Shorten’s tokenism and identity politics backfires

Jieh-Yung Lo, writing in the SMH:

Candidate for Chisholm, Jennifer Yang

“Make no mistake about it, the remarks of NSW Labor’s former leader, Michael Daley, about  ‘Asians with PhDs taking young people’s jobs’ were offensive.

But it is simplistic and naive to suggest those comments were the deciding factor for these voters in the state election. Shorten has made the same mistake that most of our politicians make – seizing on multiculturalism and migration as if these are the only issues ‘ethnics’ and ‘migrants’ care about. Shorten’s WeChat moment is political tokenism at best, a horrible insult to Chinese-Australian voters at worst.

It demonstrates the ‘us and them’ mentality is alive and well in Australian politics.

It shouldn’t be a surprise when I say Chinese-Australian voters are just like other Australian voters. We are interested in policies that affect our everyday lives, how our MPs present themselves and the election promises they bring to the table.

An exclusive poll conducted on Chinese-Australian voters during the 2016 federal election found the top issues of concern were the economy, health and tax.

Source: SMH

Comment: Jennifer Yang must be asking herself whether she was selected on merit. How offensive is that?

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