Political Representation of Visible Minorities at the Local Level: A Case Study
Edwards, Janice Marie
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Visible minorities – i.e., persons defined by the Government of Canada as those who are not Aboriginal, Caucasian in race, or white in color – account for roughly 22% of Canada’s population. Yet this group continues to be underrepresented as political candidates and elected officials in many municipal councils across Canada. Assessing the state and quality of a nation’s democracy ought to consider the extent to which citizens are politically engaged. In an effort to understand the representational deficit of visible minorities at the municipal level, this study assesses the scope of visible minority representation in Winnipeg, Canada. The results demonstrate that although visible minorities are underrepresented at Winnipeg’s City Council, this group is currently better represented than at any point in council’s history. The findings are also consistent with what the literature unanimously reveals about incumbency – it continues to be a strong predictor of electoral success in local elections.