of visible minority representation at all three levels of government. Moving to mass political participation, in the form of voting and other participation, the picture appears more complex. In the US context, the impact of ethnicity and racial identity on participation appears to be variable, with a relatively small white/black difference in voting (once controlled for income), lower levels of participation among Latinos, and the lowest levels of participation recorded for Asian Americans (Ramakrishan and Espenshade, 2001); on the contrary, Jones-Correia (2001) noted that, among non-white groups, non-white Latinos were the most likely to turn out to vote. Within Canada the few analyses of (non French and English) ethnicity and voting also present a mixed picture, with Reitz' early (1980) account of the depressing effect of ethnic identification, and Reitz and Banerjee's (2007) finding of lower rates of federal participation among all visible minorities, countered by Black's (1987, 1991) assessment that ethnic minority status was a relatively minor influencing factor once controlled by immigrant status. The variability in these findings appears to suggest that the influence of ethnic origin on political participation levels may be shaped by the context of the participation: elite versus mass participation, the 1970s versus the 1980s, Canada versus the United States, Montreal and Ottawa versus the overall Canadian picture. This perspective, then, places the explanation for variability on participation squarely on the larger society, and the political institutions, rather than on the cultural characteristics of immigrants themselves. Yet the cultural distinctiveness of recent immigrants has been more directly addressed in two other strands of political participation research. The first of these two strands is research into the pre-migration political socialization of immigrants. Recognizing that the unique position of immigrants, as individuals with an alternative political experience in their source country, 28 may serve to shape their participation rates in their country of settlement, researchers such as Ramakrishnan and Espenshade (2001) and Black (1987) analyze this potential, though in different ways. Ramakrishnan and Espenshade examine this issue on an ecological scale in the US, testing the influence of prior political socialization in a 'repressive' or 'democratic' political regime, concluding that this has "no consistent effect" on participation. Examining the issue in Canada, on an individual basis, Black studies whether past political experience 'transfers' to a new political setting after migration. Like Ramakrishnan and Espenshade, Black also tests the influence of the larger pre-migration political context, comparing the 'transferability' of political experience based on the past polity's similarity or difference to the Canadian system. On the basis of his analysis, Black concludes that past political interest and participation do promote post-migration political interest and involvement, regardless of country of origin. Black's study, however, also highlights the second culturally-related immigration variable: length of residence in Canada, which he notes as a more significant factor on post-migration participation than pre-migration political participation (but less than pre-migration political interest). Analyses of length of residence acknowledge the ties between the political process and the 'culture' of the receiving society as a whole: that an understanding of the political process and issues is a necessary pre-condition for participation in the political system and that for immigrants, such 'acculturation' may be pre-empted by more pressing demands, such as finding employment and a place of residence. Moving beyond immigrants proper, and thus beyond this particular study, some of the political participation literature has examined participation rates by generation, comparing the first generation of immigrants with their (non-immigrant) offspring. Though not directly linked with this research, such 29 studies are interesting in the picture they present: both American researchers such as Portes and Zhou (1993) and Canadian researchers Chui, et al. (1991) note that there is a general increase in political participation in the immigrants' sons and daughters, collectively, versus the first generation; Reitz and Banerjee (2007), as noted, provide a contrasting picture of second generation decline. Likewise, research focused on immigrants exclusively appears to also suggest that as length of residence increases, so does political participation (see, for example, Black, 1987, 1991; Simard, 1991; Chui, et a l , 1991—though Chui, et al., note this effect only for immigrants within their first 10 years in Canada; Reitz and Banerjee, 2007). Within 'traditional' models of immigrant incorporation it would perhaps be assumed that, as immigrants remain in their destination country, they would not only participate at greater rates in the political process but 'assimilate' into the culture of the socio-political community as well. Indeed, such an assumption is embedded in the aforementioned discussion of length of residence as a factor shaping participation rates. As Ramakrishnan and Espenshade note, in regard to duration of stay in their US analysis, "we expect longer residence in the US to lead to greater political participation among first generation citizens. Just as immigrants who have lived in the US for a long period of time are more fluent in English, they also tend to have a greater contact with, and stronger attachments to, the mainstream political system" (2001, p. 877). Such a view may recognize the enduring patterns of cultural dominance, to which immigrants are compelled to adjust, in immigrant-receiving nation-states, but it does gloss over the development of a multicultural citizenship regime in nations such as Canada and Australia. 30 1.7 Immigrant Political Participation and Multicultural Citizenship The advent of large-scale immigration to countries such as Canada, from new source countries, has dramatically increased the ethno-cultural diversity of these national populations. This diversity has raised the question of the legitimacy of liberal political philosophies and institutions based on the neutrality of the states towards cultural difference, and the assumption of a common popular culture, in which all individuals enjoy a set of equal, undifferentiated, rights. In light of new immigrant populations, and changing perspectives on ethics, liberal political philosophers have, in recent years, grappled with what Charles Taylor (1992) has termed 'the politics of recognition': the extent to which, and in what form, liberal democratic societies such as Canada should recognize cultural pluralism. Though not without their critics, on both sides of the political spectrum (see Schlesinger 1996, for an argument in defence of traditional liberal ideals; Saloujee, 2003 for an argument pressing for greater cultural plurality), and with differences in argumentation and emphasis, political philosophers such as Baubock (1994), Kymlicka (1989, 1995), and Parekh (2001), have argued for a differentiated, multicultural citizenship with particular representation and recognition rights for national, ethnocultural, and immigrant minorities. On a more concrete level, since the early-1970s immigrant receiving states such as Canada and Australia have declared themselves as officially 'multicultural' in content, with (so it is claimed) no 'official' culture. Exactly how 'multicultural' the practices of ostensibly multicultural states are is, of course, open to investigation. Setting aside the obvious contradictions between for example, an official multiculturalism and having only two official languages (English and French), in the Canadian context this critique has been developed most fully by Stasiulis and Abu-Laban, 31 who have critically interrogated the content of political discourses and public policy directions, to examine how they have advanced or inhibited the interests of ethnic and racial minorities (categories typically including recent, non-white immigrants, but not limited to them). Contemporary popular debates and public policy on immigration, constitutional issues, and multiculturalism policy have been of particular interest (see, for example, Abu-Laban and Stasiulis, 1992; Abu-Laban, 1997, 1998, 1999; Stasiulis, 1995; Stasiulis and Abu-Laban, 2000). Here, the authors juxtapose increased ethnic minority and immigrant participation, numerical representation, and visibility in the political process through the 1990s against contemporary policy directions which seem to have impeded—and even rolled back—the achievement of their political interests (also see Black and Lakhani, 1997). These critiques point out the assumption upon which official multiculturalism, and political philosophies of multicultural citizenship are premised: that immigrants and ethnic minorities have distinct political issues that cannot be addressed—and, indeed, are marginalized by— old-fashioned liberal democracies. In short, the claim is that immigrants may participate in the political process, like any other member of society, but advance substantively different agendas. Similarly, acknowledgement of cultural differences within the Canadian population opens up the door to consideration of alternate modes of political participation within Canada. In the rubric outlined at the beginning of this chapter, citizenship was defined as the relationship between the individual and the socio-political community; in modern citizenship, this relationship has typically been mediated by the institution of the state. In this conventional schema, political participation is conceived of—and measured by— participation in state structures that provide a venue for democratic decision making, notably, 32 the electoral process. Recognizing that the state is not a monolithic entity, but one which consists of various jurisdictions and opportunities for political participation, highlights the need to be attentive to how various venues of state participation may attract and exclude different segments of the Canadian population. Based on her research in Montreal, Simard (1999, 2000), for example, contends that the municipal sphere of politics attracts higher levels of immigrant/ethnic minority participation (as representatives) because it is more accessible to such community members than provincial or federal politics. These kinds of findings highlight the need to examine the multiplicity of state sites for participation in order to develop a full picture of immigrant/ethnic minority political participation. However, democratic state structures of participation, such as elections, are not the only means by which individuals can influence decision-making processes that affect their lives and those of community members as a whole. Informal or unconventional political participation, such as demonstrating, petitioning, and involvement in grassroots, non-governmental organizations, may also represent important avenues by which people exercise their political agency—either by influencing the state or by addressing community concerns/needs outside state structures. Indeed, various research works suggest that such modes of political engagement may be particularly salient for groups who have been historically excluded from the formal political process and perceive the conventional political system to be problematic. Rankin (2002), in her survey of women's participation in non-electoral politics emphasizes that non-formal vehicles for participation are not 'second best' politics, but in many cases the preferred sites of political action. Similarly, research into the causes for relatively low rates of youth turnout in formal politics—such as the recent work in Britain by Henn, Weinstein, and Forrest (2005)—highlight an abiding interest and concern in 33 political issues, but a deep dissatisfaction with the conventional political process. Consequently, as they note, many youth participate in activities which they (and mainstream political science) do not consider to be 'political', but which are political in nature. These activities include volunteering, campaigning, awareness-raising, and caring work at home and the community, within the framework of large scale (eg. trade unions) and community-based groups. Likewise, Mata's (2000) research into various forms of 'c ivic ' participation among individuals of various ethno-cultural backgrounds in Canada highlights the multiplicity of sites—formal political bodies, as well as religious, sports-related, ethno-cultural, and community organizations—in which individuals exercise democratic decision-making power. Mata's research brings into focus relatively low levels of involvement in formal political bodies, but much more extensive participation in religious, community, and ethnic institutions; Mata also notes differences among groups in the channeling of their political activities, producing a complex, and varied, portrait of civic involvement. Collectively, these findings on the multiplicity of participation sites in both formal and informal politics emphasize the need, when measuring political participation in Canada, to cast a broader net beyond electoral participation. Notwithstanding its importance, using electoral participation as the sole 'measuring stick' of political involvement serves to impose an expected norm of political behaviour on immigrants and ethno-cultural minorities that is inappropriate given other modes of participation which have been demonstrated as relevant and which may have particular appeal to community members. Including such venues produces a fuller picture of political participation, and allows for useful comparisons to be made between the relative appeal of different avenues for democratic decision-making, 34 providing some guidance to policy makers who wish to make their sphere of politics more open and attractive to the broader population. 1.8 Immigrant Political Participation and Transnational Citizenship In recent years, an additional dimension of the immigrant experience, with potential impacts on the direction and extent of political participation has been of particular interest: transnational activities. Though social, political, and economic networks spanning the borders of 'nation' states have long existed, since the 1980s it has been argued that such ties have intensified, enabled by new political structures and, especially, new developments in transportation and communications technology. The implications of these structural changes on economic activities and cultural flows have been significant points of interest, generating a massive literature on 'globalization'. Throughout the 1990s, to the present day, there has been a growing interest in another dimension of the globalization phenomenon, the ties sustained by immigrants with their source countries. According to transnational migration theorists, the same structural changes which have enabled the economic 'transnationalism from above' have also allowed for a 'transnationalism from below' (Smith and Guarnizo, 1998) as immigrants have developed intensive and ongoing social, economic, and political contacts with their countries of origin. In this sense, then, immigrant activities are conceived of as responding to new transnational social, economic, and political structures, and through their transnational activities (agency), reinforcing such changes and creating new structures. Looking more specifically at the migration experience, the most strenuous supporters— perhaps, most notably Basch, Glick-Schiller, and Blanc-Szanton (1992)—of a new transnational perspective on citizenship have contended that immigrants, through their 35 border-spanning activities, are challenging traditional views of immigration and citizenship, wherein migration entails the movement from, and break with, the socio-political community and state of origin, and incorporation into the destination socio-political community and state. Political participation, as a dimension of citizenship, may not be entirely directed towards the settlement society and institutions, but rather, towards the sending country. While these kinds of arguments continue to be strenuously made, in recent years there has been something of a re-assessment of transnational activities, and their potentially transformative effects on immigration and national citizenship. Examining the research on the actual empirical extent of transnationalism, Portes (2001) has concluded that while, for various empirical and conceptual reasons, transnationalism is a significant development worthy of study, transnational practices—particularly those of a political nature—are engaged in only by a relatively small proportion of immigrants; in a similar vein, Preston, Kobayashi, and Man (2006) have reported relatively low levels of political transnationalism among Hong Kong Chinese immigrants to Canada, in the context of more extensive transnational familial and business ties. Looking at the substantive content of transnational activities, Mitchell (1997a, 1997b) addresses poststructuralist views that celebrate the transgressive nature of transnational movements. Speaking from a position critical of capitalist relations and nation-state formation, she highlights how transnational movements and discourses which have been posited as limiting the power of the state to regulate flows of information, goods, and people can, in some instances, represent the extension of state power beyond its own territory. More central to her politics, she also highlights how "strategic self-fashioning in liminal and partial sites can be used for the purposes of capital accumulation quite as effectively as for the purposes of intervention in hegemonic narratives of race and 36 nation." (1997b, p. 109; also see Ong, 1996, 1999, and Guarnizo, et al., 2003). To paraphrase the titles of her two 1997 interventions into the discourse on transnationalism, Mitchell challenges the 'hype of hybridity', arguing for 'geography to be brought back in' to the study of transnational activities in order to determine how they interact with structures of state and market power. These arguments and examples of transnational research do not dismiss the importance of studying transnational activities, but rather, highlight the need to consider transnational activities as one possible 'form' of immigrant socialization, one whose content cannot be thought, a priori, as incompatible with more established structures, and modes, of social, economic, and political organization. An examination of immigrant political participation which includes, but is not exclusively focused on, transnational activities can thus help us determine the extent to which new geographies of citizenship are being created, and the status of immigrants as political actors. The answers to such questions are of import not only to academic debates around transnational citizenship, but provide information relevant to those concerned with practically enhancing immigrant/ethno-cultural minority political agency, or directing its focus. 1.9 Conclusion: Immigrant Political Participation and Discourses on Citizenship Notwithstanding the claims made by many in the field that immigrant political participation is an understudied phenomenon, there is a growing body of research on immigrant political participation which has started to address its extent, direction, and influencing factors. Specific findings and critiques of this body of research will be discussed throughout the latter chapters of this thesis, in conjunction with the empirical research findings of this project. A broad overview of the research, however, fleshes out the basic 37 forms that this research has taken, leading to observations and criticisms of the field in general. Providing the preliminary basis for further study, examinations of the numerical representation of immigrants in politics have served to quantify the level of immigrant political participation in national politics of the country of settlement. Such inquiries can be roughly divided into research which, on the one hand, has focused on the numerical representation of immigrants (but usually, more broadly, of ethnic minorities) as so-called 'elite' political participants (members of legislative bodies), and, on the other hand, as participants in 'mass' politics (as voters in the electoral system). Generally—and, in particular, with mass political participation—such studies have, additionally, sought to quantitatively examine the factors which may influence and overlap with immigrant political participation. In this vein, researchers have examined the relationships between social variables such as age and gender and immigrant mass political participation, and the influences of immigrant-specific variables such as nationality, pre-migration political socialization and participation and length of residence in the country of settlement. Comparatively less energy has been dedicated to qualitative examinations of the factors shaping mass and elite immigrant political participation, though noteworthy exceptions exist in the area of elite immigrant political participation, where a small number of studies have sought to examine the experiences of immigrant-origin political representatives, and the obstacles that they face in the political process (particularly, within political parties which act as the 'gatekeepers' to participation in countries such as Canada). Such studies point to the second basic strand of political participation research in the literature, that dedicated to moving from examinations of numerical representation to consider what has been termed the 'substantive' participation of immigrants in the political 38 process. In other words, this—by all accounts, particularly underexamined—dimension of political participation seeks to examine the political issues and interests of importance to immigrant-origin citizens, and the extent to which they are able to realize these interests via participation in the political process. Such questions provide the sub-text to the aforementioned studies of elite immigrant-origin participants, studies which have highlighted the obstacles that such members experience in representing their constituencies within political parties and legislatures. These questions have also been engaged with, on a more conceptual level, by researchers who have examined state political policies, and whether they have advanced or inhibited the political interests of immigrants. More empirically, research on the substantive political participation of immigrants has encompassed both the elite and mass dimensions of political participation, through 'case study' examinations of specific episodes of immigrant political mobilization. Examples here include Ley's (1995) coverage of Hong Kong immigrants' mobilization and participation in Vancouver's municipal politics, to challenge restrictive zoning regulations in the wealthy neighbourhood of Shaughnessy, Isin and Siemiatycki's (2001) examination of immigrant mobilization in support of the proposal to create a Greater Toronto Area regional municipal government, Isin and Siemiatycki's (2002) analysis of mosque location politics in Toronto, and Germain and Gagnon's (2003) broader examination—focusing in particular on Hassidic Jewish synagogues—of the politics around religious institutions, and local planning and zoning in Montreal (also see Gagnon, Dansereau, and Germain, 2004). Put together, all of these studies have revealed a variety of dimensions to the immigrant political participation experience, and while a call for 'more research' has often been the refrain within the political participation literature, I want to make a number of more 39 specific arguments in outlining my agreement with this broad statement. While, I would argue, that the numerical examination of immigrant political participation has probably been the most thoroughly studied dimension of this phenomenon in Canada, more research is needed for a variety of reasons, and in different areas. The first, most obvious, point to make is that the political decision making system represents an ongoing process, so that examinations of immigrant political participation in one temporal context need to be followed up by subsequent examinations. Such studies will help provide a broader term perspective to the phenomenon, and illustrate whether the 'problem' of non-participation is getting worse or abating over time. Consequently, ongoing studies of numerical representation, coupled with quantitative and qualitative examinations of the factors shaping immigrant political participation, serve to determine the extent of the phenomenon, and the potential trouble areas to be targeted in an effort to promote greater participation. This kind of research, as I hope to have demonstrated here, does not only address immediate, empirical concerns, but intersects with and contributes to a larger set of theoretical questions on the nature of citizenship, political participation, democracy, and the nation-state. While the place of 'political participation' within the concept of citizenship is somewhat contested—with perhaps some commentators being a bit overzealous in their conflation of citizenship with political participation—even those who advocate a minimalist definition of citizenship recognize that participation in the political process is a significant component of the citizenship relationship, particularly in democratic societies. Though not defining all of'citizenship', political participation nevertheless provides a tangible link between the individual citizen and the state—the 'substance', if you will, to the more formal ties of status, rights, and responsibilities. Indeed, it is through participation in the political 40 process that the boundaries of status, and the extent and content of citizenship rights and responsibilities are negotiated. Examining the political activities of the citizenry sheds light on this important component of citizenship, illustrating the process of claims-making and the practical impediments to citizen participation, as well as the factors that seem to promote greater engagement with the political process. If one concurs with the normative arguments in favour of enhanced political participation—as I do—then such an attention to the process and impediments to participation points towards a plan of action. Governments (such as that of Canada) concerned about declining voter turnout, for example, could use an empirical analysis of political participation as a means of generating practical policies which encourage greater citizen engagement, moving beyond a focus on formal barriers to participation. Setting aside such normative considerations, the study of political participation also resonates with contemporary questions about the status of the primary 'container' for citizenship in the world today: the 'nation' state. As has been noted, the privileged status of the nation-state has come under attack in recent years, its sovereign power challenged by post-national political structures and discourses, coupled with the border-spanning capitalist world economy. In this context, the analysis of the political activities of'national' citizens has a particular salience. Granted, the future of the nation-state as a political structure will be strongly influenced by forces beyond the average citizen's control, but it seems to me that part of the answer to the question 'what is the future of the nation-state?' lies in the degree to which people are willing to continue to see the nation-state as an institution of significance, worthy of their loyalty and participation in the political process. In this sense, political 41 participation is an important bellwether (perhaps a final one) of the resiliency of the nation-state. These supporting arguments, of course, are not exclusive to the empirical study of immigrant political participation. The political activities of immigrants and the native-born alike illustrate the forces and promote and hinder democratic participation, and highlight the content of this participation and its direction, providing insight into both academic and activist questions. However, in the context of the various points noted throughout this chapter, in support of studying political participation, I would argue that immigrants are a population of particular significance. As newcomers to not only a new location, but also a new political system, there is an obvious interest (on the part of researchers and the receiving state) in how they integrate into the polity as fully participatory citizens—in the same way as there is an interest in how young people, also 'newcomers' to the political process, become politically engaged. This interest becomes even more sharply focused in the context of the past formal discrimination faced by immigrant newcomers to Canada—particularly non-European, non-white immigrants—and abiding evidence of under-representation as political decision-makers in the state. If the study of political participation serves as something of a 'test' of democratic citizenship, the examination of immigrant-origin citizens' incorporation into the political process is a particularly poignant interrogation of the citizenship ideal. An empirical examination of the content and direction of immigrant political participation also has resonance with contemporary theories of multiculturalism and post-and trans-nationalism. Accepting the continued primacy of the nation-state as the structure of contemporary citizenship, critics and advocates of a 'multicultural citizenship' have debated the relative merits of decoupling the 'nation' from the state, or at least pluralizing the 42 conception of the 'nation': to what extent should the political structure of the state, and its policies, be attentive to and supportive of cultural pluralism? Though typically framed at the theoretical or normative level, such arguments (both for and against) frequently proceed on an empirical assumption of increasing cultural diversity within the nation-state population, cultural diversity generated by contemporary international migration flows. This kind of debate begs for greater interrogation into how immigrants perceive their identities, the political issues of importance to them, and how they wish these identities and issues to be addressed via the political system. One must be careful not to fetishize or essentialize these concepts of self and political interests—they do not occur in a vacuum, and are likely shaped by a political context, such as an official 'multiculturalism' policy, like Canada's—but it seems to me that an empirical analysis of immigrant political participation (particularly, of their 'substantive' issues—over and above the 'amount' of participation) provides a necessary step in determining social and political policy. Finally, in like fashion, an empirical analysis of the direction, 'amount', and content of immigrant political participation can provide insight into a more radical set of theories than that of multicultural citizenship: post-national citizenship and transnational citizenship. As noted earlier, such theories challenge the status of the nation-state as the primary container of citizenship, and following the argument I have advanced above, the investment made by immigrants and native-born into this political structure will (in part) determine its vitality and future. However, given the significant status, as agents of change, accorded to immigrants by post- and trans-national theorists, this population's participation in existing political structures is of special interest: to what extent do immigrants participate in border-spanning political projects? Does this come at the expense of participation in the receiving 43 nation-state, do the two modes of participation co-exist, or may participation in transnational political activities actually be associated with greater involvement in receiving state politics? Moreover, with regard to the content of immigrant political discourses, are immigrants who participate in receiving-state politics articulating their claims in ways that tacitly challenge its sovereign status? These kinds of questions are important ones, ones that can be addressed— in part—by a focus on immigrant political participation, attentive to both participation in the receiving state and elsewhere. 1.10 Advancing the Argument In sum, then, I have outlined how this empirical examination into immigrant political participation in Canada can be seen to resonate with, and contribute to, a larger set of questions about the nature of contemporary citizenship. Adopting the more 'traditional' focus of electoral geography, as it applies to immigrant political participation in Canada, Chapters 2 and 3 present an ecological-scale examination of Hong Kong-Chinese and Punjabi-South Asian voter turnout in the Vancouver suburbs of Richmond and Surrey, between 1991 and 2001. Findings here suggest that immigrants, in general, participate in provincial and municipal elections at comparable rates to the native-born, but that the political participation of immigrant-origin citizens is influenced by a series of explicitly immigrant-related variables—such as length of residence, language proficiency, and ethnic origin—as well as more 'general' ones identified in the political participation literature, such as income and education. These findings are reinforced and further developed, with the addition of other variables such as pre-migration political participation, and other venues of participation such as municipal politics and non-electoral 'civic' participation, in Chapter 4 44 which provides an individual-scale analysis, through focus groups and interviews, of the immigrant political participation question. Furthermore, at the close of Chapter 4, the inferences derived, in terms of factors influencing immigrant political participation, from the ecological scale analysis are compared with the factors identified by the participants themselves as promoting or inhibiting involvement in the Canadian political process. Chapter 4 also provides insight into questions raised about the direction of citizenship, as measured by immigrant political participation. Moving past Chapters 2 and 3, by measuring immigrants' political engagement with their country of origin after migrating to Canada, Chapter 4 addresses contemporary theories about the rise of a new, transnational paradigm. As will be shown, the results—at least in the political sphere—support the more traditional, 'modern' conception of citizenship and immigration (and recent correctives to the transnational paradigm), with the interest and participation of immigrants largely focused on the receiving state of settlement. Notwithstanding extensive and ongoing transnational ties in the form of trips, consumption of media, and contact with individuals back in their countries of origin—focused on family, business, and entertainment purposes—very few participants in the research were active in the political life or projects in the regions from which they migrated. Though overall levels of transnational political activity were low, rendering analysis of the relationship between transnational political participation and national political participation difficult, the findings also suggest that—to the extent it exists—transnational political activity is complementary to national participation, not exercised to its exclusion. Finally, Chapter 5 addresses the call for more research into the 'substance' of immigrant political participation, beginning with a consideration of factors identified by the participants themselves as inhibiting and/or encouraging political engagement. While 45 examinations of the 'extent' of participation, outlined in Chapter 4, suggest very little transnational activity, research into the motives that underpin participation in Canadian politics serve to complicate this finding. In the realm of citizenship acquisition—which enables participation in Canadian elections—in particular, transnational imperatives are shown to serve as underlying reasons for obtaining Canadian citizenship, alongside explanations that emphasize desires for incorporation into immigrants' chosen state of settlement. Transnational considerations, however, are essentially absent in immigrant discourses about political issues of importance outlined in Chapter 5. Here, immigrants' comments about political issues—alongside statements about the Canadian political process and views about co-ethnic political representatives—indicate mixed views about the responsiveness and fairness of the Canadian political process. Indeed, this section outlines a series of often contradictory political outcomes desired by varying constituencies within the so-called 'immigrant' community, a set of critiques that fundamentally challenge the practice of politics in the Canadian system, and mixed views on the importance of co-ethnic representation which suggest that the task of substantively incorporating immigrant-origin Canadians into the political system will not be a simple task. 46 2 GET OUT AND VOTE: THE GEOGRAPHIC PATTERNS OF ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION IN RICHMOND AND SURREY, BC 2.1 Introduction In this and the following chapter the focus is on voter participation in provincial and federal elections through the 1990s in the suburban cities of Richmond and Surrey, located within the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). The objective in this chapter is to measure, and perform a preliminary descriptive analysis of, the geographic patterns of voter participation in these two cities; chapter 3 then develops an ecological analysis by examining the demographic characteristics (emphasizing immigration and ethnic status) of these areas and their relationship to the geography of electoral turnout. Obviously, political participation may take many forms, from the consumption, analysis, and discussion of political news through to service as an elected representative, but the act of voting is perhaps the most widespread and significant form of political engagement for the population as a whole in Canada. In contrast to the consumption of political news, voting provides a tangible participatory link between the individual and the political process, the ability to shape—in some way—the political decision-making process via the selection of political representatives. Conversely, in contrast to running for political office and serving as a political representative—activities that involve a small stratum of the population as a whole—voting is a political activity engaged in by a considerable component of the population, historically involving some 60-70% of those eligible to vote. As such, an analysis of voter participation in Canadian elections goes a considerable distance towards addressing the various conceptual and normative issues raised in the previous chapter about political participation in general, and political participation by immigrant minorities in particular. Chapters 4 and 5 deepen the interpretation using focus groups and interviews by 4 7 introducing and considering other forms of political participation apart from voting, including volunteering for and contributing to political candidates, participating in the selection of religious leaders, and meeting with politicians working in immigrants' countries of origin. Voter participation, as a measure of political participation in state politics, also has the benefit of being a readily quantifiable political activity. In human geography, as in the other social sciences and humanities, the relative strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative approaches to information gathering and analysis/interpretation have been the source of considerable debate. Rather than selecting one methodology exclusively, I follow what appears to be the prevailing view towards the respective merits of quantitative and qualitative approaches: that each approach provides different, and useful, perspectives on 'reality', and that a combination of both approaches leads to the most comprehensive and satisfactory understanding of the world. Given that the focus here, in this and the next chapter, is on the measurement of voting activity, the use of cartographic and quantitative techniques to analyze this behaviour seems most appropriate. Such an approach draws its inspiration from the rich history of ecological-scale 'electoral geography', a subfield of political geography. Prescott (1959) and Johnston (2005a) trace the origins of electoral geography back to the early decades of the twentieth century, with Krebheil's 1916 examination of geographic influences in British parliamentary elections (cited by Prescott) and Siegfried's 1913 assessment of the political map of western France (the origin point for Johnston). What electoral geography highlights, to paraphrase Prescott, is that there is a territorial variation in the way in which people think and act about political matters, and that examination of these geographic patterns provides insight into how the political process operates. Moreover, as Johnston (2005a, p. 580) argues, the geographical study of elections is based on the 48 belief that there is a '"pervasive geographical constitution' to the social, economic, and political processes that are the foundations of political behaviour." Research within electoral geography provides considerable support for this contention. Lewis (1965), for example, illustrates the relationship between changing support for the Republican and Democratic parties in Flint, Michigan between 1932-1962, and African-American in-migration to the city; Cox (1969) relates differences in party preferences and political participation rates in London to suburban/central city cleavages; Archer, Murauskas, Shelley, White, and Taylor (1985) examine the results of the 1984 US presidential election and determine that Ronald Reagan's electoral success reflects entrenched social/regional voting patterns and political cultures, rather than broader, non-partisan appeal of the president; finally, more recent electoral geography scholarship has revisited the issue of suburban/central city political cleavages, but in the Canadian context (Walks, 2006). Though there remain significant issues associated with the ecological inference/fallacy, and the explanation of processes underpinning observed spatial relationships between electoral outcomes and social variables, Rumley's (1975) challenge to electoral geography—'whither electoral geography?'—appears to have been answered.' Coupled with other methodologies and information sources, which help to address its evident drawbacks, electoral geography provides a useful tool for assessing the interplay between spatially varied political outcomes and social processes. Indeed, among Johnston's formidable body of work on electoral geography, recent contributions have demonstrated how the techniques of electoral geography can serve to guide political decision-making, as in shaping a new political constituency map for Wales (2005b), and addressing electoral bias in London's ward system (Railings, Johnston, and Thrasher, 2004). ' The issues around the ecological inference/fallacy are discussed in Chapter 3, as are the questions about underlying social processes in the 'neighbourhood effect'. 49 The use of electoral geography techniques is also promoted by the availability of numerical voter turnout information. For federal elections in Canada, Elections Canada—the non-partisan government agency that oversees the regulations and conduct of federal elections— maintains and makes available to the public a record of (among other data) the number of votes cast in relation to the number of registered electors; for provincial elections, similar provincial agencies, such as Elections BC, provide comparable quantitative information. Similarly, in terms of providing data on demographic characteristics that may influence voter turnout patterns, the Census of Canada undertaken by Statistics Canada every five years provides yet another comprehensive source of quantitative information. In sum, these data sources facilitate the use of quantitative techniques to measure and analyze voter turnout in Canada. Such data sources, however, are only available to the public at the ecological, rather than individual, scale. In the case of federal and provincial voter turnout statistics in Canada, individual ballots are not linked to individual people, and the smallest, publicly-available, record of voting behaviour is provided by voting area, a geographic unit encompassing approximately 100-500 potential electors residing in that geographic area. While census data can be obtained at the enumeration area level, the most widely-available data are collected and disseminated by census tract, a geographic unit generally larger than a voting area, whose populations can number from approximately 100 through to 10,000 plus individuals. Any use of the data necessitates an ecological analysis—here, a comparison of voter turnout against census tract variables. The dependence on an ecological analysis does carry with it some potential problems, most notably the logical trap known as the ecological fallacy, by inferring that patterns and associations evident at the large, ecological (area) scale, perfectly represent what is happening at the small (individual) scale. This problem is elaborated upon at the outset of Chapter 4, which introduces 50 the individual-scale analysis that complements the ecological approach utilized here. That said, the use of an ecological analysis does carry with it some useful strengths, particularly in terms of the 'accuracy' of the data sources. While the ecological census data are based on information collected at the individual level—and presumably could be biased by individuals' responses to the census questionnaire—voter turnout data are arguably less susceptible to distortion. Measures of voter turnout based on ecological scale data do not rely upon individuals' recollections of their voting behaviour: rather, they show the actual number of potential electors who voted in a given election. One might argue, then, that the ecological scale analysis provides a more accurate picture of voter participation than do methods based on individual-scale research—ones which, as will be discussed in Chapter 4, appear to inflate the voter turnout statistics. Over and above this important issue of data reliability, the use of an ecological approach also confers an additional, potential benefit: an economy of data that allows for complete coverage of the population. Electoral turnout data record all votes cast in relation to all eligible and registered voters; census data (seek to) record the demographic characteristics of the entire Canadian population. Aggregation of these data by area provide researchers with a comparatively manageable data set covering the entire population. Theoretically, then, these aggregate data could be used to generate a complete account of voter turnout and its relationship to demographic characteristics, for all of Canada, and for all elections where data on electoral and census variables were available. For obvious reasons, this option of a complete account would not be possible for those exclusively using individual-scale methods, necessitating the selection of a smaller group of participants via a quantitative or qualitative sampling strategy. 51 Even at the ecological scale, however, some narrowing down of empirical scope is necessary: to perform a vast longitudinal study of electoral participation across Canada, by census tract, is far beyond the purview of one individual researcher. Furthermore, this research project, in addition to employing ecological-scale analysis, makes use of individual-scale methods to develop a portrait of immigrant/ethnic minority political participation beyond voting behaviour, methods requiring (given the resources of an individual researcher) a more geographically and numerically limited sample. Consequently, due to both of these considerations, in this thesis I have chosen to focus on a sample of provincial and federal elections spanning the decade from 1991-2001, and to look at political participation in Richmond and Surrey, two suburbs with distinctive minority populations, and located across the Fraser River to the south and south-east of Vancouver, BC (Figure 2.1). Figure 2.1: Richmond and Surrey Within Greater Vancouver Source: Greater Vancouver Regional District, 2005. 52 The rationale behind the temporal focus is primarily qualitative in nature, though influenced by quantitatively-measured developments and community characteristics. Given the thesis' emphasis on immigrant/ethnic minority political participation in Canada, I would argue that the decade of the 1990s is a particularly interesting and important period to consider. While immigration has always been a central part of the Canadian narrative, since the mid-1980s Canadian immigration intake flows have been maintained at historically-unprecedented high levels. As Figure 2.2 illustrates, while the post-WW2 period has been distinguished by some significant periods of immigration—notably, the late-1950s, 1965-1970, and 1973-1976—these periods of high immigration (150,000 to 285,000 people per annum) have been preceded and followed by years of comparatively low immigration totals, with intakes dropping to less than Figure 2.2: Canadian Immigration Intake, 1944-2000 Immigration Rate (per 1,000) Number of immigrants 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100.000 SO.iKKI l»45 1950 IMS IM0 1970 1*75 HMO I9f3 | « 9 0 !<><)} 20C« Source: Statistics Canada, 2001. 53 100,000 per year. Since the mid-1980s, however, the number of immigrants to Canada has been maintained in the range of 150,000-250,000 people per annum. While less than the one- percent of total population, per year, target advocated by the policy book of the federal Liberal Party, this trend has resulted in a profound development in the Canadian population, the significant growth in the number of Canadians of immigrant (and, especially, recent immigrant) origin. Over and above this, possession of Canadian citizenship status is a pre-requisite to voting in the Canadian political system, and since 1977 the Canadian Citizenship Act has required three years residence in Canada (out of four since immigrating) as a pre-requisite to obtaining Canadian citizenship (Young, 2000). Thus, those immigrating at the beginning of this high-immigration period and obtaining citizenship would be entering the political system in large numbers as potential voters by the late-1980s, and followed up by large numbers of potential immigrant-origin voters through the 1990s. Consequently, the 1990s (and beyond, in future studies, since immigration to Canada has not abated) serve as an important context to assess the integration of immigrants into the Canadian political system. That this period has also been highlighted by the visible successes of individual immigrant-origin, ethnic minority politicians such as Raymond Chan and Ujjal Dosanjh, outlined in the introduction to Chapter 1—and abiding evidence of a growing, but still numerically small (in relation to their group share of the overall population) group of immigrant/ethnic origin politicians in the provincial and federal spheres—further adds to the intellectual interest in this period of time as a salient one from a political participation perspective. The spatial focus is explained by the settlement patterns of immigrants after landing in Canada, characterized by a distinct channeling to preferred regions. As Statistics Canada (2003) 2 The federal Liberal Party target was a long-term objective, outlined in its so-called 'Red Book'—the policy document published by the Liberal Party for the 1993 campaign, and formally entitled Creating Opportunity: The Liberal Plan For Canada. 54 notes in its document summarizing migration trends in the 1990s, Canada's Ethnocultural Portrait: The Changing Mosaic, nearly 90% of immigrants who moved to Canada between 1991 and 2001 settled in just three provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. Of those arriving in the 1990s, 56% were settled in Ontario by 2001; 20% settled in BC, while 13% had selected Quebec. As Statistics Canada notes, this trend had increased from the pattern for arrivals in the 1980s (85% settling in these three provinces) and the 1970s (81%). Figure 2.3 shows the impact of this migration on British Columbia and Ontario, where approximately 10% of the provincial population in 2001, in each case, was comprised of immigrants who arrived Figure 2.3: Proportion of Provincial and Territorial Populations Comprised of Recent Immigrants (Arriving Within Past 10 Years), 1991 and 2001 « t o c '> o Newfoundland and Labrador p' Nunavut 0 Prince Edward Island New Brunswick p Nova Scotia Saskatchewan Northwest Territories Yukon Territory Manitoba | 1 Quebec Alberta f Ontario British Columbia % Population Recent Immigrant Source: Adapted from Statistics Canada, 2003. 10 12 55 between 1991-2001. As a consequence of this migration stream, Ontario and British Columbia, of all the provinces, had the highest proportion of immigrants in their overall populations 27% and 26%, respectively, in 2001. (Statistics Canada, 2003). Looking at the sub-provincial level, the concentration of recent immigrant flows into a few major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) is particularly profound. Of those who immigrated to Canada between 1991 and 2001, some 43% chose to settle in the Toronto C M A , the highest share—by far—of all of Canada's major cities. These newcomers represented 17% of the total population in the Toronto C M A , adding to the overall immigrant share of the population which stood at 44% in 2001. Less spectacular, but still significant, were similar developments in the Vancouver C M A : 18% of all immigrants to Canada between 1991-2001 had settled in Vancouver's C M A , accounting for 17% of the total population. As a result of this development, Vancouver's immigrant population accounted for nearly 40% of its total C M A population, a figure second only to the Toronto C M A and higher than that of many other major immigrant-receiving cities such as Sydney, Los Angeles, and New York. Within Canada, after Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal was the third most popular destination for 1991-2001 period immigrants, receiving 12% of the national share from this time period (Statistics Canada, 2003). If one were to base the selection of a region, and city, purely on the quantitative weight of recent immigration, Ontario—and Toronto in particular—would appear to be the logical choice. For reasons that are both personal and academic, I have elected to study the second most significant region and C M A in Canada: B C and Vancouver. That said, there is some additional numerical justification—over and above the region and city's 'second place' immigrant-receiving status in Canada—for this emphasis on Greater Vancouver, and in particular, on the specific cities of Richmond and Surrey. In addition to analyzing the. migration and settlement 56 streams regionally and by C M A , Statistics Canada has also charted the destination of 1991-2001 immigrants to Canada by individual municipality (over 5,000 people). As Table 2.1 outlines, once the CMAs are disaggregated according to their member municipalities some interesting intra-metropolitan patterns emerge. On top of the list of cities with the highest share Table 2.1: Top 10 Municipalities with 5,000+ Population Having the Highest Proportions of 1990s Immigrants, 2001 Municipality Total Population Immigrated Between 1991 and (Number) (Number) (%) Richmond, BC 163,395 48,705 29.8 Greater Vancouver A, BC 7,810 2,210 28.3 Burnaby, BC 191,360 46,415 24.3 Markham, ON 207,940 46,075 22.2 Toronto, ON 2,456,805 516,635 21.0 Richmond Hill, ON 131,595 26,325 20.0 Coquitlam, BC 111,425 21,940 19.7 Vancouver, BC 539,630 106,245 19.7 Saint-Laurent, PQ 76,605 14,950 19.5 Mississauga, ON 610,815 114,150 18.7 Source: Adapted from Statistics Canada, 2003. of its overall population comprised of 1991-2001 immigrants is Richmond, B C , at 29.8%. Following Richmond, from the second through eighth rankings, are various cities within the Toronto and Vancouver CMAs. After Saint-Laurent, PQ in the ninth spot, this pattern of alternating Toronto and Vancouver C M A cities continues; Surrey, BC—the second of the two local field-sites under analysis in this thesis—residing in twelfth place, with 13.6% of its overall population comprised of recent immigrants. Of particular note, within this list only two cities— Vancouver and Toronto—are central cities, the classic immigrant reception areas within cities; 57 the other eight communities being suburban locations within the metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. These figures highlight the development of a new urban phenomenon: the transformation of classic, modern suburbs into immigrant-receiving, post-modern 'ethnoburbs' (Li, 1998). Richmond and Surrey represent excellent examples of this development, which provides an especially interesting context in which to study immigrant political activity. Though the site of seasonal and permanent aboriginal settlement for approximately 6,000 years (McGillivray, 2005; Ross, 1979; City of Surrey, 2007), Richmond and Surrey's modern history as communities traces back to the late-1800s, when European-origin settlers began surveying the region, dividing and selling parcels of land, clearing the forest cover, and establishing primarily rural communities (Ross, 1979; Treleaven, 1969). In 1879, before the City of Vancouver was formally established, both Richmond and Surrey were incorporated as municipalities, but the size of these communities, and their population growth through to the Second World War was fairly modest: by 1941, some 52 years after being incorporated as municipalities, Richmond only numbered 10,370 people, and Surrey 14,840—during which time the central city of Vancouver grew from an unincorporated, scattered set of townsites into the dominant city of the region, some 275,353 people by 1941. (BC Stats, 2006). After the Second World War, however, the populations of both Richmond and Surrey grew dramatically as a result of natural increase, the attractiveness of the region to intra-urban, intra-provincial, inter-provincial, and international migrants, and— especially—the creation of local transportation infrastructure serving the private automobile. By 1971, Richmond and Surrey had been developed into classic, post-war residential suburbs, with populations of 62,121 and 98,601 respectively (BC Stats, 2006). These were predominantly European-origin, Canadian-born communities, though, with the majority of census tracts 58 comprised of less than 25% immigrant-origin residents, and just a few in Surrey and Richmond between 25 and 32%—at a time when the City of Vancouver only had four census tracts below 25% immigrant origin, most between 32-38%, and a significant number above this point (Hiebert, 2004). Between 1971 and 2001, Richmond and Surrey's overall populations grew significantly in number, with Richmond rising to 163,395 people and Surrey, 345,780 (Greater Vancouver Regional District, 2003, 2006). Though, since 1921, Richmond and Surrey's annual growth rates were typically higher than Vancouver's, on account of their comparatively small populations, by the latter decades of the twentieth century, population growth in suburbs such as Richmond and Surrey frequently exceeded, in absolute terms, growth in the central city—underpinning the growing importance of such 'suburban' cities within the metropolitan context.3 Driving this population growth, in addition to continued intra-urban migration, has been international immigration. By 2001, some 54% of Richmond's population, and 33.2% of Surrey's population, were of immigrant-origin, with much of this fuelled by international migration movements in the 1991-2001 period, as discussed and outlined in Table 2.1. Moreover, with regard to immigration and its influence on the racial and ethnic composition of Canadian cities, Richmond and Surrey are even more distinguished as sites for analysis. Across Canada, the share of the total population identified as visible minority (ie. non-white, non-aboriginal) stood at 13% in 2001; in Richmond, this figure was 59%, the highest figure for any municipality in Canada and some 10-40% higher than other municipalities in the Vancouver C M A . Surrey, though less spectacular, at 3 Between 1971 and 1981, for example, Vancouver's population was essentially stagnant, growing by three thousand people during a period when Richmond added 37 thousand, and Surrey 53 thousand, to its populations. Though Vancouver's population growth between 1981 and 1991 (approximately 56 thousand) and 1991-2001 (84 thousand) once again exceeded Richmond's—30 thousand and 41 thousand for these periods), Surrey continually outpaced the central city, with increases of over 100 thousand during both decades (BC Stats, 2001). Indeed, such has been Surrey's pace of population growth that some observers have projected that Surrey will exceed Vancouver in population size in the not-too-distant future (City of Surrey, 2007). 59 36.7% visible minority status, is still well above the Canadian average, and ranks fourth among municipalities within the Vancouver C M A , and eleventh nationally. Rapidly growing due to immigration, and characterized by increasingly ethno-culturally diverse populations, Richmond and Surrey represent what the geographer Wei L i has described as 'ethnoburbs': suburban ethnic clusters of residential areas and business districts in large metropolitan areas which have replaced, or are replacing, traditional downtown enclaves as more important entry points in select North American metropolitan areas. In contrast to explanations for past ethnic concentrations such as ghettos or enclaves which highlight discrimination, L i describes these ethnoburbs as the product of the deliberate efforts of migrating ethnic groups to sustain community bonds in the context of post-Fordist economic change and mass migration (Li, 1998). Given their growing importance as immigrant reception areas, in the context of significant Canadian immigration intakes since the mid-1980s, ethnoburbs like Richmond and Surrey provide highly appropriate venues to examine the political participation activities of recent immigrants, particularly as the 'ethnoburb' phenomenon is posited to reflect an increased agency on the part of visible/ethnic minority, immigrant origin, residents; does such agency carry over into the political realm as well? Examining immigrant political participation in Richmond and Surrey can provide some insight into this larger-scale question. Despite such similarities in their early and recent histories, Richmond and Surrey, while both characterized by their large immigrant-origin and visible minority populations, also provide for an interesting contrast in the specific visible minority/ethnic origin groups that comprise their populations. L i states that ethnoburbs are multiethnic communities with one ethnic minority group in significant concentration (Li, 1998). In Richmond, the most numerically significant group is of Chinese ethnic origin; in Surrey, it is South Asians who are the predominant ethnic 60 minority population. As Table 2.2 outlines, the transformation of Richmond and Surrey into 'ethnoburbs' has been particularly evident during the 1990s, during which time the Chinese and South Asian origin populations of both communities markedly grew. By 2001, in Richmond, the largest visible minority group was of Chinese origin—at 39% of the total population, the highest relative Chinese-origin population share of any Canadian municipality. In Surrey, South Asians constituted over 50% of the visible minority population, and some 22% of the overall population. Table 2.2: Residents of Chinese and South Asian Origin, Richmond and Surrey, 1991-20014 Census Year Municipality Richmond Total Population 1991 126,624 Chinese Origin (#, % of total) 20,765 (16.4%) South Asian Origin (#, % of total) 7,000 (5.5%) 1996 148,150 48,460 (32.7%) 9,820 (6.6%) 2001 164,345 64,270 (39.1%) 12,120 (7.4%) Surrey Total Population 245,173 Chinese Origin (#, % of total) 5165 (2.1 %) South Asian Origin (#, % of total) 20,635 (8.4%) 307,755 12,815 (4.2%) 49,805 (16.2%) 347,825 16,480 (4.7%) 75,680 (21.8%) Source: Adapted from Statistics Canada (1991, 1996, 2001) In light of this population concentration, Richmond and Surrey provide useful field sites to test whether—as has been argued in the political participation literature, noted in Chapter 1— 4For 1991, Ethnic Origin (Single Response) is the census category used to tabulate the Chinese/South Asian populations (for 1991, South Asian was defined as 'East Indian'). For the 1996 and 2001 censuses, the questionnaire script allowed individuals to record multiple ethnic origins, and added a new ethnic origin category, 'Canadian'. This complicates the use of the census data and comparison with the 1991 and earlier measures of ethnic origin. For this reason, the sizes of the Chinese/South Asian populations in 1996 and 2001 are determined for this table using responses to the question of visible minority identity, one which allows only single responses and closely approximates the 1991 question on ethnic origin. 61 significant differences in participation rates are evident among different ethno-cultural groups. Given the demographic characteristics, this examination focuses on Hong Kong Chinese-origin and Punjabi South Asian-origin immigrants, two groups that occupy different locations in the public's imagination about immigration, ethnic identity, and political participation. Moreover, in light of Ramakrishnan and Espenshade's (2001) and Black's (1997) research highlighting the influence of pre-migration political socialization on post-migration political engagement, the Hong Kong-Chinese and Punjabi-South Asian groups offer an intriguing contrast in pre-migration, national political contexts: a Hong Kong in which—under British, then Mainland Chinese, leadership—democratic rights have been fairly constrained, versus the world's largest, if fractious, democracy in India. Other aggregate differences between these two communities— particularly in the areas of income, education, and age—suggest other demographic variations, relevant to voter turnout, at the census tract level which should enable examination of their role (particularly salient in the ethnoburb formulation) in determining political participation patterns.5 Before turning to the ecological-scale investigation in this chapter, and Chapter 3, however, the next section outlines the methodology used in the ecological analysis of voter turnout in these field sites. 2.2 Methodology This chapter presents provincial and federal voter turnout figures, collected for all elections and all voting areas for Richmond and Surrey, BC during the period 1991 through 5 Richmond's median age as determined by the 2001 Census, for example, is 38.5 versus the relatively younger Surrey's 35.6 years. Income measures, both individual and household, favour Surrey, with individual income in 2001 at $22,458, and household income at $53,957. Richmond's figures are $20,297 and $50,060, respectively. Perhaps most striking are the differences in educational status: among Richmond's age 20-34 population, for example, 33.7% possess a university degree, and only 9.4% do not hold a high school diploma. Surrey's figures, for this age cohort, on the other hand are 17.2% with a university degree and 18.8% without a high school diploma (Statistics Canada, 2007). 62 2001. During this time span, there were three Federal General Elections, held in 1993, 1997, and 2000, respectively. Similarly, during this same period, three Provincial General Elections took place, in 1991, 1996, and 2001. Official voting results at the federal level were obtained from Elections Canada for the 1993, 1997 and 2000 General Elections.6 Provincial electoral data were more accessible, available on the internet at the Elections BC website.7 Electoral turnout statistics, provided by both Elections Canada and Elections BC, are organized—and made publicly available—by voting area. The official 'statement of votes' provided by both organizations for the elections under consideration here include, minimally, the number of votes cast, and the number of registered voters, in a given voting area. Some of the statements of votes provided for elections in the 1990s include additional information, such as the number of eligible voters in a voting area, the number of votes received for individual candidates, the number of valid and invalid ballots cast, and the number of votes cast in advance and mobile polling stations. For the purposes of continuity (to measure and compare voter turnout using information available for all elections during the decade under consideration), voter participation was measured using a simple formula: the total number of votes cast (valid or invalid) in a voting o area divided by the number of registered voters in that voting area. Theoretically, then, voter 6 For the 1993 Federal General Election, three diskettes contain the official voting results: Elections Canada. 1993. 35 th General Election 1993: Official Voting Results. Catalogue # SE 1-1/1993-MR1, EC95051. The 1997 and 2000 election results are provided in the CD-Rom: Elections Canada. 2001. Thirty-Sixth General Election 1997; Thirty-seventh General Election 2000: Official Voting Results. Catalogue #SEl-l/2000-MRC, EC95054. 7 The Elections BC website can be accessed at http://www.elections.bc.ca The specific, online documents containing the electoral data for the elections in question are: 1991 Statement of Votes 35 l h Provincial General Election. Oct. 17. 1991. 1996 Statement of Votes 36 lh Provincial General Election. May 28. 1996. and 2001 Statement of Votes 37 l h Provincial General Election. May 16. 2001. 8 Since the purpose of this chapter is to measure the amount of voter participation—not its 'quality'—I consider both valid and invalid ballots as representative of an effort to participate in the voting process; furthermore, since some of the statements of votes for this period do not disaggregate valid and invalid ballots in the voting totals, including both totals for elections where this information is provided allows for more continuity across the elections for the 1991-2001 period. This latter point also explains the use of registered voters in the voter turnout equation; for all elections in this period, the number of registered voters is available for each voting area. This is not the case with the number of eligible voters for each voting area, information on which is only available, by voting area, for some 63 turnout could be calculated for each voting area, in Richmond and Surrey, for each election during the 1990s, providing a relatively fine-scaled ecological analysis of voter participation in these areas during this period. Moreover, given that Elections Canada and Elections BC also make publicly-available, for the elections from 1991-2001, maps showing the geographic boundaries of these voting areas, variations in voter participation could also be represented cartographically, providing a visual impression of turnout to facilitate comparative analysis. The use of such a method to calculate, map out, and compare voter participation, however, does have some limitations. The first thing to note is the sheer number of voting areas that comprise the area of Richmond and Surrey: in the 2001 provincial election, for example, these two municipalities were divided up into approximately 1000 separate voting areas for which voting data was collected and recorded. A map showing turnout figures for some 1000 separate voting areas—even if aggregated into % ranges, quartiles, or quintiles—would likely, show so much detail as to make larger-scale observations and generalizations difficult. Such a task is also rendered difficult by the fact that the voting area boundaries are different for provincial and federal elections in these municipalities; in addition, the boundaries of provincial and federal voting areas themselves were subject to periodic adjustment during the 1991-2001 time period covered by this research. Finally, given that this thesis seeks to not only map voter turnout, but provide some analysis of the demographic characteristics (especially immigrant status and ethnic origin) that may influence turnout, conducting the voter turnout analysis at the voting area scale adds an additional problem. Between 1991 and 2001 three censuses of Canada—the source of ecological-scale demographic data used here—were conducted: in 1991, 1996, and 2001. While the smallest geographic scale used by Statistics Canada when conducting of the elections considered. While, arguably, the number of eligible voters would provide a better benchmark for measuring participation levels, the lack of available information for all elections precludes its use in this analysis. 64 the census—the enumeration area—closely approximates the size of the voting areas used by Elections Canada and Elections BC, their boundaries are not a perfect match, and the task of correlating all the voting areas with enumeration areas, for the six elections under consideration, would be overwhelming. Furthermore, extensive demographic data from the census is not readily available at the scale of the enumeration area, and the small size of enumeration areas— coupled with Statistics Canada's mandate to balance the objectives of individual privacy with data availability—means that some findings at the enumeration area scale are suppressed, making comparison with voter turnout statistics difficult, if not impossible. For these reasons, the respective voting areas for the provincial and federal elections between 1991 and 2001 for Richmond and Surrey were aggregated in this analysis, to correspond with the census tract boundaries for these areas in the 1991, 1996, and 2001 censuses. Aggregating the voting data by census tract allows for a more manageable format (64 to 104 geographic units) for presenting and analyzing the voter turnout data, while the availability of demographic data at the census tract scale facilitates examination of the factors that may influence voter participation. For the 1991 provincial election, and the 1993 federal election, voting areas were correlated with the 64 census tracts covering Richmond and Surrey in the 1991 Census of Canada, the census year that is the best temporal match for these elections. Likewise, the 1996 provincial election, and the 1997 federal election voting areas were matched with the 64 census tracts of the 1996 census, while the 2000 federal election and 2001 provincial voting areas were correlated with the 104 census tracts identified for Richmond and Surrey in the 2001 census. For each of these census years, maps showing the boundaries of the census tracts were obtained and compared with the maps of the voting areas for the respective elections; each 65 voting area, then, was matched with the particular census tract within which it was located. When the boundaries of a voting area crossed into two or more census tracts, the extent (eg. 50%, 30%, etc.) of the voting area in each census tract was estimated. With the voting areas matched to their respective census tracts for each census year, the number of votes cast and the number of registered voters (reported by voting area) was aggregated and totaled for each census tract.10 By dividing the number of votes cast by the number of registered voters in each census tract, a voter participation rate was determined for each census tract in Richmond and Surrey, for each election under consideration. The results, both quantitative and cartographic, of this analysis follow. 2.3 Geographic Patterns of Electoral Participation 2.3.1 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections For the 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal General Elections, voter turnout figures (votes cast divided by registered electors) were calculated for the 64 census tracts that covered Richmond and Surrey for the 1991 Canada Census. Across these 64 census tracts, voter turnout figures were higher for the provincial election: the median voter participation rate for the provincial election was 71.3%, while the median voter participation rate for the federal election was 64.6%. For the provincial election, the highest voter participation rate for a census tract was 9 This methodology explains why only provincial and federal elections—and not municipal elections—are considered in the ecological-scale electoral analysis of this thesis. While both Richmond and Surrey held three municipal elections during the 1991-2001 period—in 1993, 1996, and 1999—the available voter turnout data does not lend itself to extensive geographic and quantitative analysis. In some cases, voter turnout data is only available by point location (poll), making correlation and comparison of voter turnout by area—especially by census tract— problematic. In other cases, where municipal electoral data is collected by area, these areas are too few in number (approx. 10) to allow for aggregation by census tract, as with the provincial and federal election results. In this case, the aggregation would have to be conducted in the other direction—aggregating CTs into municipal voting areas— producing a relatively small number of areas, very large in geographic extent, as the basis for analysis. In light of these data-related problems, municipal level turnout has been excluded from this analysis. 1 0 In the case where a voting area crossed the boundaries of two or more census tracts, the number of votes cast, and the number of registered voters, was apportioned to the census tracts according to each CT's share of the voting area, based on the comparative map analysis. 66 77.4%, the lowest, 56.1 % for an overall range of 21.3%; federal turnout figures indicated a higher degree of spread, with a range of 31.4% in turnout separating the lowest CT, 44.7%, from the highest at 76.1%>. Figure 2.4 illustrates the geographic patterns of voter turnout for the 1991 provincial election, calculated by CT for Richmond and Surrey, and arranged, by quintiles, into five categories. As the map illustrates, participation rates for the provincial election were particularly high in south and east-central Surrey, with a number of CTs recording voter turnouts greater than the fourth quintile break (>73.2%); within Richmond, only one CT, in south-central Figure 2.4: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1991 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC Richmond, had a voter participation rate at this highest level. Low turnout rates, below the first quartile break (< 67.9%), were prevalent in the north-west corner of Richmond, and in the north-central neighbourhoods of Surrey. Outside of these patterns of high and low voter turnout, the remainder of the CTs in Richmond and Surrey, as evidenced on the map in Figure 2.4, show varying turnouts within a 5% range—between the first quintile break of 67.9% and the fourth quintile break of 73.2%. 67 Figure 2.5, illustrating the geographic distribution of turnout, by CT, for the 1993 Federal General Election shows some continuity in the patterns of voter turnout across Richmond and Surrey, while at the same time revealing some suggestive variations. As the map shows, voter turnout in the CT of south-central Richmond was among the highest of all Richmond and Surrey CTs, as it was in the 1991 provincial election. Similarly, the CTs located in south Surrey had voter turnouts above the fourth quintile break, above 69.3%. As for CTs with low voter turnout levels, comparison of Figures 2.4 and 2.5 show north-central Richmond, and north-central Surrey, to have consistently, and comparatively, low levels of voter turnout in both the provincial and federal elections of the early-1990s. Likewise, looking beyond those Figure 2.5: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1993 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC census tracts at the top and bottom ends of the participation continuum, the areas of central Richmond and Surrey—with some minor variations by census tract—appear to exhibit 'moderate' levels of electoral participation, with participation rates ranging from the 59.0%-68 69.3% range. When comparing the turnout rates for the 1991 provincial election with those of the 1993 federal election, however, some interesting variations emerge. In Richmond, in the 1993 federal election, versus the 1991 provincial election, many more census tracts had reported voter turnout figures in the highest category, above the fourth quintile break. As Figure 2.5 shows, not only did south-central Richmond have high turnout figures, but so did selected CTs in central- and north-west Richmond. This pattern was matched, in Richmond, by a moderate decrease in the number of CTs falling in the lowest quintile category for the 1993 federal election, from four to three CTs; here, the move of the census tract encompassing east Richmond, into the lowest voter turnout category in 1993, is perhaps the most noteworthy decrease in relative participation between the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections. On the Surrey side, the increased number of high-participation level CTs in Richmond appeared to be matched with a commensurate decrease in CTs with exceptionally high voter turnout figures. While CTs in south Surrey remained at the top of the spectrum, comparison of Figures 2.4 and 2.5 shows a considerable decrease in the number of high-participation CTs in the northern half of the municipality; here, the relative standing of the CTs decreased, with turnout figures falling between the first and fourth quintile break points. Also noteworthy, in 1993, is the shift in the status of Surrey's north-west census tracts, with a number of these slipping—in relative terms, compared to other CTs—in terms of turnout between the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections. 2.3.2 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections As with the analysis of the 1991 and 1993 election turnout figures, those for the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections were organized according to 64 census tract boundaries for 69 Richmond and Surrey, boundaries which did not change between the 1991 and 1996 censuses. Figure 2.6 illustrates the geographic distribution of voter turnout for the 1996 provincial election. Census tracts with the highest relative turnout for the 1996 provincial election, higher than the quintile break-point of 69.4%, were primarily located in Surrey, scattered across the municipality in a rough south-west to north-east orientation. Conversely, census tracts with the lowest relative turnout (<62.4%) were located in north-central Richmond and north-west Surrey. Comparing these patterns with those for the closest—in temporal terms—election, the 1997 federal election Figure 2.6: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1996 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC (Figure 2.7) again, as with the 1991 and 1993 elections, shows some interesting similarities and differences in voter participation. Looking at Figure 2.7, which maps voter participation in the 1997 federal election, one can see that census tracts in south-central Richmond, as well as south-west Surrey, had high relative turnout figures (here, above the quintile break of 65.9%), as they did in the 1996 provincial election. Likewise, participation rates in north-west Surrey remained relatively low (below the first quintile break-point, here at 56.8%) in the 1997 federal election, 70 along with one CT in north-central Richmond, which remained low across both the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections. In terms of interesting, and perhaps significant, variations in voter turnout across these two elections, as illustrated by the maps in Figures 2.6 and 2.7, the relative drop in turnout in the census tracts of north Surrey for the 1997 federal election is most noteworthy. As can be seen, while a number of CTs in north Surrey ranked among the highest in provincial turnout in 1996, they dropped from this rank in the 1997 federal Figure 2.7: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 1997 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC Turnout by CT (Quintiles) • 1 61.5%-65.9% Mi 59.1%-61.4% 56.8%-59.0% < 56.8% summary, slipping down to the mid-range category (59.1%-61.4%), or even down to the lowest turnout level (<56.8%). Within Richmond, one can see a counter-trend to that described for Surrey: a rise in the number of high-participation level CTs—even above the highest quintile break (>65.9%)—for the 1997 federal election versus the 1996 provincial; here, the only major declines between 1996 and 1997 were evident in the extreme south-west of Richmond, as well as in the CT covering east Richmond. 71 Considering these patterns, and looking back to the maps of turnout for the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, some longer-term continuities and variations start to emerge. Patterns of high turnout for the 1993 and 1997 federal elections appear, for many census tracts, to be the same for these years: as Figures 2.5 and 2.7 both show relatively high participation levels in south-Surrey, as well as south-central, western, and north-west Richmond. Likewise, CTs in north-west Surrey and north-central Richmond evince patterns of relatively low federal election turnout in these years. If one can discern a changing trend in participation, across these CTs between the 1993 and 1997 federal elections, perhaps it is the relative decline in the participation rates of Surrey census tracts (compare the quintile rankings of the census tracts of central Surrey between 1993 and 1997) that is the most visible. In addition to this, the relative increase in federal participation rates among Richmond's census tracts, particularly those in east- and north-central Richmond, also seems noteworthy. In terms of provincial turnout, in both the 1991 and 1996 elections, census tracts in selected Surrey locations (south-west and north-east) remained relatively high performers, as did the census tract located in south-central Richmond. Likewise, in turn, between 1991 and 1996, the areas of north-central Richmond and north Surrey were consistently low in terms of their relative provincial election turnout figures, falling below the first quintile breaks for these respective elections. Between 1991 and 1996, however, from comparing Figures 2.4 and 2.6, one can discern a subtle shift in provincial election participation rates: overall, the patterns on the maps seem to suggest a relative decline in provincial turnout within Surrey—note the decrease in the number of north Surrey census tracts in the highest quintile categories from 1991 to 1996—and a commensurate relative rise in turnout among Richmond census tracts. 72 2.3.3 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections To conclude the cartographic analysis of voter participation in Richmond and Surrey, between 1991 and 2001, we now turn to the last two elections held during this time period: the 2001 Provincial General Election and the 2000 Federal General Election. The respective turnout levels, by census tract, for these elections are mapped out in Figures 2.8 and 2.9; for these elections, voter turnout is mapped according to the 104 census tracts used by Statistics Canada to collect and represent information for Richmond and Surrey for the 2001 census. Again, comparison of the patterns for these two, closely-spaced elections invites comparison. In terms of provincial election turnout, a particularly noteworthy pattern is the prevalence of Surrey Figure 2.8: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 2001 Provincial Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC census tracts among those reporting the highest turnout levels, above 68.6%. As Figure 2.8 shows, only one Richmond census tract—on the far-east side of the now separated (for the 2001 census) east Richmond region—had voter turnout levels within this category. The rest of the 73 census tracts in this highest quintile turnout category were located within the municipality of Surrey, with particularly high turnout recorded for CTs in south Surrey, north-east Surrey, and a few CTs in the north-west corner of the municipality. North-west Surrey, however, also contains a number of census tracts with the lowest relative turnout levels (<60.0%), along with four census tracts in north-central Richmond. High relative turnout figures for the 2000 federal election were also characteristic of the south-Surrey region, as indicated in Figure 2.9. This region—as it did for the 2001 provincial election—had participation rates above the highest quintile break-point, in the case of the 2000 federal election, above 62.5%. Likewise, a few CTs located in north-east Surrey had Figure 2.9: Voter Turnout, By Census Tract, for the 2000 Federal Election: Richmond and Surrey, BC relatively high turnout figures, as they did for the 2001 provincial election. Within the Surrey context, however, one key difference between the 2000 federal and 2001 provincial election participation rates seems to reside in the north-west part of the municipality, where voter 74 mobilization for the 2000 federal election appeared to be considerably weaker than that shown in the 2001 provincial contest. As with the other elections covered so far in this analysis, such variations in relative turnout for one region of census tracts were offset by counter-trends in other CTs. In the instance of the 2000 federal election, the relatively low turnout in north-west Surrey census tracts was offset by high participation levels within Richmond. While, as noted, Richmond had relatively few high-participation census tracts in the 2001 provincial election, the region's performance in the 2000 federal election was much more impressive. As indicated in Figure 2.9, a number of Richmond census tracts—those in south-central Richmond, south-west Richmond, and north-west Richmond—had participation rates higher than 62.5%, the highest quintile point for the 2000 election. Indeed, participation rates for the rest of Richmond's CTs in the 2000 federal election were relatively high, with only one CT falling within the lowest turnout category, and the majority falling between the second and fourth quintile points (55.0%-62.5% turnout). Considering the 2001 provincial and 2000 federal elections in the context of the prior election results, as outlined by census tract analysis in the previous section, the geographic picture of continuity and variation in voter participation is further developed. Looking at the patterns of voter turnout in the 2001 provincial election, as shown in Figure 2.8, in comparison with those of 1996 (Figure 2.6), certain regions seem to remain among the top rank in terms of electoral participation. Notably, south-west Surrey and north-east Surrey contained census tracts whose voter turnout figures were among the highest of all CTs measured; likewise, the areas of north-central Richmond and north Surrey were consistently among the lowest performers, in relative terms, with regard to voter turnout. However, as can be seen by comparing Figures 2.6 and 2.8, Surrey's share of higher-performing census tracts appeared to change between the 1996 75 and 2001 provincial elections, increasing in number while Richmond's relative turnout declined. Between the two federal elections, the 1997 and 2000 campaigns, geographic patterns of voter turnout appeared to be more stable: Figures 2.7 and 2.9 suggest that in 2000, as in 1997, census tracts located in the south-central, south-west, and north-west part of Richmond posted the highest participation rates, as did the CTs of south Surrey. Similarly, north Richmond and, especially, north-west Surrey were regions with consistently low-level voter turnout figures. Outside of these patterns of consistency, only a few variations stand out: the rise in turnout for the CT located in Richmond's extreme south-west corner, and the addition of a handful of high-turnout CTs in central and north-east Surrey by the 2000 federal election. 2.4 Overall Participation Trends: 1991-2001 Though the focus so far has been on examining individual elections, in the context of their temporal counterpart (federal or provincial), and the elections immediately preceding them, by now some larger scale patterns can be discerned for Richmond and Surrey, across all the provincial and federal elections of the 1991-2001 period. To this point, the discussion has highlighted consistencies, in terms of regions with census tracts that have relatively high and low participation rates. Looking within these two municipalities, areas of south Surrey and south-central Richmond appear to be highly-participatory in terms of voting; to a somewhat lesser extent, the same can be said of the north-east region of Surrey, and the north-west quadrant of Richmond. On the other hand, north-west Surrey, and north-central Richmond would appear to be relatively low in terms of voter participation across this same time period and across all elections. The visual impression conveyed, of consistent participation patterns, by mapping voter turnout by census tract is supported by a more systematic, quantitative analysis. Table 2.3 76 shows the correlations in voter participation, by census tract, for all the elections noted in this discussion of the geographic patterns of voter turnout in Richmond and Surrey.11 As the table shows, there were significant simple correlations in the voter turnout figures for the Richmond and Surrey census tracts for all the elections studied between 1991 and 2001. Census tracts which had high or low voter turnouts in one election during this period of time tended to have correspondingly high or low voter turnouts for the other elections held over this ten year span, Table 2.3: Simple Correlations of Provincial and Federal Voter Turnout, by Census Tract, 1991-2001: Richmond and Surrey. BC Election: 1991 Provincial 1993 Federal 1996 Provincial 1997 Federal 2001 Provincial 2000 Federal 1991 1993 Provincial Federal 1 .745 .745 .525 .554 .653 .713 .536 .722 .749 .823 1996 1997 Provincial Federal .525 .536 .343 .537 .488 .554 .722 .343 .658 .817 2001 2000 Provincial Federal .653 .749 .488 .658 .713 .823 .537 .817 .738 .738 1 1 Voter participation rates used for this table were the same ones calculated by census tract for the cartographic analysis of turnout, using the methodology as indicated in the text. To harmonize the census tracts—which ranged in number from 64 (in the 1991 and 1996 censuses) to 104 (2001)—across this time period, the census tracts for 2001 were reduced in number to correspond with the earlier census tract numbers and boundaries. As the additional census tracts for 2001 were derived by splitting the 1996 census tracts, reversing this process to harmonize the 2001 census tracts with the boundaries of previous CTs by joining them together was a relatively straightforward process. Once this was complete, the participation rates for the harmonized 2001 census tracts were re-calculated to arrive at a new participation rate, following the revised census tract boundaries. The correlation of the participation rates across all elections was performed using the SPSS 13 For Windows software package. 77 confirming statistically the general conclusion noted above: that there are durable, geographic patterns of high and low voter participation across the Richmond and Surrey census tracts, for both federal and provincial elections. Among these various correlation coefficients (hereafter also referred to as r), the strongest relationships seem to exist among the federal election turnout figures: correlations between the 2000 election turnout and participation rates in the 1993 and 1997 federal elections were .823 and .817, respectively. Squaring these correlation coefficients to arrive at a coefficient of determination (r2), indicates, then, that approximately 68% of the variation in turnout across CTs for the 2000 federal election was related with variation in the 1993 turnout figures, and that approximately 67% of the variation in 2000 was related with the variation in 1997 figures. Similarly, the 1993 and 1997 turnout figures were themselves highly correlated, with an r value of .722 (r2 = .52). While this highlighting of strong correlations suggests a high degree of inter-relationship among the federal election turnout figures for Richmond and Surrey CTs, it is important to note the variations in voter turnout among these census tracts as well. Looking at all the elections examined so far, and with reference to Figures 2.4-2.9, one interesting pattern has been the consistent tendency for Richmond's federal turnout rates to exceed those at the provincial level, and in Surrey, for provincial turnout to surpass federal turnout. This perceived pattern, derived from a visual assessment of the voter turnout maps, is quantitatively supported in Table 2.4. The table compares voter turnout in Richmond and Surrey census tracts, looking at census tracts where voter turnout rates were in the bottom and top quintiles, respectively. For each temporal pair of elections (eg. 1991 provincial; 1993 federal), the number of CTs with federal turnout in the top/bottom quintiles is subtracted from the provincial CTs, showing the net difference for Richmond and Surrey. As can be seen, across all three 'pairs' of elections, Richmond's share of CTs in the bottom quintile for provincial elections consistently exceeded that in the bottom quintile for provincial elections (hence, a positive number for this row across all three pairs of elections). Conversely, for Richmond, the number of CTs in the top quintile for provincial elections was consistently surpassed by its number of top quintile CTs for federal elections. As Table 2.4 shows, the situation is reversed for Surrey, where provincial turnouts were regularly Table 2.4: Municipal Variations in Voter Turnout: Provincial minus Federal, Number of Census Tracts, 1991-2001 1991 Provincial/ 1993 Federal 1996 Provincial/ 1997 Federal 2001 Provincial/ 2000 Federal Richmond Surrey Richmond Surrey Richmond Surrey In Bottom Quintile +1 In Top Quintile -4 +5 +2 -2 -2 +2 +3 -5 -4 +5 higher than those at the federal level. Though representative of a fairly consistent intra-municipal turnout pattern, the differences between Richmond and Surrey are intriguing, and suggestive of how patterns of turnout at the CT level (as will be shown) can differ across municipalities and levels of government. This suggestion is borne out by the variations in turnout rates observed at the census tract level, particularly among the provincial elections examined. Examination of the maps in Figures 2.4, 2.6, and 2.8 does show some consistent patterns of provincial turnout—high turnout in south Surrey for all provincial elections, generally higher provincial turnout among Surrey census tracts versus those in Richmond, low turnout census tracts in north Surrey and north-central Richmond, and (among Richmond CTs) relatively consistent high turnout in the south-central region. However, the maps also show quite a bit of variation in relative turnouts among the census tracts across these election years: note, for example, how Surrey's share of the most 79 participatory census tracts fluctuates in these years: from being particularly high in 1991, decreasing in 1996, and then rising again for 2001; similarly, within Richmond and Surrey, the pattern of CTs with high participation rates also seems to ebb and flow. Within Surrey, the oscillating performance of the census tracts in central and north Surrey is of particular note, while in Richmond, patterns of participation in central and east Richmond seem the most inconsistent. Such inconsistencies in participation patterns are reflected in the correlation coefficients across provincial election turnout figures for the 1991-2001 time period, as illustrated in Table 2.3. The relationships between 2001 provincial election turnout by CT, with 1991 and 1996 provincial participation rates, for example, are defined by r values of .653 and .537, respectively. Turnout figures in the 1991 and 1996 provincial elections were also linked, with a correlation coefficient of .525. Though notable, conversion of the r values to coefficients of determination tempers the impression of strength: 43% of the variation in 2001 turnout being related to variations in 1991 turnout, and only 29% of the variation in 2001 being related to variations in 1996 turnout. Looking at the relationship between the turnout rates, by CT, for the 1991 and 1996 elections shows an even weaker correlation coefficient (.525) and coefficient of determination (0.28). Interestingly, some provincial turnouts seemed to be more strongly related to federal turnout figures: as Table 2.3 indicates, turnout in the 2001 provincial election was highly correlated with all three federal election turnouts, with stronger r values than existed with the 199land 1996 provincial campaigns. In sum, then, both the cartographic and statistical analysis of relative voter turnout figures between 1991-2001 suggests that, in general—and among federal elections in particular—the level of voter participation recorded for a Richmond or Surrey census tract in one election 80 provides a respectable predictor of its level of voter participation in another election. This relationship is not ironclad, by any stretch, as even the highest recorded level of inter-correlation in turnout figures (r = .823, for the 2000 and 1993 federal campaigns; r2 = 0.68) leaves 32% of the variation in turnout to be explained by factors apart from a CT's rate of turnout in another election. Of course, as illustrated, the lesser degree of inter-correlation among other election turnouts, by CT, suggests even more room for such factors to be considered. When one considers, however, that the apparently durable patterns of inter-correlation among turnout rates for various census tracts can, themselves, be thought of as being influenced by underlying variables, the scope for interpretation widens. Why are there consistent patterns of census tracts with relatively high and low participation rates? What factors seem to account for the variations in voter turnout by CT across this time period, and for different elections? 2.5 Conclusions: Making Sense of Spatial Patterns of Voter Turnout Based on the prevailing political participation literature, one's approach to this question could follow two possible paths, depending on the types of factors, or variables, that are considered to shape political behaviour. On the one hand, it has been argued that the durability/variations in turnout are the product of differences in political contexts, or structures, across space and time. In this approach, explanation for patterns of voter turnout, such as those presented here, would rest with the analysis of the political structures which are seen to enable or constrain political participation. In a cross-national comparison of political participation rates, for example, one might relate differences in turnout to the varying systems in place which regulate the exercise of the franchise in different countries (see, for example, the examination by Mattila, 2003, of compulsory and weekend voting systems on cross-national and national 81 variations in turnout). Similarly, Iversen and Rosenbluth (2006) have recently attributed cross-national variations in women's political preferences to national differences in the international division of labour and with the structure of the welfare state. Likewise, within a given country, one could also perform a similar type of comparative analysis to examine variations in voter turnout over time, relating such changes to differences in voting conditions in one period versus another (as in the examination of European voting systems and patterns over a sixteen year time span by Nadeau, Niemi, et al., 2002).12 The contrasting—and one might argue, predominant—approach to explaining political behaviour is to relate patterns of political participation to variations in social characteristics, such as gender, age, socio-economic status, ethnic origin, and immigrant status. To generalize, those employing this perspective contend that such variables denote different political socialization processes, resulting (among other things) in different types of 'social capital' that, in turn, influence one's propensity to participate in the political process. Thus, it is argued that—even in an apparently uniform political context—participation patterns will vary; similarly, by extension, variations in political context will have differential impacts across the population. Both methods of approaching the issue of political participation have, in my opinion, considerable merit, and are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Ideally, an account of the factors 1 2 A similarly spatial political-structure approach to analyzing political participation is represented in the literature on the neighbourhood effect, which posits that neighbourhoods can become dominated by majority political positions. The influence of these majority positions, it is argued, then creates a 'spatial environment' that structures social contacts, shaping participation patterns of those with differing individual characteristics (see, for example, Johnston, Jones, et al., 2004, on the continued relevance of this concept, using research in the British context). A similar argument is advanced in the literature highlighting regional political cultures, which likewise imply the dominance of spatially and temporally varied political contexts over other variables, such as class or ethnicity (in the Canadian context, the work of Simeon and Elkins (1974, 1980) has been perhaps the most noteworthy, examining provincial political cultures; this work has recently been revisited, and revised regions defined, by Henderson (2004). It is important to note, however, that such approaches—the neighbourhood effect and regional political culture perspectives—differ, somewhat, from the narrower political context literature in alluding to the influence of social variables in creating a distinct neighbourhood or regional political culture that shapes individual participation. 1 3 The host of specific social variables linked with participation via various studies are outlined at the beginning of Chapter 3. Though studies approaching political participation from this social perspective are numerous, the work of Verba and Nie (1972) stands out as a benchmark study defining this perspective. 82 shaping variations in political participation for a given segment of the population (such as immigrants) would include not only the social characteristics of this population segment itself, but also changes in the political context. Here, the cross-national examination by Nevitte, Blais, et al. (2000) of the influence of socio-economic status (SES) on voter participation in twenty countries is a noteworthy example of this holistic approach, illustrating variations in the role of SES on electoral turnout from one political context to another. Applying this logic to the local study area, one might contend that the contrasting durable/variable patterns of participation across the Richmond and Surrey census tracts are the product of variations in the 'characteristics' of the electoral process across this space: differences in the quality of the candidates fielded by parties in different ridings, differences in candidates' social identities (gender, ethnic origin, etc.), or differences in the ability of parties and candidates in particular ridings to mobilize their political base on election day, for example. Likewise, one could examine the patterns in voter turnout by CT over time, and relate these to stable or changing temporal developments in the political process. With regard to the fairly consistent patterns of federal electoral turnout between 1993-2000, one might explain them with reference to the relatively stable period of federal Liberal hegemony during this period of time; conversely, between 1991-2001, political politics in BC was marked by dramatic swings in the fortunes of political parties, perhaps explaining the weaker set of correlations in turnout recorded across the Richmond and Surrey census tracts during this period of time. Such considerations would certainly add to the account of immigrant/ethnic minority political participation presented here, and variations in political contexts are alluded to in the preceding section and in the next section that analyzes voter participation in Surrey and Richmond between 1991 and 2001. In the interest of making the analysis manageable, on account of the readily available quantitative data on these variables, and 83 out of a belief that social variables are sufficiently complex to merit independent investigation, the next chapter explores the relationships between various demographic characteristics of Richmond and Surrey census tracts, and the voter turnout reported for the 1991-2001 period. 84 3 THE RESIDENTIAL ECOLOGY OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF VOTER TURNOUT IN RICHMOND AND SURREY, BC 3.1 Introduction This chapter offers a further analysis of the voter turnout figures described in Chapter 2, covering the provincial and federal elections held in Richmond and Surrey, BC between 1991 and 2001. As previously noted, this analysis will focus on the various demographic characteristics of the census tracts examined in Chapter 2, and the apparent relationships between these census tract characteristics and reported turnout. Such an analysis alludes to the various political socialization experiences, linked to different identities, that may shape voter participation—though, as will be highlighted at the close of this chapter, such ecological-scale, quantitative analyses cannot conclusively explain how these variables produce variations in voter participation, or provide an unimpeachable explanation of individual voting behaviour. Of course, this kind of analysis, as well, only captures one component of the political participation process—voting in elections—and this lacuna is discussed and addressed in the subsequent chapters. Perhaps the greatest utility of this analysis is in identifying associations between ecological scale social characteristics and voting behaviour, providing insights to guide subsequent examinations of process and individual-scale behaviour, as well as directing—to particular cohorts—any future efforts to enhance political participation. The selection of independent variables, potentially related to turnout, in this chapter was shaped by the extant literature outlining social variables related to turnout. Given that immigrant origin is the primary variable of interest in this thesis, it was one of the key variables analyzed in this chapter. The degree to which immigrants participate in the electoral process has not been conclusively addressed in the literature. In general, in relation to the hypotheses on immigration 85 and the political socialization process, it is thought that immigrants would not participate to the same extent as the native-born. The idea here is that political participation in a given context is shaped by one's experience with that context—the more political experience being accrued, the greater the level of participation that one would see (Tarn Cho, 1999). Arguably, then, immigrants—having come from a different political context—would have less experience in their country of settlement, and lower participation rates. Such a hypothesis is borne out by the findings that highlight lower levels of voter participation among immigrants (Richmond and Goldlust, 1977; Black, 1991; Junn, 1999). However, other researchers have found that immigrant origin bears very little on voter turnout patterns, pointing to the relative lack of importance of immigrant origin as a determinant of electoral political participation (Chui, et al., 1991; Stasiulis, 1997 makes a similar point, but highlights that there has been a temporal shift, with a declining significance of immigrant origin as a participation variable). Much more important, it seems is the proportion of recent immigrants among newcomers, highlighting the 'length of residence' factor in shaping political participation factors, even within the immigrant cohort (Black, 1987, 1991; Simard, 1991; Chui et al., 1991; Reitz and Banerjee, 2007). Related variables of interest are those of racial identity, ethnic origin, and national identity: in many cases, these three variables are tied closely together (eg. the term 'East Indian' can be seen as a racial ascription, as well as a statement on ethnic origin, with ethnicity referred to with reference to a particular nation-state: India). Within the political participation literature, ethnic/national/racial identity is seen to have a variable effect on participation in the political process: while 'white', or European-origin citizens typically participate at the greatest rates, within the United States, research suggests that Latino and Asian-origin citizens participate at comparatively high rates, certainly in contrast with Black citizens who report the lowest turnout 86 figures (Ramakrishnan and Espenshade, 2001; Jones-Correa, 2001). In the Canadian arena, similar findings emerge with reference to high turnout figures for 'white', European-origin citizens; outside of this, electoral participation is lower, among visible minority Chinese, South Asian, Black, and East Asian Canadian citizens (Reitz and Banerjee, 2007; though see Black, 1987, 1991 for indications that ethnic minority status was essentially a 'non' factor once immigrant status was controlled for). Among these visible minority Canadian citizens, ethnic group-specific variations have been measured, with recent federal turnout research based on the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey suggesting that South Asians had the highest voting levels, and Chinese, West Asian, Vietnamese, and Korean-origin Canadians the lowest (Derouin, 2004; Reitz and Banerjee, 2007). In addition to these two key variables, this chapter also examines other social characteristics which have been identified as influencing voter turnout. The purpose here is to both contextualize the relative influence of immigration and racial/ethnic/national origin on political participation, as well as identify overlap—if any—between these variables and others which may influence voter turnout. Among these, one variable, migration, builds on the (international) immigrant-origin variable identified above. Here, the same explanatory concept applies: the notion that participation in the political process is shaped by experience with that process, and that migrants to a community—even those coming from the same country, province, or metropolitan area—may exhibit different political behaviour than non-migrants (McMahon, et al., 1992; Brians, 1997; Gimpel and Schuknecht, 2001). Similarly, language ability has been identified as a variable influencing the political socialization process, with lower levels of English language proficiency (in US-research) linked with immigrant status, ethnic-minority identity, and lower participation rates (Tarn Cho, 1999). 87 Outside of this, other apparently significant social variables, in relation to political participation include age, gender, and marital status. In terms of age, of particular note—and concern, among many—in recent years has been the significantly low level of voter participation apparent among young eligible voters. Here, research suggests that young people are somewhat akin to immigrants or migrants, in terms of their paucity of experience with the political system and, thus, participation within it. Moreover, an additional argument holds that the political systems of contemporary democracies are not capturing the interest of young citizens, who view conventional politics with a jaundiced eye, as corrupt and ineffectual, failing to address the political issues of importance to them. Consequently, it appears that youth vote less often than do other age cohorts, choosing to direct their political energies to non-conventional politics (Highton and Wolfinger, 2001; Pammett and LeDuc, 2003; Statistics Canada, 2003). Gender also seems to figure into the political participation picture, in that women are perceived to experience various obstacles to participation in the political process. The statistical under-representation of women—in comparison to their share of overall population of various democracies—is the most commonly highlighted point. However, in the less restrictive sphere of voter participation, studies suggest that there are no discernable differences in the frequency with which men and women participate as voters in elections—though women have been shown to have systematically different perspectives, than men, on various political issues. (Dalton, 1996; Erickson and O'Neill , 2002). The related variable of marital status also figures in the participation literature as a variable influencing electoral participation. Here, the prevailing hypothesis holds that marriage is linked to the establishment of more permanent roots in a community, with a consequently greater stake in its political decisions-—hence, there is greater 88 participation among those who are married, versus unmarried singles (Teixeira, 1992; Brians, 1997). On top of these various social/cultural demographic variables, one must also consider— perhaps most importantly of all—indicators of socio-economic status; ie. class. As a variable influencing participation, class is seen as a significant influence on voter participation levels. Among the measures of socio-economic status, income is viewed as a key variable, with increased amounts of income providing greater resources to comprehend and participate in the political process. At the other end of the spectrum, in particular, those with very low income have been shown to participate at quite low levels in the political process, suggesting that they are a population very vulnerable to marginalization (Nevitte, et al., 2000). Related to income, home ownership is also seen as a variable influencing political participation, not only suggesting a certain degree of income status, but symbolizing a setting of roots down in a community, with an attendant higher 'stake' in the community's decision-making processes, and a higher propensity to participate in the electoral process (as well as being more politically conservative; see Gilderbloom and Markham (1995) on turnout and issue differences between owners and renters). A similar variable, in terms of the political socialization process, is that of employment status, with those employed in the workforce having an attendant higher stake in the political decision-making process, and higher levels of voter participation (Verba, et al., 1995). Lastly, socio-economic status is also shaped and measured by one's level of education, which has also been studied as a factor influencing turnout in voter elections: indeed, educational data provides an interesting insight into the conflicting results often produced by ecological vs. individual scale data. For as the educational status of the population as a whole has been increasing, this trend has been concurrent with observed decline in participation among democratic states (Pammett 89 and Leduc, 2003). This pattern confounds the notion that higher educational status produces more knowledge of the political process and, thus, greater participation levels within it. It also confounds empirical findings at a single time period, which show that increases in educational status are associated with higher levels of electoral participation (Verba and Nie, 1972; Verba et al., 1995). 3.2 Methodology Continuing where Chapter 2 left off, this chapter makes use of the voter turnout data whose collection methods were described at the outset of that chapter, collected and represented at the census tract level for Richmond and Surrey, BC. This chapter correlates the turnout variable against the independent variables noted in the above section, for the census years of 1991, 1996, and 2001. Census data for these years were gathered from the paper copies of the 20% and 100% survey data, as well as the electronic matrices available for these respective census years. The variables selected for analysis are consistent in definition and use across these three census years. Census data were tabulated by CT for each of these censuses in question, then entered into SPSS 13 data spreadsheets which included the voter turnout data by CT for the elections that were the closest, temporally, to the respective census years. 1991 Canada Census data were related to voter turnout for the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, 1996 Canada Census data were related to voter turnout for the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections, and the 2001 Canada Census data were related to voter turnout for the 2000 federal and 2001 provincial elections. The data were subjected to statistical analysis: correlation analysis, factor analysis, and correlation and regression analysis of the factors capturing interrelated independent variables. 90 Social variables were operationalized using the available census statistics that captured, in a uniform and consistent way among the 1991, 1996, and 2001 census years, the relevant demographic characteristics noted above. Immigrant status is measured by the number of immigrants, by CT, as a percentage share of the overall CT population; recent immigrants are defined as those arriving in Canada within the last ten years before the date of the census (eg. recent immigrants for the 1991 census would be those arriving between 1981-1991), providing for some opportunity to attain citizenship and vote in the participation process.' The proportion of recent immigrants, as a percentage share of all immigrants for a given CT, is the measure of recent immigrant status reported and analyzed via the various charts that follow. On top of this, migrants apart from international migrants ('immigrants') were tabulated for each CT, using the census' totals for internal migrants (within Canada) by place of residence five years before the census; from these figures, the percentage of the population greater than 5 years old comprised of internal migrants was calculated. Within the Greater Vancouver context, looking at the racial/ethnic/national-origin identities of the region's residents, two of the key non-European origin, non-'white' groups are Chinese and South Asians. Hence, these are the two groups that represent different racial, ethnic and national-origin groups; the census variable on ethnic origin was used to calculate the percentage of the overall population in each CT with these respective ethnic origins. These umbrella categories include within them the more specific national -origin and regional identities that define the two politicians highlighted in the introductory chapter: Raymond Chan (Hong Kong Chinese) and Ujjal Dosanjh (Punjabi-origin Indian), two specific groups which comprise ' The only exception, within this section of the paper, is with regard to the definition of'recent immigrants' for the 1996 Census. Here, neither print nor CANSIM matrices disaggregate the number of immigrants, by census tract, for the 1986-1996 period; rather, the data shows immigrants arriving during the 1981-1991 period, and then the 1991-1996 period. In this instance, for 'recent immigrants', figures for the 1991-1996 period are used. Given this, they can not be directly compared with the figures for 1991 and 2001, and are presented for illustrative purposes only. 91 most of the Chinese and South Asian origin residents in Richmond and Surrey. Moreover, such a comparison between these groups is also made interesting by the contrast often drawn between these two groups within the popular media: of a politically-passive and non-participatory Chinese Canadian group, and a very politically active South Asian cohort. Recognizing the potential significance of language proficiency in shaping political participation, the following analysis includes the percentage of the population without knowledge of English or French (the official languages of the Canadian state) as an independent variable, as well as non-official home language use, expressed via the percentage of home language responses comprised of non-official home languages. Finally, looking at the potential impact of different non-official home languages on political socialization and participation—and recognizing the preponderance of Chinese- and South Asian-origin immigrants and ethnic origins in Greater Vancouver—Chinese home language, and Punjabi home language, as a percentage of non-official home language speakers are also tabulated and analyzed. The other, non-economic, social variables noted in the previous section—age, gender, and marital status, were also considered in the subsequent analysis. With regard to the age variable, given that young adults have been the specific group identified as being less politically participatory, the available census data outlining the age characteristics of the male and female population was used to define a youth variable: the percentage of the male and female population, aged 20 years or older, that is comprised by adults between the ages of 20-29. Similarly, given the concern about women's lower rates of political participation, the gender characteristics of CT populations were measured via the female population aged 20 years + (and, thus, eligible to vote) as a percentage of the overall population aged 20 years or older. Finally, 92 marital status was measured via an examination of never married individuals as a percentage of the total population aged 15 years +. Census measures of socio-economic status were readily available, and given the variety of ways in which socio-economic status is quantified by the census, a number of variables were derived from the census and used in this analysis. In terms of income, the census data allow for targeting of low-income status as a potential independent variable influencing voter participation rates: here, economic families with low income, unattached individuals with low income, and total population in private households with low income (as percentages of the total number of economic families, unattached individuals, and total population in private households, respectively) were all considered as measures of low income status in this analysis. Income was also measured, more broadly, via the census figures for median household income, in dollars, for each CT. Similarly, educational status also yielded a number of useful census variables, employed in the subsequent analysis, measuring the highest level of education achieved. Census figures were used to determine the share of the 15 years + age population without a high-school diploma, the percentage of the 15 + years population with a high school diploma, and the percentage of the 15 + years population with a post secondary degree (trade school or university, regardless of the level). Home ownership information was likewise available across the 1991-2001 census years, and measured in two ways in this analysis. First, the percentage of all occupied (non-farm, non-reserve) private dwellings that are owned was calculated as a measure of home ownership. Secondly, recognizing the interaction between home ownership and income as measures of socio-economic status, the number of owned residences where home payments represented 30% or more of income, as a percentage of all owned private dwellings, was calculated. What this variable does is to tease out the relationship between income and home 93 ownership, highlighting instances where home ownership comes at considerable financial expense to homeowners, creating work demands that could very well come at the expense of political engagement. Such a variable seems particularly salient in the Greater Vancouver context, where house prices and spending on house payments are among the highest levels recorded in Canada. Finally, employment status was measured using the census figures for the labour force participation rate (%) of the total population age 15 + years. As will be shown in the subsequent analysis, the consideration of all these variables—immigration and migration, ethnic origin, language, age, gender, marital status, and those highlighting socio-economic status—produced a series of relationships between census tract social characteristics and rates of voter turnout, suggesting explanations for political (non) participation. 3.3 The Social Correlates of Voter Turnout in Richmond and Surrey, BC 3.3.1 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections In Chapter 2, variations in voter turnout for the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections were mapped by census tract. As the cartographic and statistical analysis of these patterns illustrated, there were some consistencies in voter turnout across these CTs, with a number of them reporting comparatively high participation rates in both the provincial and federal elections held during this time period. Likewise, some regions of Richmond and Surrey were consistently low performers when it came to voter turnout; not surprisingly, looking at these fairly reliable patterns of high and low turnout, it was noted that there was a relatively high degree of correlation (r = .745) between provincial and federal election turnout by CT. That said, it was also noted in Chapter 2 that there were some interesting variations in voter turnout by CT, with some having relatively higher and lower participation rates depending on the election in 94 question. Such patterns are reflected in the comparison of these respective turnout figures with the social characteristics of these CTs, as measured in the Canada Census of 1991. The highest simple correlations between voter turnout and social variables are outlined in Table 3.1. Though measures of significance are not valid statistically with this sampling frame, the independent variables included in Table 3.1 and 3.3—and in the other correlation tables presented in this chapter—are selected as their significance levels are above the .05 level, providing a convenient arbiter of inclusion: Table 3.1: Highest Simple Correlations Between 1991 Census Variables and Voter Turnout, 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Elections (n = 64) 1991 Provincial Election 1993 Federal Election Total Population: Low Income -.800 Total Population: Low Income -.832 Economic Families: Low Income -.793 Economic Families: Low Income -.820 Home Ownership .728 Youth: 20-29 Years -.790 Median Household Income .695 Home Ownership .768 Youth: 20-29 Years -.642 Median Household Income .752 Post Secondary Degree .560 Post Secondary Degree .671 Never Married Individuals -.542 No High School Diploma -.630 No High School Diploma -.523 Never Married Individuals -.586 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.383 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.398 Chinese Home Language .372 Female Population -.314 Recent Immigrants -.307 Recent Immigrants -.319 Home Payment >30% of Income -.247 Female Population -.264 Examining Table 3.1, one can see that the top nine correlates of voter turnout are the same for both the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, with only the specific correlation coefficients and relative rankings differing between the two elections. Among these leading correlates, the influence of socio-economic status characteristics (seven of the nine most significant correlations) on a CT's recorded voter participation rates is evident. Measures of low income occupy three of the top nine leading spots, with varying degrees of negative correlation—highest for the total population and economic families with low income categories, 95 lowest for the unattached individuals with low income variable. Likewise, median household income was also highly correlated for both the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal election turnouts, with higher census tract incomes associated with higher voter participation rates. Moving beyond the basic income component of socio-economic status, home ownership also appears on the list of variables highly correlated with voter turnout, with high positive correlations shown for both the provincial and federal elections. Apart from income status, and home ownership, one other measure of socio-economic status, that of education level, also appears to play a role in voter turnout in both elections: as Table 3.1 illustrates, in particular, census tracts with higher proportions of people without high school diplomas report lower voter participation levels; conversely, CTs with relatively large numbers of residents with post secondary degrees reported higher participation rates. Apart from these socio-economic variables, two other significant variables stand out: the proportion of young adults in the population and the proportion of never married individuals. In both instances, fairly strong, negative correlations are present: census tracts with higher percentages of young members in their adult population tend to report lower voter turnout figures; likewise, CTs with higher proportions of unattached individuals in their populations also tend to have lower voting rates. Looking beyond the most robust correlations, common to both the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, some other shared patterns are also apparent: in both instances, higher female shares of the overall census tract populations are associated with lower voter turnout rates. Likewise, the higher the proportion of recent immigrants among the immigrant population, the lower the reported turnout rate for a given census tract. In sum, then, the high degree of commonality among the correlations of voter turnout for both the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections seem to provide some explanatory force for the consistent patterns of voter 96 turnout, in Richmond and Surrey, in both campaigns. An additional point to note is that while the 'Home Payment >30% of Income' variable is identified as being correlated, significantly, with voter turnout in the 1991 provincial election but not the 1993 federal election, this variation is something of a statistical artifact: as the full correlation matrix in the Appendix illustrates, the r value for the home payment variable was -.246 for the 1993 federal election, just missing inclusion in Table 3.1. Of interest for the explanation of immigrant and ethnic effects on voter turnout, the one variable identified as significant for 1993 federal election turnout, but not the 1991 provincial election was the prevalence of Chinese as a non-official home language. As Table 3.1 illustrates, this variable had a positive correlation coefficient of .372. In other words, while the more broad language variable of non-official home language use was not significantly related to voter turnout, increased use of Chinese as a home language—among non-official home languages—was related to increased voter turnout. This is an intriguing variation, given the absence of such a factor in the 1991 provincial election, and perhaps points to the differences in political context alluded to in Chapter 2 as potential influences on voter participation rates. This question, while not addressed directly by this research, is an issue that will be highlighted in the subsequent election analyses and the overview of correlation patterns for all elections that concludes this section of Chapter 3. Otherwise, however, immigrant and ethnic variables showed low-order correlations with voter turnout in the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal campaigns. The correlation between immigrant population and turnout in the 1991 provincial election, for example, was only .132, and the correlation with 1993 federal voter turnout even less, at .071. With regard to ethnic 2 In this instance, I would suspect that Chinese-origin Raymond Chan's entry into politics as a candidate in Richmond in the 1993 federal election would help account for the increased significance of Chinese home language use as a variable related to increased turnout. This would seem to be supported by the maps of voter participation in the 1991 provincial election (Figure 2.5) and the 1993 federal election (Figure 2.6), showing higher relative turnout for the 1993 federal election among census tracts in Richmond, with its significant Chinese-origin population. 97 origins, modest coefficients of .121 and .188 defined the relationship between Chinese ethnic origin and 1991 provincial and 1993 federal turnout, respectively. The relationship between South Asian ethnic origin and voter turnout was similarly weak, at. -.058 for the 1991 provincial election, and -.188 for the 1993 federal election. As noted, with the exception of Chinese home language, none of the non-official language use variables were strongly correlated with either provincial or federal turnout early in the 1990s. Having no knowledge of either English or French was very weakly correlated with 1991 provincial turnout rates (-.069), and only modestly more with 1993 federal turnout (-.182); the use of a non-official language as home language was, similarly, a non-factor in the provincial election (-.051) and federal election (-.165). Following from this, Punjabi home language use and voter turnout were weakly correlated at the provincial participation level (-.023) and slightly more strongly at the federal level (-.219). Chinese home language use was, as has been mentioned, fairly strongly linked with 1993 federal voter turnout, but in the 1991 provincial election, was correlated at the fairly low level of .259. While these ethnic correlations are all weak, it is notable that Chinese ethnic indicators relate positively to turnout, and South Asian indicators, negatively. 3.3.2 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections In Chapter 2, in the summary of electoral turnout between 1991 and 2001, the relatively low (but still statistically significant) correlation of .343 between the 1996 provincial turnout patterns and those for the 1997 federal election was noted. Indeed, as Figure 2.12 illustrated, turnout by CT in the 1996 provincial election was fairly weakly correlated with turnout for most of the other elections during the 1991-2001 period, suggesting that the 1996 provincial election was something of an 'outlier' in terms of its turnout patterns. This assertion is supported by the data presented in Table 3.2, showing the statistically significant social correlates to voter turnout in the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections. Looking over the column of census variables correlated to voter turnout in the 1996 campaign, however, some familiar relationships are present. As with the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, the various indicators of socio-economic status are those most highly correlated with voter turnout patterns: levels of home Table 3.2: Highest Simple Correlations Between 1996 Census Variables and Voter Turnout 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Elections (n = 64) 1996 Provincial Election 1997 Federal Election Home Ownership .597 Youth: 20-29 Years -.802 Economic Families: Low Income -.532 Economic Families: Low Income -.669 Total Population: Low Income -.509 Post Secondary Degree .667 Never Married Individuals -.499 No High School Diploma -.664 Median Household Income .491 Total Population: Low Income -.661 Youth: 20-29 Years -.482 Home Ownership .635 Home Payment > 30% of Income -.580 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.277 Median Household Income .568 Home Payment >30% of Income -.275 Never Married Individuals -.509 No High School Diploma -.272 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.505 Post Secondary Degree .258 Punjabi Home Language -.455 Chinese Home Language .439 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.429 No Knowledge of English or French -.410 Non Official Home Language -.381 Labour Force Participation -.305 Internal Migrants -.284 Canadian Citizenship .265 Recent Immigrants -.264 High School Diploma -.250 ownership, median household income, and post secondary degree achievement being positively correlated with voter turnout, and the incidence of low income, high housing costs, and low educational level being negatively correlated with voter turnout. Similarly, other social variables such as never married status and age (youth) were also negatively correlated with voter turnout. This is consistent with past patterns, perhaps accounting for the (still) statistically significant correlations in turnout, as outlined in Chapter 2, between voter participation in the 1996 99 provincial election and prior provincial and federal elections. Likewise, comparison of the tables in Table 3.2 reveals that all of the significant correlations linking census variables to voter turnout in the 1996 election are repeated in the column of variables and correlations for the 1997 federal election, highlighting continuity in the factors associated with voter turnout. However, comparison of the 1996 provincial election correlations with those for the 1997 federal election, and prior elections, reveals some interesting variations. Examining Table 3.2 in combination with Table 3.1, it is relevant to note that while the correlates of voter turnout in the 1996 provincial election are largely the same as for the other elections highlighted, the correlation coefficients are much lower for the 1996 provincial election. For example, home ownership, the social variable most highly correlated with voter turnout in 1996, is related to voter turnout by a coefficient of .597—a considerably lower degree of relationship than the .800 range coefficients defining the strongest relationships in census variables and turnout for the other elections. Indeed, going down the list of voter turnout correlates for the 1996 provincial election, overall the relationships seem much more modest than those witnessed in the cases of the other three elections examined; they are also slightly fewer in number than for the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections, and significantly smaller in number than those linked to turnout in the 1997 federal election. In comparison with past elections, it is also interesting to note how the recent immigrant variable disappears from the list of significant correlations in the 1996 provincial election, along with the female population variable which, as will be discussed at the close of this section, disappears as a statistically significant voter turnout variable among all elections after the 1993 campaign. With regard to the 1997 federal election, continuity with previous elections seems more apparent, as the higher correlates in voter turnout among these elections—as outlined in Chapter 100 2 (r = .554 with the 1991 provincial election turnout; .722 with 1993 federal election turnout)— would seem to suggest. In Table 3.2, the strongest correlates with voter turnout for the 1997 federal election are not only the same ones highlighted in the 1991 and 1993 campaigns, but are also of a comparable strength—as opposed to the relatively low correlation coefficients for the 1996 provincial election. There are, however, fewer of the strongest correlations—in the .700-.800 range—present in 1997, a development perhaps attributable to the increase in the number of significant correlates for 1997 federal voter turnout—from 12 correlates for each of the elections outlined in Table 3.1, to 20 correlates in 1997. Looking down the list of federal election turnout correlates in Table 3.2, a series of immigration, language, and ethnic origin variables become apparent. Punjabi home language and South Asian ethnic origin, as well as no knowledge of English or French, the use of a non-official home language, and recent immigrants are all negatively correlated with voter turnout rates by census tract. Interestingly, repeating (and strengthening) the relationship observed in the 1993 federal election figures, the use of Chinese as a home language was positively correlated with voter participation in 1997. On top of these immigration, language, and ethnic origin variables, Table 3.2 also shows two socio-economic status variables—labour force participation and high school diploma educational status—as negative correlates with voter turnout. Likewise, internal migrant status is also negatively correlated with voter turnout; conversely, beginning in 1997, the variable of Canadian citizenship status appears as a census tract scale variable positively correlated with voter turnout rates in federal and provincial elections. 101 3.3.3 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections Both the 2001 provincial and 2000 federal elections, in terms of the correlates of voter turnout, pick up where the 1997 election left off. This is not surprising, given that the 2001 provincial turnout figures are closely correlated with turnout for not only the 1997 federal election (r = .658, as outlined in Chapter 2), but also the 1991 provincial (r = .653) and 1993 federal campaigns (r = .749). Similarly, federal election turnout in 2000 also exhibited a high degree of correlation with previous election turnouts: r = .817 with the 1997 federal election, .823 with the 1993 federal election, and .713 with the 1991 provincial election (see Figure 2.12 in Chapter 2 for reference). Table 3.3: Highest Simple Correlations Between 2001 Census Variables and Voter Turnout. 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Elections (n = 104) 2001 Provincial Election 2000 Federal Election Home Ownership .700 Home Ownership .696 Median Household Income .654 No High School Diploma -.673 Total Population: Low Income -.626 Total Population: Low Income -.673 Economic Families: Low Income -.616 Post Secondary Degree .650 Canadian Citizenship .580 Economic Families: Low Income -.644 Youth: 20-29 Years -.528 Youth: 20-29 Years -.631 Non Official Home Language -.479 Median Household Income .608 No Knowledge of English or French -.473 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.540 No High School Diploma -.469 Home Payment >30% of Income -.516 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.466 Canadian Citizenship .508 Recent Immigrants -.421 Non Official Home Language -.457 Home Payment >30% of Income -.404 Chinese Home Language .455 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.400 Recent Immigrants -.440 Post Secondary Degree .399 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.433 Chinese Home Language .383 No Knowledge of English or French -.420 Immigrant Population -.364 Immigrant Population -.325 Never Married Individuals -.322 Punjabi Home Language -.276 Punjabi Home Language -.310 Never Married Individuals -.194 Table 3.3 shows that the correlates of turnout for both these elections are remarkably similar in type and strength, perhaps explaining the .749 correlation coefficient between them, in terms of turnout. Indeed, all of the variables listed in Table 3.3 as significantly correlated with turnout in 102 the 2001 provincial election are also listed for the 2000 federal election. The only variation in the correlates for both elections is the strength of the correlation coefficients and their relative ranking. For most of the variables—13 of 18 listed—the changes in the correlation coefficients were modest, with less than a .100 difference in correlation coefficient values evidenced between the two elections. Again, in both elections, the various socio-economic status variables, along with youth, Canadian citizenship, immigrant status, language, ethnic origin, and marital status were highly related to voter turnout. The patterns of earlier elections are sustained concerning immigrant and ethnic variables, with negative correlations against South Asian indicators and positive correlations against Chinese indicators. In this regard, the 2001 provincial and 2000 federal election correlation coefficients bear a striking resemblance to the results of the 1997 federal election analysis (Table 3.2), in terms of both the number and types of variables which appeared to have an influence on voter turnout rates by census tract. Looking back at the 1996 provincial election (Table 3.2), and the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections (Table 3.1)— as noted in the previous discussion of the 1997 federal results—common correlates of turnout across all elections appear more limited, focused primarily on measures of socio-economic status (income, home ownership, and education), as well as age (youth) and marital status. 3.3.4 Discussion: Simple Correlations So far the analysis has focused on individual pairs of elections, with comparative reference to prior elections and the social variables that are significantly related to voter turnout. The goal here has been to provide an overview of the correlation analysis of census variables and their relationship with voter turnout, by CT, highlighting patterns evident during the 1991-2001 period. Such an analysis is facilitated by examining the summary chart, Table 3.4, of the 103 correlations observed across the six elections under consideration in this thesis. Table 3.4 organizes the social variables correlated with voter turnout by the number of elections where a given variable was identified as being strongly correlated with voter turnout. In addition to this, the table ranks the social variables within each category by the average strength of the correlation coefficients measured for each variable. As Table 3.4 shows, there were eight Table 3.4: Summary of Highest Simple Correlations: Provincial and Federal Elections 1991-2001 Significant Correlations Present Average Correlation Coefficient: a) Present Across All Six Elections: Home Ownership .687 Total Population: Low Income -.684 Economic Families: Low Income -.679 Youth: 20-29 Years -.645 Median Household Income -.628 No High School Diploma -.539 Post Secondary Degree .534 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.428 b) Present Across Five Elections Home Payment >30% of Income -.404 Recent Immigrants -.350 c) Present Across Four Elections Chinese Home Language .412 d) Present Across Three Elections Canadian Citizenship .451 Non Official Home Language -.439 No Knowledge of English or French -.434 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.421 Punjabi Home Language -.347 d) Present Across Two Elections Immigrant Population -.345 Female Population -.289 e) Present In One Election Labour Force Participation Internal Migrants -.305 -.284 104 social variables that were significantly correlated to voter turnout for all the elections in this analysis. Seven of these variables measured some aspect of socio-economic status, including the variable with the highest average correlation coefficient, home ownership; outside of these socio-economic variables, the variable of age (youth status) was the only other census variable consistently related to voter turnout at a high level for all elections studied. With regard to the issue broached at the close of Chapter 2—the relative significance of political context compared with social variables as factors shaping political participation levels—the persistent, strong relationship between these social variables and voter turnout, across scores of census tracts and ridings, two municipalities, and six elections covering two jurisdictions (federal and provincial), suggests the importance of these social variables in shaping voter turnout, over and above any differences in political candidates, political issues, election type, and the like. In addition to these eight variables present across all elections examined, two variables were significantly correlated with voter turnout in all but one election. One of these is, again, an economic variable: home payment > 30% income. The other, interestingly, is the recent immigrant variable.3 As Table 3.4 shows, these were both negatively correlated with voter turnout, and the strengths of the relationships were weaker than those for the eight variables present as correlates for all six elections. Moving to those variables strongly related to voter turnout in four and three elections, respectively, there is a preponderance of ethnic and language indicators, in addition to the Canadian citizenship variable. These findings indicate the relative 'durability' of ethnic origin and language as correlates with voter turnout, a point underscored by 3 If anything, this tally understates these variables' influence as determinants of voter turnout. For the election in which each variable was not listed as a significant correlate to voter turnout, the correlation coefficients were very close to the cut-off point for inclusion. Home payment > 30% income, for example, was correlated with voter turnout by an r of-.246 in the 1993 federal election, just .001 less than the cut-off point. The correlation coefficient for recent immigrants, at -.243 in the 1996 provincial election, missed the cut-off point by .015. 105 comparison of Table 3.4 with Tables 3.1-3.3. One can see that these variables emerged as fairly consistent correlates with voter turnout beginning with the 1997 federal election, with all of the variables identified as significant correlates for three elections present in the tables for the 1997 federal, 2000 federal, and 2001 provincial elections. Chinese home language—a significant variable related to voter turnout in four elections—shows a little more temporal variation, emerging in the 1993 federal election list, but dropping off the 1996 provincial election list before re-emerging as a significant variable in the 1997 federal election and subsequent contests. Furthermore, the different directions of the specific relationships are noteworthy: South Asian ethnic origin and Punjabi home language negatively correlated with voter participation, and Chinese home language positively correlated. Such temporal and group-specific variations could suggest some change in political context in the mid-1990s, which has interacted with social variables to produce a set of significant correlations with voter turnout. In the absence of any noteworthy political development that could explain such a change, however, it seems to me more likely that the emergence of these ethnic-origin and language variables as correlates with turnout has more to do with changes in these variables themselves: namely, the growth in the number of Chinese and South Asian-origin, Chinese- and Punjabi-speaking, residents in Richmond and Surrey CTs during this time period. Such an explanation seems less sustainable for most of the remaining variables shown in Table 3.4, correlated significantly with voter turnout levels for only one or two elections. Here, the linkage of these variables with voter turnout in comparatively few elections suggests that their influence is less durable, and more context specific, than that of the other social factors discussed above. In the case of the female population variable, for example, the key contextual factor appears to be temporal: as Tables 3.1-3.3 show, female population by CT was negatively 106 correlated with voter turnout rates for the two earliest elections: the 1991 provincial election and 1993 federal election. Following these two elections, however, this variable no longer correlates with voter turnout to a statistically significant degree.4 Furthermore, an even greater degree of specificity appears present for the labour force participation and internal migrant variables. Here, each variable is only identified as a significant correlate with voter turnout in one election: the 1997 federal election. Outside of this election, the relationship between internal migrants and voter turnout only approaches significant levels in the 1996 provincial election; for labour force participation rates, correlations with voter turnout in other elections apart from the 1997 federal campaign is essentially nil . 5 Among the last four variables listed in Table 3.4, that of immigrant population is perhaps the most suggestive and interesting. As Figure 3.4 shows, this variable was negatively correlated with voter turnout, and had a fairly low degree of variation in the correlation coefficients in the two elections for which it was linked to voter participation rates. Interestingly, as Tables 3.1-3.3 show, immigrant population emerged as a significant correlate with turnout in the last two elections held in the 1991-2001 period, the 2000 federal and 2001 provincial elections, in contrast to female population which acted as a noteworthy correlate to turnout at the beginning of this period. Though, again, one could attempt to explain this in relation to some change in political context, it seems more likely to me in this case that the emergence of immigrant population as a correlate with voter turnout is related to changes in the immigrant variable itself: namely, the rise in recent immigrants as a proportion of the Richmond and Surrey population, and as a variable related to voter turnout. Tables 3.1-3.3 show the 4 In fact, the relationship between C T female population and voter turnout, after 1993, becomes very weak in general, and unstable in terms of direction. Coefficients between female population and 1996 provincial turnout and 2000 federal turnout, are essentially 0, at .042 and .031, respectively. Conversely, a very modest negative coefficient links female population to 2001 provincial turnout, -.180. In contrast, female population and 1997 federal turnout are positively correlated (but not significantly) with r = .224. 5 The correlation between internal migrants and voter turnout, by C T , for the 1996 provincial election is -.217. Specific correlations for labour force participation, which (outside of the 1997 federal election) range from -.092 to .111. 107 correlation between recent immigrants and voter turnout ranging from r = -.264 to r =-.319 in the 1991-1997 period; for the 2001 provincial and 2000 federal elections, the correlation coefficients rise to -.421 and -.440, respectively—a development paralleled by the emergence in these two elections of immigrant population as a variable significantly related to voter turnout. The implication posited above, that there may be interrelationships among the social variables themselves, complicates the task of analysis. To this point the discussion of the social correlates of voter turnout has focused on a comparison of individual variables. One purpose of this analysis has been to identify those which seem to be the strongest and most durable, regardless of changing temporal and political contexts; a logical extension of this analysis would be to then subject these individual variables to further scrutiny to determine, in a more conclusive manner, their relative importance as influences on voter turnout. Tables 3.1-3.4 suggest one way of doing this, by ranking the variables according to their correlation coefficients, and the frequency in which they appear as significant correlates to turnout. However, the long list of variables—some very similar in content to one another—in Tables 3.1-3.4 suggests that this task may be more difficult than at first appears: if these variables are significantly interrelated, it may be impossible to conclusively disentangle, or control, each from one another. Such a suspicion is borne out by the sample of significant inter-correlations summarized in Tables 3.5-3.7. In each of these tables, the census variable from the 1991, 1996, and 2001 censuses that was identified as the best indicator of voter turnout (for temporally matching elections) is listed. Tables 3.5-3.7 show the strongest inter-correlations with other independent variables. These samples of significant inter-correlations with leading independent variables only scratch the surface of the set of complex interrelationships measured in Richmond and Surrey; as the full tables presented in the Appendix illustrate, every independent variable for 108 the 1991, 1996, and 2001 censuses was significantly correlated with at least one other, and in most cases, was significantly correlated with a number of other variables in the same census Table 3.5: Highest Simple Correlations Between Total Population: Low Income and Other 1991 Census Variables Correlation with 1991 Provincial Turnout: -.800 Correlation with 1993 Federal Turnout: -.832 Correlation with Other Census Variables: Economic Families: Low Income Median Household Income Home Ownership Youth: 20-29 Years Never Married Individuals Post Secondary Degree No High School Diploma Unattached Individuals: Low Income Recent Immigrants Chinese Home Language year.6 Given the strength, and complexity, of these interrelationships it would seem difficult to use regression analysis to compare these variables individually, controlling for the influence of other variables. Indeed, performing a stepwise regression analysis of the leading independent variables—as was done in the preliminary stages of this research— effectively eliminated most of them as significant predictors of voter turnout. Stepwise regression yielded only one to four independent variables (of twenty-three considered in total) entering the equation in each election, a process that seems to excessively narrow down the range of variables. What is needed, then, is some method of reducing the number of variables considered as correlates to voter turnout, while .982 -.799 -.786 .744 .650 -.617 .587 .501 .441 -.296 6 It was suggested that, for the 2000 federal election and 2001 provincial election, the emergence of immigrant population as a variable correlated with voter turnout was related to the growth in the recent immigrant population (whose correlation with voter turnout strengthened between 1997 and 2001). Such a suggestion is borne out by the correlation coefficient between recent immigrant population and immigrant population, .759, a correlation significant (for a random sample) to the .01 level. 109 Table 3.6: Highest Simple Correlations Between Total Population: Home Ownership, Youth: 20-29 Years, and other 1996 Census Variables Home Ownership: Youth: 20-29 Years: Correlation with 1996 Provincial Turnout: .597 Correlation with 1997 Federal Turnout: -.802 Correlation with Other Census Variables: Median Household Income .832 Total Population: Low Income -.757 Economic Families: Low Income -.727 Youth: 20-29 Years -.636 Never Married Individuals -.600 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.539 No High School Diploma -.518 Post Secondary Degree .481 Internal Migrants -.389 Home Payment >30% of Income -.351 Chinese Home Language .308 Recent Immigrants -.272 Table 3.7: Highest Simple Correlations Between Variables Correlation with Other Census Variables: Economic Families: Low Income .770 Post Secondary Degree -.734 Total Population: Low Income .717 No High School Diploma .710 Never Married Individuals .644 Home Ownership -.636 Punjabi Home Language .606 South Asian Ethnic Origin .605 Median Household Income -.557 No Knowledge of English or French .535 Unattached Individuals: Low Income .484 Non Official Home Language .466 Chinese Home Language -.466 Labour Force Participation .391 Female Population -.379 Internal Migrants .327 Recent Immigrants .324 Immigrant Population .282 Home Ownership and other 2001 Census Correlation with 2001 Provincial Turnout: -.700 Correlation with 2000 Federal Turnout: -.696 Correlation with Other Census Variables: Median Household Income .814 Total Population: Low Income -.692 Economic Families: Low Income -.654 No High School Diploma -.543 Canadian Citizenship .508 Unattached Individuals: Low Income -.467 Post Secondary Degree .465 Youth: 20-29 Years -.426 Recent Immigrants -.398 Never Married Individuals -.346 No Knowledge of English or French -.341 Non Official Home Language -.335 Home Payment >30% of Income -.302 Chinese Home Language .299 Immigrant Population -.244 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.238 110 maintaining a sense of the inter-correlations among the set of independent census variables examined so far. 3.4: Narrowing Down the Focus: Factor Analysis of the Independent Variables 3.4.1 1991 Census Variables: Factor Analysis Factor analysis provides one method of arriving at this goal. Utilizing the SPSS software package, the independent variables studied for each census were reduced to five components or factors, representing five 'super variables' comprised of individual census variables. Using a varimax (orthogonal) rotation method to minimize the number of variables that would have high loadings on each factor, the factor loadings for each variable were determined and plotted. Table 3.8 shows the factor loadings for the variables in the 1991 census. As shown, collectively these five factors encompass 83.2% of the variance among the independent census variables, with factors one, two, and three each capturing approximately 20% of the observed variance; factors four and five each account for less than 10% of the variance. Insepection of the factor loadings leads to an interpretation of the identity of each factor: factor 1 comprises indicators of economic status and household size, factor 2 identifies ethnic and educational status, factor 3 immigrant status, factor 4 internal migrant status, and factor 5 labour force participation. Of particular interest, factor 2 combines the variables of language, ethnic origin, and educational status— specifically, linking Punjabi home language use, South Asian ethnic origin, and low educational status (high positive loadings on population without a high school diploma; high negative loadings on population with a post secondary degree). Less strongly linked to this component are two measures of low income—specifically, unattached individuals with low income, and median household income, with a relatively high negative loading. Factor 3 captures most I l l strongly the variable of language: non-official home language use, and no knowledge of either English or French. Similarly high positive loadings are also evident for both the immigrant population and recent immigrant census tract percentages, suggesting an interrelationship Table 3.8: Rotated Factor Matrix: 1991 Census Variables Factor # and Factor Loadings 1 2 3 4 5 Economic Status/ Ethnic and Immigrant Internal Migrants Labour Force Household Size Educational Status Status Participation Census Variable: Internal Migrants .194 .274 -.387 .680 .051 Immigrant Population -.243 -.230 .877 -.245 .045 Recent Immigrants .342 -.185 .694 .078 -.276 Chinese Ethnic Origin -.182 -.722 .569 -.241 -.073 South Asian Ethnic Origin -.075 .736 .529 .217 .211 No Knowledge of English or French-.026 .309 .895 .108 .117 Non Official Home Language -.083 -.083 .964 -.045 .085 Chinese Home Language -.225 -.807 .407 -.272 -.082 Punjabi Home Language -.033 .878 .143 .296 .138 Youth: 20-29 Years .800 .431 .076 .265 .227 Female Population .109 -.353 .258 .164 -.686 Never Married Individuals .765 -.157 .189 -.459 .195 Canadian Citizenship .021 .336 -.751 .098 -.007 No High School Diploma .506 .813 -.116 -.043 -.056 High School Diploma -.179 .051 -.082 .781 .140 Post Secondary Degree -.508 -.750 .127 -.155 .095 Economic Families: Low Income .903 .191 -.064 .030 -.197 Unattached Individuals: Low Income.219 .491 -.140 .055 -.494 Total Population: Low Income .903 .176 -.096 -.055 -.266 Median Household Income -.792 -.411 .208 .002 .290 Home Ownership -.907 .003 .053 -.063 .125 Home Payment >30% of Income .095 .259 .128 .640 -.066 Labour Force Participation -.189 .006 .177 .312 .798 High Factor Loadings in B o l d f a c e type between immigrant status and (lack of) knowledge and use of Canada's official languages. Likewise, factor 3—with high negative loadings on the Canadian citizenship variable—suggests that CTs with high proportions of immigrants, high proportions of non-official language speakers, also have high proportions of non-citizens within their population. Outside of these variables, factor 3 also appears to capture different dimensions of the ethnic origin and language 112 characteristics. As Table 3.8 shows, relatively high positive loadings are evident on both the Chinese ethnic origin, Chinese home language, and South Asian ethnic origin variables; unlike factor 2, however, Punjabi home language loads relatively lightly. 3.4.2 1991 Factors: Correlation and Regression Analysis of 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Election Turnout Each factor was correlated with voter turnout in the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections. For each Richmond and Surrey census tract considered in the 1991 analysis, a factor score—for each of the five factors identified by the SPSS software—was determined.7 As with the analysis of individual variables, the first step of the process was to examine the correlations between the various factor scores, by CT, and recorded voter turnout for the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections. Table 3.9 shows the results of this correlation analysis. As the table shows, only one of the factors—factor 1—was strongly correlated with both 1991 provincial and 1993 federal turnout rates. In both instances, factor I was negatively correlated with voter turnout; in other words, economic status and household size were collectively associated with reduced voter turnout by CT in both elections. Outside of this, none of the other factors were significantly correlated with voter turnout though—as shown in Table 3.9, labour force participation did have a modest correlation with 1991 provincial election turnout, while ethnic and educational status (factor 2) were somewhat negatively correlated with 1993 federal election turnout. These impressions of the interrelationships between the factors and voter turnout rates are confirmed in the stepwise regression analysis summarized in Tables 3.10 and 3.11. As Table 3.10 shows, stepwise regression of the factor scores and 1991 provincial turnout serves to 7 Factor scores for each census tract were calculated using the SPSS software, and selected using the Anderson-Rubin method of estimating factor score coefficients. The Anderson-Rubin method ensures the orthogonality of the estimated factors, and that the factor scores are uncorrelated. 113 exclude three of the components, numbers 2, 3, and 4, from consideration as significant predictors of voter participation. Model 1, considering only factor 1, shows an adjusted Table 3.9: Correlations: 1991 Factor Loadings and 1991 Provincial and 1993 Federal Voter Turnout Factor # and Correlation Coefficients 1 2 3 4 5 Election 1991 Provincial Election -.813 -.045 .106 -.102 .255 1993 Federal Election -.797 -.257 i .159 -.111 .057 Table 3.10: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1991 Factor Scores and 1991 Provincial Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Correlation Coefficient (R) RJ_ Adjusted R2 1 Factor 1 .813 .661 .654 2 Factors land 5 .852 .726 .713 Table 3.11: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1991 Factor Scores and 1993 Federal Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Correlation Coefficient (R) Ri Adjusted R2 1 Factor 1 • .797 .635 .626 2 Factors land 2 .837 ' .701 .687 R2 value of .654, while addition of factor 5 in model 2 leads to an increase in the adjusted R2 value, to .713. Stepwise regression analysis of the factor scores and 1993 federal turnout yields similar results. In Table 3.11, model 1 shows factor 1 as the only variable entered and an adjusted R2 coefficient of .626. Model 2 of the stepwise regression analysis 114 adds factor 2, ethnic and educational status; the net result is an increase in the adjusted R2 to .687—with approximately 69% of the variance in voter turnout explained by the collective variations in factors 1 and 2. 3.4.3 1996 Census Variables: Factor Analysis Let us now consider the factor analysis of the 1996 census variables. Table 3.12 shows the 1996 census variables, reduced to five factors accounting for 85% of the variance in the independent variables, across the Richmond and Surrey CTs, examined in this chapter. Factors 1, 2, and 3 are particularly strong, accounting for 27%, 26%, and 20%, respectively, of the variation in the census variables. The matrix of factor loadings permits the following interpretations: factor 1 collects indicators of ethnic status; factor 2 represents ethnic and educational status; factor 3 economic status; factor 4, household status; while factor 5 is dominated by the single variable, high school diploma. Like factor 3 in 1991, factor 1 has very high positive loadings on the non-official home language, no knowledge of English or French, immigrant population, and recent immigrant variables, linking these variables with non-Canadian) citizen status. Factor 1 also has fairly high positive loadings on the Chinese ethnic origin and Chinese home language variables, as well (like 1991) the South Asian ethnic origin variable, but a very low loading onPunjabi home language. Interestingly, this factor—unlike its counterpart for 1991—links these variables with the high home payment variable. Factor 2, for the 1996 census variables, largely replicates factor 2 for the 1991 census, combining the variables of Punjabi home language, low educational status, and South Asian ethnic origin. Modest loadings are added for young adults, labour force participants, as well as the internal 115 migrants variable. Like factor 1 in the 1991 analysis, factor 3 for 1996 is primarily a measure of socio-economic status. Table 3.12: Rotated Factor Matrix: 1996 Census Variables Factor # and Factor Loadings I 2 3 4 5 Immigrant Ethnic and Economic Household High Schoo Status Educational Status Status Status Graduates Census Variable: Internal Migrants -.369 .568 .317 .032 .258 Immigrant Population .935 -.286 -.003 -.038 -.077 Recent Immigrants .820 -.350 .173 -.028 .212 Chinese Ethnic Origin .663 -.719 -.041 -.012 .026 South Asian Ethnic Origin .405 .785 -.051 .016 -.079 No Knowledge of English or French.965 .149 .039 -.036 -.065 Non Official Home Language .985 -.017 .031 -.023 -.005 Chinese Home Language .421 -.868 -.165 -.034 .022 Punjabi Home Language -.006 .957 -.019 .063 -.085 Youth: 20-29 Years .368 .640 .475 .381 .060 Female Population .158 -.371 .067 -.743 .196 Never Married Individuals .161 -.285 .585 .690 -.036 Canadian Citizenship -.826 .206 -.171 .144 .075 No High School Diploma .084 .806 .441 .075 .062 High School Diploma .021 .048 -.149 .093 -.846 Post Secondary Degree .118 -.819 -.385 -.147 .186 Economic Families: Low Income .507 .106 .809 .031 .163 Unattached Individuals: Low Income-. 158 .336 .529 .039 -.314 Total Population: Low Income .432 .009 .871 .006 .142 Median Household Income -.046 -.136 -.921 .177 -.080 Home Ownership .065 -.219 -.859 -.140 -.070 Home Payment >30% of Income .712 .343 .283 .178 .123 Labour Force Participation -.234 .575 -.291 .505 .163 High Factor Loadings in B o l d f a c e type 3.4.4 1996 Factors: Correlation and Regression Analysis of 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Election Turnout The correlation of 1996 factors against voter turnout rates for the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections, summarized in Table 3.13, reveals some interesting continuities and contrasts from the previous analysis. As the correlation table shows, only factor 3 had a significant correlation to turnout in these elections. Here, as in the 1991 census analysis, 116 increased incidence of low economic status and low homeownership rates were associated with lower voter turnout rates. For the 1997 federal election, one additional factor was identified as a negative correlate to voter turnout, factor 2, ethnic and educational status. Tables 3.14 and 3.15 show the results of stepwise regression analyses of the factors and voter turnout for the 1996 provincial and 1997 federal elections, respectively. For the 1996 provincial election, with only factor 3 alone in the solution, only 17% of the variation in voter turnout is accounted for. For the 1997 federal election turnout rates, Table 3.14 shows an adjusted^2 value of .223, in Model 1, rising to .400 in model 2. Of importance to the principal argument, the factor covering Table 3.13: Correlations: 1996 Factor Loadings and 1996 Provincial and 1997 Federal Voter Turnout Factor # and Correlation Coefficients 1 2 3 4 5 Election 1996 Provincial Election -.039 -.099 -.429 -.114 -.023 1997 Federal Election -.084 -.489 -.431 -.168 -.078 ethnicity and education is the strongest predictor of 1997 turnout, exceeding the effects of economic status. At the same time, the correlation is negative. Table 3.14: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1996 Factor Scores and 1996 Provincial Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Correlation Coefficient (R) Ri Adjusted R2 1 Factor 3 .429 .184 .167 117 Table 3.15: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 1996 Factor Scores and 1997 Federal Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Correlation Coefficient (R) R± Adjusted R2 1 Factor 2 .489 .239 .223 2 Factors 2 and 3 .652 .425 .400 3.4.5 2001 Census Variables: Factor Analysis Lastly, this section concludes with a consideration of the social variables for the 2001 census and their influence on voter participation in the 2001 provincial and 2000 federal elections. Examination of the factor loadings for the 2001 census variables, as outlined in Table 3.16, reveals some continuing patterns in terms of the interrelationships among the independent variables for the Richmond and Surrey census tracts under consideration here. While some shuffling of the individual variables occurs, essentially the same five leading factors emerge as in 1996. Factor 1, immigrant status, continues to link language, immigrant status, citizenship, and high home payment status. Factor 2, ethnic and educational status, strongly ties Chinese home language use and Chinese ethnic origin with high educational status. Punjabi language and South Asian ethnicity also load only slightly less strongly—though here the direction is negative. Factor 3 takes up its familiar identity as economic status, factor 4 as household status, and factor 5 as high school graduates. Correlation of these various factors, via factor scores for each CT, with voter turnout yields a somewhat more numerous set of relationships than evident in the analyses of the 1991 and 1996 census statistics (see Table 3.17). Three factors appear as significant predictors of turnout in the 2001 provincial election: factors 2 and 3 and, more weakly, factor 1. For the first time in the analysis, immigration status has an important separate (negative) effect; more prominent are economic status and ethnic status. For the 2000 federal 11 Table 3.16: Rotated Factor Matrix: 2001 Census Variables Component # and Factor Loadings I 2 3 4 5 Immigrant Ethnic and Economic Household High Schoo Status Educational Status Status Status Graduates Census Variable: Internal Migrants -.315 -.282 .156 .163 -.707 Immigrant Population .828 .405 .171 -.107 .156 Recent Immigrants .669 .253 .350 -.239 -.068 Chinese Ethnic Origin .293 .894 .086 -.012 .167 South Asian Ethnic Origin .663 -.618 -.171 -.091 .061 No Knowledge of English or French.902 -.137 .116 -.121 .188 Non Official Home Language .929 .016 .192 -.121 .174 Chinese Home Language .049 .950 -.057 -.037 .042 Punjabi Home Language .287 -.864 -.171 -.062 .097 Youth: 20-29 Years .637 -.499 .067 .183 -.012 Female Population .112 .040 .104 -.802 -.072 Never Married Individuals -.252 .354 .404 .625 -.019 Canadian Citizenship -.776 .192 -.331 .289 -.055 No High School Diploma .141 -.771 .457 -.083 .083 High School Diploma .010 -.279 -.084 .200 .746 Post Secondary Degree -.172 .782 -.377 .024 -.282 Economic Families: Low Income .432 .091 .817 .030 -.097 Unattached Individuals: Low Income.063 -.244 .616 .210 .254 Total Population: Low Income .265 .077 .907 .069 -.148 Median Household Income -.122 .153 -.865 .036 .161 Home Ownership -.102 .385 -.745 .029 .195 Home Payment >30% of Income .645 -.318 .157 .267 -.171 Labour Force Participation -.066 -.389 -.734 .258 -.135 High Factor Loadings in B o l d f a c e type Table 3.17: Correlations: 2001 Factor Scores and 2001 Provincial and 2000 Federal Voter Turnout Factor # and Correlation Coefficients I 2 3 4 1 5 Election 2001 Provincial Election -.275 .408 -.492 .080 .168 2000 Federal Election -.138 .483 -.625 -.026 .165 election, these same two factors are significant, with economic status the more prominent. Stepwise regression analysis quantifies the predictive relationships, at the provincial level, as 119 outlined in Table 3.18. In model 3, assembling all three factors allows 46% of the variation in voter turnout to be predicted. Table 3.19, showing the stepwise regression analysis of the 2001 Table 3.18: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 2001 Factor Scores and 2001 Provincial Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Regression Coefficient (R) R*_ Adjusted Rr2 1 Factor 3 .492 .242 .231 2 Factors 3 and 2 .639 .409 .390 3 Factors 3,2 and 1 .696 .484 .459 Table 3.19: Stepwise Regression Analysis of 2001 Factor Scores and 2000 Federal Voter Turnout Model Factor Scores Entered Correlation Coefficient (R) R2 Adjusted R2 1 Factor 3 .625 .390 .381 2 Factors 3 and 2 .790 .624 .612 3 Factors 3,2 and 5 .807 .651 .634 census factor scores with 2000 federal election turnout, suggests an even greater explanatory force for factors 2 and 3, while also entering factor 5. Together, these three factors account for well over half of the variation recorded for voter turnout, among the Richmond and Surrey CTs, in the 2000 federal election. 3.5 Discussion and Conclusions The purpose of this chapter has been to identify the underlying social patterns behind the geographic variations in voter turnout described in Chapter 2. This has involved considerable examination of the various independent variables—as they apply to the study area of Richmond and Surrey, BC—outlined at the beginning of this chapter. Analysis of relationships with voter turnout in the provincial and federal elections in the period 1991-2001 highlighted a diverse 120 array of individual variables highly correlated with voter participation rates. As the discussion of Table 3.4 highlighted, the most influential variables were those measuring income, home ownership, age (youth), educational status, and recent immigrant status. Such results tend to support many of the prevailing conclusions in the political participation literature. An increased incidence of low socio-economic status—measured via a variety of census statistics—is negatively correlated with voter turnout; conversely, increases in median household income are associated with rising voter participation. Likewise, as rates of home ownership increase, voter participation rates tend to rise as well. Increases in the proportion of young adults, age 20-29, in a census tract, on the other hand, are linked to decreases in voter turnout. Educational status also appears to be associated with electoral participation, with low (less than high school) levels of educational achievement being related to decreased turnout, and post-secondary education associated with higher turnout rates. Finally, as the proportion of recent immigrants—within a census tract's immigrant population—rises, voter turnout tends to decrease. However, discussion of these individual variables also highlighted the extensive set of inter-correlations among them, raising the issue of collinearity and the difficulty of disentangling specific effects. Recognizing the overlapping qualities of the independent variables under consideration, the analysis moved to factor analysis, which attempts to preserve the relationships among the variables, while examining their collective relationship with voter turnout. So far, this analysis has examined the factors for each census year separately, examining the relationships between these factors and the elections that best match, temporally, the census year in question. Overall, though, what conclusions can be drawn? How do the variables of immigrant status and ethnic origin—-the key focus of this thesis—relate to voter turnout? The task of answering this question 121 is aided by an overview of the adjusted coefficients of determination identified for the period 1991-2001, as presented in Table 3.20. The table presented there lists the adjusted R2 values for the various factors/components identified, via stepwise regression analysis, as relevant predictors of voter participation rates. The R2 values in this table are presented in rank order, from highest to lowest. The principal determinant of voter turnout is economic status. Table 3.4, which listed the highest simple correlations of individual variables, revealed that home ownership, income measures, and education measures had the strongest simple correlations across all six elections. Home ownership and income also consistently appeared in the economic status factor which dominates the regression analysis. Economic status factors represent six of the eleven factors listed as most highly influential on voter turnout in Table 3.20, and account for the three most robust coefficients of determination. As can also be seen, the economic status factor is strongly linked with voter turnout in every provincial and federal election held between 1991-2001, and is the factor with the highest coefficient of determination on voting for every election within this span. Of more immediate interest in the context of this work, immigrant status is present as a determinant of voting behaviour. Table 3.4, for example, highlighted immigrant status—and recent immigrant status—as individual variables having modest, and negative, effects on voter turnout. In the factor analyses these variables bond typically with citizenship and lack of official language knowledge; the latter, a variable which also has negative simple correlations with voter turnout. In light of the prevailing literature on immigrant political participation, we would anticipate that the factor of immigrant status would be negatively correlated with turnout, especially as it includes recent immigrants—many of whom would not be citizens eligible to 122 participate. In all cases, however, correlations between immigrant status and voter turnout are low—and in two cases (1991 provincial election; 1993 federal election) are even positive. Only in 2001, as shown in Table 3.20, is the negative correlation with turnout appreciable. Immigrant status, in conclusion, does not depress voting turnout as much as expected. Ethnic origin and educational variables provide more grist for discussion. Apart from education, in simple correlations (Table 3.4) they offer modest effects. Moreover, there is a clear distinction between Chinese and South Asian ethnicity and their relationship to voter Table 3.20: Highest Simple Coefficients of Determination for Individual Factors and Voter Turnout. 1991-2001 Coefficient of Election Census Year Factor #, Description of Factor Determination (adjusted R2) .654 1991 Provincial 1991 Factor 1 Economic Status .626 1993 Federal 1991 Factor 1 Economic Status. .381 2000 Federal 2001 Factor 3 Economic Status .231 2000 Federal 2001 Factor 2 Ethnic/Educational Status .231 2001 Provincial 2001 Factor 3 Economic Status .223 1997 Federal 1996 Factor 2 Ethnic/Educational Status .177 1997 Federal 1996 Factor 3 Economic Status .167 1996 Provincial 1996 Factor 3 Economic Status .159 2001 Provincial 2001 Factor 2 Ethnic/Educational Status .069 2001 Provincial 2001 Factor 1 Immigrant Status .061 1993 Federal 1991 Factor 2 Ethnic Status participation rates: Chinese ethnicity inflates the likelihood of voting, South Asian ethnicity/Punjabi home language depress it. This tendency is retained in the well-defined ethnic and educational variable factor present across all three censuses, a factor with appreciable effects on turnout (see Table 3.20)—even if secondary to economic status—in all three federal elections and the 2001 provincial election. Indeed, the results suggest that the influence of ethnicity and education is gaining in significance through successive elections. In light of the various citizenship/political participation discourses outlined in Chapter 2, this is a significant finding, as is the constitution of the ethnic/educational status factor. 123 Across the three census years, the Chinese and South Asian variables have diametrically opposed loadings, marking the segregation of Chinese in Richmond and South Asians in Surrey. High loadings, in the same direction as Chinese ethnicity and language use, are present for post-secondary education; in the same direction as South Asian ethnicity and Punjabi language use are high loadings for no high school diploma and youth. This suggests a demographic and spatial dichotomy: South Asian/Punjabi presence in Surrey, with significant low educational status and a youthful (20-29 years old) population, and in Richmond a Chinese population with high education. The direction of the correlation between the ethnic/educational status factor and turnout through time identifies Surrey at the negative end of the turnout scale and Richmond at the higher end. As this factor is tending to exert a stronger effect on participation through time (see Table 3.20), it means that the ethnic gap between Richmond and Surrey through time is exerting more influence on turnout. The relatively weak presence of immigration variables on this factor distinguishes this influence as ethnic rather than immigrant in origin. In light of popular perceptions the Chinese/South Asian differential is surprising, and will be explored in further depth in subsequent chapters. To summarize, then, correlation and regression analysis of the independent variables— grouped into factors—affirms many of the statements made in the political participation literature about the political socialization process and its influence on participation, but also present a few surprises that confound the popular perception of ethnic group political participation. Claims to conclusively answer such questions on the basis of ecological-scale, quantitative analysis, though, must be tempered by the recognition of its methodological shortcomings. Of particular issue is the concern over the use of aggregate electoral data to draw conclusions about the behaviour of groups and individuals for whom no direct data exists (or 124 cannot be easily obtained)—the so-called ecological inference problem, or ecological fallacy. In the case of this chapter, of course, all that can be conclusively said about voter participation is that—for example—census tracts which have high proportions of low income residents tend to have lower turnout rates; one cannot jump to the conclusion, on the basis of this, that individuals with low income are less participatory. This problem of the ecological fallacy has long been recognized within the social sciences and a variety of statistical techniques have been devised to address it. But as Luc Anselin (2000) has argued with reference to Gary King's (1997) comparatively recent contribution to the 'ecological inference solution' literature, the statistical efforts to reconstruct individual behaviour from aggregate data cannot escape the fact that they, in Anselin's words, "create data where no data exist" (p. 587). No matter how sophisticated the statistical analyses of aggregate data are, they can still only produce inferences about individuals (or communities), not direct information about them. In light of this shortcoming, even those stressing the utility of quantitative ecological analysis have advocated the use of multiple methodologies when possible, including finer-scaled research and qualitative techniques, to unearth direct, individual-level information and provide more empirically-satisfying accounts of the world around us (Sui, 2000). To this end, the next two chapters pursue the issue of immigrant and ethnic minority political participation—while also considering other factors—using individual-level research methods. Such methods reveal individual information on voting behaviour, to supplement the ecological-level results presented here; as will be shown, they also enable other forms of political activity, additional influences on participation, and the subjective, individual perceptions and interpretations of political activity to be considered. The goal then is, to paraphrase the aforementioned commentators on the ecological inference problem, to provide a more empirically (and theoretically) satisfying account of the political participation of recent immigrants in Richmond and Surrey, BC. 126 4 VOTING AND BEYOND: AN INDIVIDUAL-SCALE EXAMINATION OF IMMIGRANT POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 4.1 Introduction This chapter extends the discussion of immigrant/ethnic minority voting behaviour beyond the ecological-scale analysis of participation. The findings in Chapter 3 on voter turnout correspond fairly closely to a number of extensive, individual-scale, telephone interview surveys conducted on the topic of voter participation in Canada. Perhaps the most spectacular of these research works, from a temporal and quantitative perspective, is the synthesis, by Blais, Gidengil, Nevitte, and Nadeau (2004), of Canadian Election Survey (CES) results from 1968-2000. In this project, Blais, et al. collected CES data covering nine elections held during this time period, data based on surveys with a combined sample of 25,000 individuals, at an average of close to 3,000 people per survey. Using logit regression analysis on a series of attitudinal and demographic characteristics, they identified a set of social correlates with voter turnout. Similarly, Pammett and Leduc (2003), drawing on a major Decima Research survey of 960 voters and 960 non-voters, conducted in 2002, examined the correlation between various attitudinal and demographic characteristics and non-voting behaviour in the 1993, 1997, and 2000 federal elections. Lastly, in 2002 Statistics Canada conducted its Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS), based on telephone interviews with 42,500 Canadians. Among the many topics investigated through the EDS, were a set of questions on political participation practices, providing a third, useful, individual scale, dataset providing insight into immigration and political participation. Key findings from Chapter 3 included the moderate overall impact of ethnic, and to a lesser degree, immigrant status on voter turnout, by census tract, becoming more pronounced later in the 1991-2001 time period. In general, these findings are consistent with those produced by Blais, et 127 al. (2004), who determined that immigrant origin was associated with decreased turnout, but did not disaggregate recent from longer-established immigrants. The significance of period of immigration—recent migrants participating at lower rates than the longer-established—was also a conclusion made by Pammett and Leduc (2003), who found not only that place of birth had an impact on voting behaviour, but also length of residence. Preliminary analysis of the CES results, conducted for the author by Statistics Canada in 2005, also indicates that period of immigration has an impact on participation. Expressed participation rates in the 2000 federal election, for example, were 30% lower (53% turnout) among eligible immigrants arriving between 1991-2001 than they were for immigrants who had arrived in Canada before 1991 (83% turnout). The participation gap identified between recent and longer established immigrants at the provincial level was 31 % (80% vs. 49% between the longer established and recent immigrants), while at the municipal level it was 30% (68% vs. 38%). (Statistics Canada 2005). Generally, as the proportion of (recent) immigrants increased, voter turnout decreased. It was also noted that immigrant status was linked with a set of other variables that also influenced voter turnout, notably language variables and ethnic origin variables. More recently, in their analysis of the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS), Reitz and Banerjee (2007) have provided additional confirmation of this relationship, finding that high proportions of recent immigrants within their populations accounts for some of the lower voter participation rates among visible minority Canadians. While none of these studies examined language, of note here are the findings on ethnic origin. Blais, et al. (2004) determined that Canadians of non-European origin had lower participation rates than the general population; disaggregating 'non-European origin' into smaller units—Chinese and South Asian—the analysis presented in Chapter 3 highlighted the relationship between South Asian ethnic identity and lower turnout in the '93 and '97 federal elections, and 128 Chinese ethnic identity and higher participation in the '00 federal and '01 provincial elections. These findings are not inconsistent with the broader pattern identified by Blais, Gidengil, Nevitte and Nadeau, but they do highlight the potential for considerable variation in voter turnout within the category of'non-European' origin, a conclusion supported by Deroin's (2005) analysis of the EDS survey results, illustrating significant differences on the basis of national origin in reported turnout. These observations are confirmed by Reitz and Banerjee (2007), who—notwithstanding their findings on the role recent immigrant status in accounting for participation gaps—highlight lower rates of participation, by ethnic origin/visible minority status prominent in the 'second generation'. Here, they report turnout rates of 66.9% for Chinese Canadians, 66.9% for South Asians, 63.3% for other visible minorities, and 55.5% for Blacks. Given the close relationship between the language variables and the ethnic variables examined in Chapter 3, it seems likely that if these larger scale, survey-based studies had examined language in detail, that similar conclusions would be drawn as for ethnic origin. As with the analysis in Chapter 3, which identified age as a significant influence on voter participation—particularly the non-participation of young voters in their twenties—the large scale research works of Blais, et al. (2004), and Pammett and Leduc (2003) also emphasize the significance of age characteristics on participation rates. Pammett and Leduc, for instance, identify age as the key social variable shaping voter turnout rates, over and above all else. Further detail on the age question is provided by Blais et al.'s analysis, which indicates that participation rates start off low upon entry into the political system, rise steadily to the age of 50, steady off from 50-70, then gradually decline from 70 + years. Though the research in Chapter 3 did not examine turnout in this method, the observations on young adult turnout correspond with the findings presented there. My ecological scale analysis in Chapter 3 also indicated that factors such 129 as gender were somewhat limited in their relationship with voter turnout, paling in comparison with the socio-economic characteristics of educational level, home ownership, and income—with increases in all three of these variables, by census tract, related with higher rates of voter turnout. Again, such findings appear consistent with the extensive individual scale research on voter participation in Canada noted here. Examining gender influences on voter turnout rates, Blais et al. (2004) concluded that once the effects of 'religiousity' were controlled for (women tended to have higher rates of religious belief, a characteristic they link to higher turnout), gender differences in turnout were insignificant; through their analysis of non-voters and voters in the '93, '97, and '00 federal elections, Pammett and Leduc (2003) came to a similar conclusion about the significance of gender on voter participation. In contrast, in the same way as the socio-economic variables—particularly income—were identified as the key correlates with voter turnout in Chapter 3, both Blais et al., and Pammett and Leduc, highlight the impacts of income on voter participation, with participation rates increasing as income increases. In sum, the findings of these expansive, survey-based studies appear to confirm the general findings of the ecological-scale research presented in the previous chapter. Such findings, however, in conjunction with the aforementioned ecological analysis, only go so far in providing a portrait of political involvement in Canada by immigrants. Both the ecological and individual analyses provide a portrait of immigrant voting behaviour in Canada, and the interrelated factors that shape voting behaviour, but produce only limited insights into political participation beyond voting in the Canadian electoral system: volunteering for or contributing to candidates, participating in the nomination of political candidates, obtaining political party memberships, running for office, and the like. Furthermore, the extant studies into provincial and federal political participation, by their nature, set aside both the question of non-electoral political 130 participation—in collective decision-making bodies such as religious institutions, unions, school boards, and transnational political participation in venues beyond the borders of the Canadian state. To address these questions, this research project presents—in this and the following chapter—individual-scale research conducted in Richmond and Surrey. Like the ecological-scale research presented in Chapters 2 and 3, this section of the thesis examines immigrant voter participation in provincial and federal elections; freed from the spatial constraints that prevented census tract-scale examination of municipal election voter participation, however, this section also addresses participation at this level of the Canadian electoral system.1 In addition, this section considers spheres of electoral participation outside of voting, participation in non-electoral venues, and transnational political participation. Furthermore, in this chapter, the individual-scale research allows for consideration of other variables—identified as salient in the literature—that may influence immigrant political participation in Canada, including pre-migration political experience and transnational activities. The importance of these factors, and the rationale for their inclusion in this analysis, will be discussed shortly, with the examination of voting behaviour. 4.2 Methodology Focus groups and interviews were the research methods selected to study immigrant political participation in the Richmond and Surrey. It would perhaps have been ideal to replicate the methods used in the aforementioned surveys of political participation: written and telephone questionnaires. Such methods would allow for a large number of individuals to be contacted and questioned, providing a large sample of observations for subsequent quantitative and qualitative analysis. However, given the time and cost limitations of such research, the fact that the ecological ' Recall that municipal voter turnout could not be examined, using spatially-collected data and statistical techniques, due to the small number of (geographically large, encompassing many census tracts) municipal voting areas, which would produce very few individual observations for analysis. 131 scale results are in line with the extensive survey-based research results discussed at the outset of the chapter, and the ultimate objective of obtaining rich, in-person interview data on participation, this step in the information gathering process was bypassed. In order to collect information on community members' experiences of political participation, through the summer and fall of 2001 I conducted focus groups and interviews with 50 Hong Kong-origin, Chinese-Canadians, and 50 Punjabi-origin, South Asian-Canadians living in the Vancouver suburbs of Richmond and Surrey, respectively. For both groups, only individuals possessing Canadian citizenship status were accessed. Field research began with efforts to develop links (outside individuals known to the author) with the communities of interest, by contacting and soliciting the assistance of immigrant settlement organizations. By June of 2001, two organizations—the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.) in Richmond, and the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (P.I.C.S.) in Surrey— agreed to assist with the research, primarily with hosting focus groups and recruiting focus group participants. With the invaluable assistance of these two organizations the focus groups commenced during the summer of 2001. The primary objective of these focus groups was to develop a general picture of the pre- and post-migration political experiences of community members, and factors which appeared to shape these, with the intention of following up on these themes more systematically through individual interviews with other community members.2 A secondary purpose of the focus groups was to facilitate the recruitment of interviewees, utilizing some focus group participants as initial contacts in a network sampling strategy. In each site, two sessions were held with an overall total of 20 participants, with one of the two focus groups per site being conducted primarily in Cantonese and Punjabi, respectively, though assistants were also present at 2 A copy of the focus group script is provided in Appendix I. 132 the two English language focus groups to translate as necessary. Litoselliti (2003) has stated that the use of a focus group methodology typically limits the degree to which the researcher controls the interaction with participants and the data produced; as Pratt (2000) has noted, this power dynamic between researcher and participant can be both limiting and useful, and is a particularly salient issue in immigration research. In the initial stages of the project—as an 'outsider' in many ways (a European-origin, non-immigrant, graduate student)—I was significantly dependent on these community organizations to assist with the recruitment of potential focus group participants, and to provide a 'safe space' in which to conduct the focus groups. Consequently, arranging the with these community organizations to hold the focus groups was a negotiated process: believing it conducive to discussion, both organizations suggested an 'older participant/younger participant' structure for the two focus groups to be held at each site. Within this framework, I requested that the organizations try to obtain a varied sample, in terms of age, education, and income, and with a rough balance of women and men. Table 4.1 illustrates the summary characteristics of those who participated, based upon a questionnaire issued to each focus group (and interview) participant. Overall, the community organizations were successful, I believe, in obtaining a diverse cross-section of participants. The unemployed, retirees, students, homemakers, farmworkers and casual labourers, clerical workers, security guards, office managers, and community advocates, were among the occupations identified by the participants. Ages ranged from 19 through to 70, educational status from those without a secondary school diploma through to those with graduate degrees, and household incomes from less than $20,000 C D N per year to over $80,000 CDN. A similar diversity was evident in the range of years that participants had immigrated to Canada, from 1987 through to 1996, and in the years that participants had obtained Canadian citizenship, ranging from 1992 to 2000. Also noteworthy was the similarity, without any 3 A copy of the questionnaire is provided in Appendix II. 133 Table 4.1: Profile of Focus Group Participants Gender: % Male % Female Age: Education: % high school or less % some postsecondary Hong Kong-Chinese (n=20) 50 50 37.6 (average) 40.0 Punjabi-South Asian (n=20) 65 35 55.4 (average) 60.0 60.0 40.0 Income ($CDN): Individual Household Period of Immigration: % Before 1991 % 1991-1995 % 1996-2001 Year Citizenship Obtained: <$20,000 (median) $20,000-39,000 (median) 25.0 55.0 20.0 <$20,000 $20,000-39,000 (median) 15.0 55.0 30.0 1997.4 (average) 1998.1 (average) substantial effort to achieve this end, in the social characteristics of the Hong Kong- and Punjabi-origin focus group participants. Of course, the summary statistics presented in Table 4.1 obscure variations in the social composition of the groups, but the similarities in income, and immigration and citizenship history are remarkable. Perhaps the most striking, and significant difference between the two groups is that of age: as the average age numbers in Table 4.1 illustrate, the Punjabi-origin focus group participants were considerably older than their Hong Kong-origin 134 counterparts. 4 In light of the relationship observed between age and political participation, as outlined in Chapter Two, this is a potentially significant difference, and one that will be considered (along with other social characteristics) in the presentation and analysis of the focus group findings. With some general themes and findings teased out through the focus groups, the next phase of the fieldwork, proceeding through the late-summer of 2001 through to the start of 2002, consisted of interviews with 30 individuals in each of the Richmond/Hong Kong-origin and Surrey/Punjabi-origin communities. Potential interviewees were contacted using a network sampling strategy in which research participants at each stage assisted in the recruitment of subsequent participants. A variety of methods, including the setting of numerical targets for sub-groups within the samples, were used to counter the tendency of such networks to replicate themselves. In each site, a sub-group of 10 interviewees with limited English-language proficiency was formed, and interviews conducted (with the assistance of a translator) in Cantonese or Punjabi. Furthermore, in each site interviewees were specifically recruited to create an approximate parity between females and males in each sample. Outside of these specific targets, a general goal was to incorporate (as had been done in the focus groups) a variety of participants with regard to length of residence in Canada, age, education, income, and occupational status. At all times when asking for assistance with recruitment, I stressed to the participants that I was not necessarily looking for people who were politically active, just those who satisfied the criteria for participation in the project, and who would be willing to take part in an interview. In 4 This difference was a product of the different interpretations and strategies of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and P.I.C.S. as they applied to obtaining a 'variety' of participants with regard to age. With P.I.C.S. this resulted in the recruitment of a number of focus group participants in their sixties ('older' participants), and those in their thirties and forties ('younger' participants), with only a handful of participants in their twenties. With S.U.C.C.E.S.S. 'older' appeared to mean participants primarily in their forties and fifties, while the 'younger' cohort included a significant number of focus group participants in their twenties. Such variations between the focus groups highlight the occasional pitfalls of relying on other parties in the research process, and the need for clear and effective communication. 135 addition to these efforts, the research design utilized a variety of initial contacts, or 'entry points', in the communities to promote sample diversity. Among the initial contacts utilized to access interviewees in each field site were workers with the community organizations providing assistance, focus group participants, translator/assistants, and community members that I knew outside of these networks. Table 4.2 outlines the summary characteristics of the Hong Kong- and Punjabi-origin interviewees, illustrating the general similarities between the two groups. As well, 2001 census characteristics of the Chinese- and South Asian-origin populations of Richmond and Surrey, combined, are provided to contextualize the characteristics of the interviewee groups. Notwithstanding the agency exercised by contacts in suggesting potential participants, and in engaging in interviews themselves, in general the interview selection and performance process was much more researcher-directed than the focus groups. Hi Her and DiLuzio (2004) have noted that researchers in interviews exercise considerable control over the direction, length, and focus of the interview process and this was certainly true (or at least, more so than with the focus groups) in this instance. Of note here is the convergence in the age characteristics of the two groups, on account of the greater regulation (by the author, in this case) of participants in the interview process versus those in the focus groups. Also of interest is the higher median household income of both the interview groups as compared with their focus group counterparts. Compared with the characteristics of the Chinese/South Asian populations in Richmond and Surrey, both interviewee groups consisted of larger proportions of post-1990 immigrants, the result of the thesis' emphasis on comparatively recent arrivals to Canada. Also of note is the generally lower educational status of the Hong Kong Chinese group compared with the Chinese-origin population as a whole. As well, the group of Punjabi-South Asians interviewed tended to have higher incomes than the South Asian community at large. As with the focus group findings, the importance of these social 136 characteristics in the political participation process will be discussed at length in the analysis of the interview findings. With few exceptions (three people interviewed at other participants' residences, one interview conducted at a translator's home, and one interview conducted at a neutral third site) all interviews took place at the respondents' places of residence. Interviews were preceded by a short Table 4.2: Profile of Interview Participants/Ethnocultural Communities Honi> Korm-Chinese (n=30) Richmond/Surrey Chinese Population. 2001 Punjabi-South Asian (n=30) Richmond/Surrey South Asian Population.. 2001 Gender: % Male % Female 43 57 47.5 52.5 50 50' 49.2 50.8 Age: Education: Year Citizenship Obtained: 42.9 (average) N/A 40.1 (average) N / A % high school or less % some postsecondary 60.0 40.0 37.0 63.0 50.0 50.0 51.3 48.7 Income ($CDN): Individual Household $20,000-39,000 (median) $26,033 (average) $40,000-59,000 (median) $49,977 (average) <$20,000 (median) $40,000-59,000 (median) $34,265 (average) $65,633 (average) Period of Immigration: % Before 1991 % 1991-1995 % 1996-2001 10 16.6 73.3 37.7 31.2 31.1 3.3 16.6 80.0 57.0 22.9 20.2 1997 (average) N / A 1996.9 (average) N/A Source: Ethnocultural Community Profiles created from data obtained from Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis (RIIM), 2007. questionnaire on personal data to facilitate comparative analysis, and between one and three interviewees were present per session. Interviews ranged between forty-five minutes and two 137 hours, and were audio-taped and later transcribed. Questions proceeded in a basically chronological order, beginning with interviewees' experiences as political participants in their countries of origin. Subsequent questions addressed their migration experience, and acquisitionof Canadian citizenship, as well as their settlement experiences in Canada. Following this, the most significant series of questions explored the nature of participants' transnational connections, including political ties, their levels of participation in electoral and non-electoral politics in Canada, and their views towards political issues of importance, the Canadian political system, and co-ethnic representation.5 The answers to these questions, derived through the focus group and interview processes, provide considerable insight into the venues and modes of immigrant political participation, the factors that positively and negatively influence political engagement, and people's perspectives on the political process. This chapter examines these issues systematically, integrating the qualitative focus group and interview findings with some quantitative analysis, to examine the various dimensions of participation. The focus here is primarily on the 'where', 'what' and 'why', of immigrant political participation; the issue of people's perspectives on the political process is taken up in Chapter 5, via a discussion of'substantive' political participation. The discussion begins where Chapter 3 left off, with a continued examination of voter participation. Following this, other electoral participation—beyond voting—is considered, then non-electoral participation in Canada. Finally, the chapter concludes with an examination of transnational political participation, and an overview of the findings derived from the focus group and interview research. For each venue/mode of political participation, the general findings of the focus groups are presented first, followed by more in-depth analyses of the interview research. 5 The interview script used is located in Appendix III. 138 4.3 The Social Correlates of Participation: Revisiting the Questions 4.3.1 Participation in Elections: Focus Group Overview During the focus groups three main types of responses could be discerned from the range of answers offered by participants to questions about their past voting behaviour in Canada. Comments such as "Three times I have already voted: the city, federal, and now the provincial, also. Every time", and "I voted in the federal, I voted in the provincial, but I was not eligible to vote in the municipal because I was not a citizen at that time", were characteristic of one type of response: the categorical voters, who stated that they had participated in every type of election for which they knew they were eligible. The obverse to these kinds of responses were those characteristic of the categorical non-voters, people who stated that they had not participated in any election for which they were eligible. "I never voted. I had chances, but I never voted", and "No, I haven't voted" were responses typical of this type of focus group participant. Within these two ends of the spectrum, not surprisingly, lay a third category of focus group participant: the selective voters, who had participated in some—but not all—of the elections for which they were eligible. "I voted in the provincial election. I didn't vote in the federal election" was one of the specific focus group responses of this kind; "I missed one [election]—the city one" was another. A l l but one member of the selective voter group identified only one election (out of a minimum two eligible for) as missed; one individual stated that he had missed two out of three elections he was eligible for. Examining patterns of voting behaviour, on the basis of the focus group proceedings is challenging. Calculating hard percentages of municipal, provincial, and federal voter turnout, specifically, is to suggest a precision and certainty unwarranted by the qualitative, relatively open format of the focus group. Using the three categories of voter participation outlined above— 139 categorical voters, categorical non-voters, and selective voters—does allow, however, for some observations to be made. Overall, among the focus group participants, the impression conveyed was that voting in Canadian elections was a fairly widespread and common activity. Among the 40 focus group participants in total, some 25 (63%) identified themselves as categorical voters who had participated in every election for which they were eligible; coupled with the 12 individuals who expressed a level of selective voting, this meant that 37 out of the 40 focus group members (93%) indicated some measure of voter participation in Canada. Just 7% of the focus group participants, then, fell within the categorical non-voter group. For those among the selective voter group, an interesting observation relates to the kind of elections that they had not voted in. While categorical voters participated in municipal, provincial, and federal elections—and categorical non-voters had missed all three kinds of elections, among the group of 12 selective voters, only one individual named a provincial election as one that they had not voted in; the most frequently cited venue of non-participation for this group was at the federal level (8 elections 'missed'), followed by the municipal level (4 elections 'missed').6 In sum, then, while stated voter participation among the focus group participants was high overall, the federal and municipal political spheres appeared to be the most vulnerable to non-participation. Looking within the focus groups themselves, to consider social variables as they may relate with differing participation rates, seems to yield further insight. Of course, as the focus groups examined immigrants exclusively, immigrant status (except for period of immigration) was not a variable under consideration; nor was citizenship status (examined in Chapter 3), as all the focus group participants were Canadian citizens, and hence, eligible to participate in Canadian elections as voters. As noted in the methodology section of this chapter, the primary means of organizing 6 The number of elections 'missed', for the group of 12 selective voters, is 13 because one individual identified two elections—of three he was eligible for—that he had not participated in. 140 the focus groups was along lines of ethnic/national origin: Hong Kong-Chinese comprising two focus groups and Punjabi-South Asians comprising the other two focus groups. Comparing the reported voting behaviour of these two respective groups, the primary narrative from the focus groups was that of a strongly participatory Punjabi-South Asian group, and a rather less politically-engaged Hong Kong-Chinese group. Among the 20 Punjabi-South Asian focus group participants, some 17 (85%) identified themselves as categorical voters, with only 3 (15%) expressing some level of selective voting. There were no members of this group that reported categorical non-voting behaviour. For the Hong Kong-Chinese group, the picture was rather more polarized: some 8 participants (40%) reporting categorical voting, 9 (45%) participants categorical non-voting, and 3 participants (15%) indicating selective voting behaviour. This impression corresponds with the popular stereotypes of a politically active South Asian community, and a more reserved Chinese community, but is in contrast to the ecological scale conclusions derived from the quantitative analyses of voter turnout presented in the previous chapter. These variations may be the result of the ethnic/national origin variables intersecting unevenly with other social variables within the focus groups. Table 4.1 illustrated the composition of the focus groups, via a summary of the participants in the two Hong Kong-Chinese focus groups compared with the participants in the two Punjabi-South Asian focus groups. As can be seen from the summary, a number of the variables—identified as relevant correlates to voter turnout at the ecological scale in Chapter 3—were similar for both groups. Educational status, income, year (i.e. recency) of immigration and citizenship—for all of these variables there appears to be little significant variation across the two ethnic/national origin focus group segments. Within the Punjabi-South Asian origin group, however, Table 4.1 shows a higher proportion of males among the focus group members, a higher number of participants in the non-official (Punjabi) language 141 focus group, and a considerably higher median age when compared with that of the Hong Kong Chinese focus groups. Recalling the results of the ecological-scale analysis in Chapter 3, the higher proportion of males in the Punjabi-South Asian group could help explain the higher participation rates, as gender was identified as a variable related to voter turnout during the preliminary correlation analysis of the 1991 provincial and 1993 federal elections. Likewise, within Chapter 3, analysis indicated that there was a positive relationship between the proportion of Chinese home language speakers in a census tract (in CTs with high degrees of non-official language use) and federal election turnout; here, in the focus groups, it is possible that the smaller number of Chinese language focus group participants (vis. a vis. the size of the Punjabi group) also helps explain the lower rates of voting activity observed. Perhaps most persuasively, the significant collective age difference between the Hong Kong Chinese and Punjabi-South Asian groups could also explain the difference in past voter participation between them. Throughout the quantitative analysis in Chapter 3, the proportion of'young adults' (age 20-29) was a recurring variable related with lower turnout rates in provincial and federal elections; here, the younger median age of the Hong Kong-Chinese group was strongly shaped by the high number of young adults—aged 19 through to the mid-20s—in one of the focus groups that was organized by S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Comparably aged focus group participants were much smaller in number for the Punjabi-South Asian focus groups, which perhaps explains the marked differences in reported turnout between the two national/ethnic origin groups. Further examination of the focus group characteristics—and my first-hand involvement in the focus groups—however, leads me to believe that there are more specific, contextual circumstances that help account for the variations in reported voting behaviour. Like the two Punjabi-South Asian focus groups, the Hong Kong-Chinese groups were roughly organized on the 142 basis of age: