Andrew Steele, November 14, 2008 @ globeandmail.com
"This may seem a bit petty, but I dislike when people use “immigrant” and “ethnic” interchangeably.
Tom Flanagan, an academic I admire enough to put his book on game theory on my 10 books on politics list, is the latest to do this in print.
I agree with Flanagan's central tenet here: The Liberals are in deep trouble if they continue to take new Canadians for granted.
However, Flanagan does what I have seen a lot of conservatives who are courting new Canadians do: He labels them “immigrants” or “ethnics” and does it as if the terms are interchangeable.
No term is perfect. “Immigrant” includes only those who have themselves immigrated. “Ethnic” I have never really been comfortable employing because it implies a third-generation Chinese-Canadian engineering student at U of T and a first-generation Sikh-Canadian construction worker in Burnaby have some great bond because their ancestors aren't from Britain or France (or First Nations.)
I prefer to use “new Canadian” to mean those who are new to the country and perhaps their children, and then individual ethnicity groups (Chinese-Canadian, Indo-Canadian, etc.) to denote existing sets of voters with a shared and particular cultural community. " continue reading