Measurements of Ethnicity and Competitiveness in Canadian Electoral Politics: The Gordon Sinclair Essay

Lydia Zajc (McGill University)

Abstract: The topic of non-French, non-Anglo-Celtic representation in federal politics is of growing importance to communications and politics scholars. This paper, which studies nominee ethnicity, the competitiveness and ethnicity of ridings in the 1988 federal election, demonstrates that ethnic minority candidates are most likely to run in heavily ethnic minority ridings and be nominated in "winnable" ridings.

Résumé: Cet article s'intéresse à l'incidence de l'origine ethnique des candidats, l'ethnicité et la compétitivité lors de l'élection fédérale de 1988. Cette étude démontre que les candidats qui ne sont pas d'origine anglophone ou francophone se présentent le plus souvent dans des comtés ou se trouve une large minorité ethnique et où, par conséquent, il y a de bonnes possibilités de gagner.

In Canadian political studies, little has been written on ethnic minority candidates in federal elections (Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, p. 580). Authors have focused on Anglo-Celtic and French candidates, as the Progressive Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratic parties have traditionally recruited them in disproportionately large numbers (Olsen, 1980, p. 25). However, the ethnicity of nominees is of increasing importance in communication studies and electoral analysis. Evidence shows that while non-dominant ethnic immigration grows, these minorities are not represented in the Canadian political scene (Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, p. 585; Weinfeld, 1986, p. 1).

This paper investigates whether ethnic minorities do better in heavily ethnic ridings than traditional French and Anglo-Celtic candidates. In order to approach these complex issues, we must first define and quantify what "ethnicity" and "competitiveness" mean in the Canadian political process. This paper will offer a definition of "ethnicity" by providing three measurements for judging the levels of a riding's ethnicity and also test two methods for quantifying interparty competitiveness. The test case was a sample of 68 candidates in Toronto's 23 ridings in the 1988 federal election. We expected to find that parties would select ethnic minority candidates only to: (a) districts with large numbers of ethnic minority voters, and (b) ridings which are both generally non-competitive as well as also non-competitive for the three parties.

We found that ethnic minority nominees, of which there were less than other candidates and proportionately fewer compared to the non-charter population, were in fact disproportionately selected for ridings with large ethnic minority groups. However, contrary to our expectations, they were recruited just as frequently as charter nominees in competitive constituencies and in ridings where parties held "safe" as well as "competitive" seats. These results were fairly consistent irrespective of the methods we devised for measuring ethnicity and competitiveness.

In making these applications we chose to study riding candidates rather than elected Members of Parliament because parties can control nominations, while such control does not extend to voting patterns and other variables, which determine election to the House of Commons. Nominations, furthermore, determine the pool of potential MPs, since very few independents are elected in Canadian politics where election procedures are frequently under the control of constituency officials and key party members (Mishler, 1978, p. 582; Williams, 1981, pp. 81-90). According to Lynda Erickson & Richard Carty, it is primarily the party elite which selects those who will run: 48% of the 295 local organizations found candidates via search committees in the 1988 election (1989, p. 16). An examination of nominees therefore allows us to judge more easily whether political parties discriminate against ethnic minorities.

According to the 1986 census, ethnic minorities made up nearly 38% of Canada's population (White, 1990, p. 13). This percentage will multiply as the population ages and low fertility rates of French and Anglo-Celtics necessitate greater immigration (Weinfeld, 1986, p. 1). This immigration will increasingly affect the relationships between ethnic minority groups and the major political parties as new Canadians settle in electorally competitive and polyethnic areas such as Montreal, Vancouver and especially Toronto (Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, p. 583). Daiva Stasiulis & Yasmeen Abu- Laban have observed that "The changed character of...ethnic political demands and strategies...have become evident in recent federal and provincial elections in which ethnic communities in several Canadian cities have sought [a] more direct exercise of power in the established parties" (1990, p. 583). This more direct exercise of power has manifested itself in the aggressive pursuit of nominations by ethnic minority candidates in 1988 (Erickson & Carty, 1989, p. 1).

Historically, few ethnic minorities have achieved politically competitive positions. In 1965, ethnic minorities comprised only 4% of new parliamentarians while they were already 25% of Canada's population (Stasiulis, 1985, p. 79). Approximately 15 years later, Allan Kornberg, Joel Smith, & Harold Clarke note that ethnic minorities were also underrepresented by nearly 9% as party members (1979, p. 37). Furthermore, Anglo-Celtic and French party members were more likely to become office-seekers, since party elites traditionally come from these backgrounds (Kornberg, Smith, & Clarke, 1979, pp. 30-49). By the 1988 election, however, the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities was decreasing. Of the 885 Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratic nominees, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council estimated that 150, or 17%, were of non-traditional descent compared to 38% of the population (Montreal Gazette, 1988, p. A6; White, 1990, p. 13). Thus Anglo-Celtic and French individuals traditionally have been chosen to represent the parties, while ethnic minority members can be called "non-traditional" nominees.

There are various reasons why "non-traditional" nominees are so rare. Among these are the fact that non-traditional candidates may have greater difficulties in procuring nominations because of party discrimination against individuals who are perceived to lack key "winning" attributes (Burnet, 1988, pp. 150-156). William Mishler defines these three attributes as: high socio-economic status or "attractiveness," prior party service, and previous electoral experience (1978, pp. 581-599). He finds that candidates with a high socio-economic status were four times more likely to be nominated than those with none of the attributes (1978, p. 595). Individuals of ethnic minority background are less likely to have attained these attributes than traditional Canadian nominees (Kornberg, Smith, & Clarke, 1979, p. 9). Moreover, non-traditional candidates may be unwilling or discouraged from running for the House of Commons because there are few role models for ethnic minorities and because the financial costs are very high (Wood, 1981, p. 178). A nomination campaign costs at least $30,000 in one of the less desirable ridings and may reach $500,000 in a more desirable one (Clarkson, 1989, p. 31).

Non-traditional candidates may also be less numerous because as less attractive nominees, they are shifted to non-competitive ridings. Carty & Erickson note in the 1988 federal election that highly attractive candidates were nominated more often in ridings they were likely to win (1989, p. 14). Less desirable candidates, or non-traditional hopefuls, were usually nominated to stand for hopeless or non-competitive seats (Mishler, 1978, p. 586). Stasiulis & Abu-Laban conclude that "the perception of many ethno-cultural minorities (especially visible minorities) continues to be that the established parties do not want minority candidates to run in winnable ridings" (1990, p. 592). Since the 1980s, however, non-traditional candidates seem to be acquiring positive characteristics for voters of similar cultural backgrounds. According to Mishler, "All the parties, on occasion, have nominated less prestigious individuals in constituencies where certain ethnic or religious characteristics of the candidates made them especially attractive to large and potentially decisive groups in the electorate" (1978, p. 584).

Consequently an ethnic minority candidate's attractiveness is much less dependent on previous political experience and socio-economic status than on cultural background. It may be expected, therefore, that non-traditional candidates may also have advantages in largely polyethnic ridings, even if they are considered "winnable" for Anglo-Celtic and French candidates. All together this evidence suggests that parties will place non-traditional candidates not only in non-competitive ridings, but also into ridings with large ethnic minorities regardless of these ridings' "winnability." Conversely, we anticipate that traditional nominees will be selected in safe seats or competitive ridings in proportionately greater numbers than ethnic minorities.

Definitions of Ethnicity

Toronto was used to test these hypotheses because it is the city with the greatest post-war immigration and because minority candidates had a greater chance of running there since the city has ridings with large numbers of Slovenian, Chinese, Haitian, and other ethnic minority voters (Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, p. 584). "Ethnicity," according to Wsevolod Isajiw, has two meanings. It refers to ancestral background or to descendants of such people who identify themselves and/or are identified by others as belonging to the same involuntary group (1985, p. 16). To avoid problems of self-identification, the Canadian census combines hereditary ethnicity with other attributes such as language and race. According to Census Canada, "Ethnic or cultural origin refers to the ethnic or cultural "roots" or ancestral origin(s) of the population and should not be confused with aspects of citizenship or nationality" (White, 1990, p. 13). Ethnic origin can thus be treated as a simple quantifiable characteristic in the same manner as gender or age (Schwartz, 1964, p. 256).

There was a final definitional problem which needed to be clarified: the case of individuals of mixed heritage such as Italian and English. Such persons may absorb part of the cultural traditions practiced by their parents or may have encountered stigmas because of an uncommon name. A politician of mixed heritage may identify with his ethnic background and thus feel an affiliation to his group (Troper & Weinfeld, 1988, p. 346). Thus we expect that politicians are consciously or unconsciously affected by non-dominant ethnicity and that a nominee of mixed ancestry may be objectively considered a member of his ethnic minority group. To classify the 68 candidates in the 23 Toronto ridings in the 1988 federal election, each person was telephoned and asked the following question: "What ethnic background do you come from?" If further clarification was necessary, the question "Where do your ancestors come from?" was asked. If a nominee could not be reached, a colleague or relative was asked to complete the survey.

Table 1 shows that there were indeed proportionally less non-traditional nominees than the ethnic composition of the city warrants. Among the 68 candidates, there were 40 traditional candidates (59%) compared to 28 non- traditional nominees (41%). Because this ethnic ratio does not match Toronto's population of 31% French/Anglo-Celtic peoples and 69% others, it can be said that the parties have failed to present voters with a socially representative choice (Erickson & Carty, 1989, p. 10). The table also demonstrates that those who are native-born and whose parents were born in Canada have greater advantages over politicians not born in Canada or whose parents immigrated from abroad (Kornberg, Smith, & Clarke, 1979, p. 167).

Table 1
Numbers and Percentages of Traditional and Non-Traditional
Electoral Candidates in Toronto
(Tabulated according to party)
Traditional Non-traditional Total
Affiliation No. % No. % No. %
Liberal 8 36 14 64 22 100
New Democrat 16 70 7 30 23 100
Conservative 16 70 7 30 23 100
Average 40 59 28 41 68 100
Toronto population 31 69 100
(N = 68)

In order to determine whether the three major parties are equally open to non-traditional candidates, we subdivided the results of Table 1 according to party. Here it was shown that while no party achieved proportional representation of 69% ethnic minority candidates to 31% others, the Liberals came closest with a ratio of 14 non-traditional candidates (or 64%) to 8 traditional (36%). Both the New Democrats and Conservatives were least open to ethnic minorities with only 7 non-traditional nominees to 16 traditional candidates. These different party ratios of traditional to non-traditional candidates seem to both reflect and reconstitute the historic images of the three parties. The Liberals have historically received ethnic minority support because of their expansive immigration and multiculturalism policies, while the Tories still retain their white anglo-saxon protestant image and are seen to be less welcoming to ethnic minorities by both voters and candidates (Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, pp. 583-593). The NDP's social-democratic, or labour-oriented image, as well as its inability to constitute a federal government, may explain this party's inability to attract ethnic minority activists (Whitehorn, 1989, pp. 43-52; Stasiulis & Abu-Laban, 1990, p. 593). Contrary to this belief, Erickson & Carty found that challenges from non-traditional members at nomination meetings occurred most often among the New Democrats and least among the Conservatives (1989, p. 17). These results may however not be replicable in a Canada-wide survey.

Measuring Ethnic Minority Ridings

A second theoretical question which our research posed concerned a means for determining what constitutes an "ethnic-minority" riding. Traditional political research fails to define this description as the studies by Stasiulis & Abu-Laban (1990, p. 586) and Gerald Caplan, Michael Kirby, & Hugh Segal (1989, p. 244) demonstrate. To clarify this matter we created a chart of the main ethnic groups (consisting of 1,000 people and over) in each Toronto riding using the 1986 Census. From this a composite Toronto profile for the 1988 election was created. This showed that Toronto is composed of approximately 69% ethnic minorities, which make up from 57 to 84% of each riding.

The "mean" method, "three scales" measurement, and "group size" method are three ways of measuring ethnicity and triangulating results. The mean method measures the 23 districts against the Toronto average of 69%, and dichotomizes the ridings into two categories called "non-ethnic minority" and "ethnic minority." It shows that the population-based Canadian mean of 38% is far too low, because based on this figure all Toronto ridings would have to be considered to be ethnic minority ridings. According to the mean method, every constituency with an ethnic minority average of more than 69% can be classified as an "ethnic minority" riding ("ethnic") while those with less than an average of 69% are "non-ethnic minority" districts ("non-ethnic"). According to Table 2 there were 12 non-ethnic ridings and 11 ethnic ones in Toronto (see column 2 in Table 2).

Table 2
Toronto Constituencies Judged According to
Riding Ethnicity Methods
Constituency Method #1 Method #2 Method #3
(Mean) (Three scales) (Group size)
Beaches-Woodbine Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Broadview-Greenwood Non-ethnic Middle Mixed
Davenport Ethnic High Ethnic
Don Valley East Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Don Valley North Ethnic High Mixed
Don Valley West Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Eglinton-Lawrence Ethnic High Ethnic
Etobicoke Centre Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Etobicoke Lakeshore Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Etobicoke North Ethnic Middle Mixed
Parkdale-High Park Ethnic Middle Mixed
Rosedale Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
St. Paul's Ethnic Middle Mixed
Scarborough-Agincourt Non-ethnic Middle Mixed
Scarborough Centre Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Scarborough East Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Scarborough-Rouge River Non-ethnic Middle Non-ethnic
Scarborough West Non-ethnic Low Non-ethnic
Trinity-Spadina Ethnic High Mixed
Willowdale Ethnic Middle Mixed
York Centre Ethnic High Ethnic
York-South Weston Ethnic Middle Mixed
York West Ethnic High Ethnic
Methods Levels Totals
Method #1 Non-ethnic 12 Ethnic 11 23
Method #2 Low 9 Middle 8 High 6 23
Method #3 Non-ethnic 10 Mixed 9 Ethnic 4 23
(N = 23)

Another way of determining ethnicity is to divide all ridings into three categories on the basis of Toronto's 69% median. Such a sub-division provides a way for averting arbitrary classifications, where a riding falls on or near the average. According to this method all ridings with ethnic minorities in the 75% to 84% range are designated as "high," those with 65% to 74% as "middle" and those with 55% to 64% as "low." This method provides the following results: 6 high, 8 medium, and 9 low ethnic minority ridings (see column 3 in Table 2).

A final method of measuring ethnicity is to classify each constituency according to the largest ethnic groups within its boundaries, because these groups may vote in blocs. According to Mishler, a group needs approximately 5% or more of the voters in the riding to affect the electoral outcome (1978, p. 587). Yet, since not all group members will necessarily vote similarly, a group may need a larger percentage of the constituencies' population to wield political clout (Schwartz, 1964, p. 262). Because previous research has set the average margin of victory at 15%, we also use this percentage as a minimum for an ethnic group to substantially sway an electoral outcome. According to the group sizes method, Toronto is divided into 10 "non-ethnic" ridings of 15% or more charter descent groups, 9 ridings of "mixed ethnic" category where a French or Anglo-Celtic group prevails over any other by 0 to 14% and 4 ridings of "predominantly ethnic minorities" where ethnic minority groups dominate.

Table 2 demonstrates that there is overlap between the three methods which corroborates their usefulness in the determination of a riding's degree of ethnicity. The mean method is simple enough for a quick calculation, the three scales measurement demonstrates a more sophisticated method and provides more categories, and the group size method takes into account the effect of bloc voting. The similar outcomes furthermore show that these methods provide triangulation of results which would be fairly reliable even with national results. For Toronto they show that there are fewer predominantly ethnic minority ridings than lower and middle ethnic minority constituencies according to these measurements.

Competitiveness of Ethnic Minority Candidates

These three methods of judging ethnicity for ridings can now be correlated with the ethnicity of the 68 Toronto candidates to determine if parties are more likely to place non-traditional candidates in largely ethnic constituencies. When the mean method was correlated with the numbers of traditional and non-traditional nominees, it turns out that there are a proportionately greater number of non-traditional office-seekers in ethnic ridings (64%), compared to their percentage of all Toronto candidates (41%). Conversely, traditional candidates had only 36% of the "ethnic" ridings although they constitute 59% of all nominees.

The three scales method was cross-tabulated with the ethnicity of Toronto nominees in Table 3, yielding some proof for the hypothesis that ethnic minority nominees are predominantly found in non-traditional neighbourhoods. The table shows that 72% of these candidates were found in the "high" ethnicity ridings, while only 46% were in the "middle" level constituencies. Extremely similar outcomes were achieved when candidates were correlated with the group size method: 75% of the nominees were found in the "non-traditional" ridings, 48% in the "mixed," and only 17% of the "non-traditional" candidates were found in the non-ethnic category. These data provide some evidence that parties are more likely to have non-traditional nominees in largely ethnic minority districts because party elites understand that an individual with the same or similar type of ethnic background is more likely to win the riding (Lovink, 1973, p. 346).

Table 3
Candidates' Ethnicity Cross-Tabulated with
Method #2 to Judge Riding Ethnicity
Constituency Method #2 Traditional Non-traditional
(Three scales)
Beaches-Woodbine Low 2 1
Broadview-Greenwood Middle 3 0
Davenport High 0 3
Don Valley East Low 2 1
Don Valley North High 1 2
Don Valley West Low 3 0
Eglinton-Lawrence High 1 2
Etobicoke Centre Low 3 0
Etobicoke Lakeshore Low 2 0
Etobicoke North Middle 3 0
Parkdale-High Park Middle 0 3
Rosedale Low 3 0
St. Paul's Middle 3 0
Scarborough-Agincourt Middle 1 2
Scarborough Centre Low 2 1
Scarborough East Low 3 0
Scarborough-Rouge River Middle 2 1
Scarborough West Low 2 1
Trinity-Spadina High 1 2
Willowdale Middle 1 2
York Centre High 1 2
York South-Weston Middle 0 3
York West High 1 2

Traditional Non-traditional

Candidates Candidates
Ridings No. % No. %
Low 22 85 4 15
Middle 13 54 11 46
High 5 28 13 72
Toronto 40 59 28 41
(N = 68)

Research on the competitiveness of ridings and rivalry among parties has received some attention in Canadian political studies mainly because the House of Commons has an average of 40% turnover rate for each election (Olsen, 1980, p. 34). This margin of turnover may have been further increased by declining party identification, and other factors such as realigned boundaries or a changing electorate, indicating the need for new methods of measurement (Lovink, 1973, p. 352). The "previous election" and "two previous elections" methods have been most popular and will be tested on the Toronto evidence because they take into account the declining sense of partisanship among the electorate (Pinard, 1975, pp. 16-17). In addition it is widely believed that improved communication giving an advantage in voter identification to the party with a superior leader, candidate or strategy, has also substantially contributed to the decline in partisanship (Lovink, 1973, p. 356; Clarkson, 1989, pp. 37-40).

To evaluate the competitiveness of a riding we utilized the "winning margin" between the two top candidates in the previous election, to classify ridings. If the incumbent party won by less than 15%, the riding was designated as "competitive," if it was won by more than 15%, it was classified as a non-competitive constituency. When this method was applied to the previous (1984) election results in Toronto ridings, it correctly predicted all outcomes except one: Scarborough-Agincourt. Here the Liberals won, even though the Conservatives had previously won by a margin of more than 15%, and the riding was therefore designated as non-competitive. The "previous election" method, according to our data, was also useful in gauging interparty competitiveness of the incumbents in a riding. If a candidate won by 15% or more in the last election, the seat was designated "safe" for the incumbent in the next election. If a nominee was within 14% of the victor, the seat became "competitive" and the party had a chance of winning it next time. If a party candidate lost by 15% or more, the seat was considered "non-competitive." All designations made predicted the election outcomes except in the case of Broadview-Greenwood, where the Liberal candidate came back from a non-competitive position in 1984 to win in 1988.

Our evidence shows that the two inaccurate predictions resulting from the "previous election" method, can be eliminated by applying the same procedures to the last two election results (see Appendix 1). Of the 22 ridings judged, 8 ridings were considered non-competitive, and the rest competitive. It also had predicted all 22 riding outcomes correctly.

The Toronto "competitiveness" results provide a basis for determining whether our hypothesis, that there are fewer ethnic minority candidates in safe ridings than in competitive constituencies, is borne out or not. Tentative results suggest that the hypothesis is false. According to "competitiveness method #1," which correlates ethnic minority candidates with competitive ridings, it turns out that a proportionately greater number were nominated in competitive ridings than in non-competitive ridings (44% to 41%). When we further examine how non-traditional nominees fared in safe as well as competitive seats, it turns out that they managed better than traditional candidates. In fact, they captured 45% of the safe seats, and also won 45% of the competitive seats, which is well above the results for the traditional nominees. Together the two methods indicate that non-traditional nominees captured between 4 and 9% more of the safe and competitive seats than traditional nominees. This means that, contrary to our expectations, traditional candidates were nominated more frequently to non-competitive party seats. This demonstrates that party officials today seem to believe that a non-traditional politician will give them a winning edge in a competitive ethnic minority district over a traditional candidate (Mishler, 1978, p. 593).

Usefulness of Improved Definitions

Though this was merely a case study of ethnicity in Toronto ridings, the importance of the methodological findings are considerably broader. The Toronto evidence provides both a measure of the degree of ethnicity of different ridings as well as a statistical method for determining what chances an ethnic nominee will have in being nominated and in winning a constituency in which ethnic groups are strongly represented. In addition, this paper proposed that ethnic minority candidates would be less likely to run in competitive ridings, and in competitive and safe party seats, than their traditional counterparts. The evidence showed that non-traditional nominees are just as likely to run in competitive ridings, leaving a greater proportion of the hard-to-win districts to the Anglo-Celtic or French candidates. Our study showed that the three major parties chose ethnic minority office-seekers between 4 and 9% more frequently in safe as well as competitive seats than was anticipated. These findings demonstrate that ethnicity and competitiveness, once defined for candidates and ridings, can be utilized by communications and political science scholars to examine whether a nominee's ethnic background affects his or her political performance. They also show that though all three parties nominate proportionately fewer ethnic minorities, once such a candidate is accepted, they receive strong party endorsement in overwhelmingly ethnic ridings. These candidates, furthermore, have an equal or better chance of running in both competitive ridings and in safe seats. As such, ethnic minority hopefuls are increasingly challenging not only traditional party wisdom but also the defeatist expectations of ethnic minority elites as Canada moves into the twenty-first century. Appendix 1

Appendix 1
The Ethnicity of Candidates and the Competitiveness
of Ridings and Parties Cross-Tabulated According
to the Two Previous Elections Method
Ridings Competitive Parties Ethnicity competitiveness
Beaches- Yes PC Traditional Competitive
Woodbine Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Competitive
Broadview- Cannot be judged as 1980 information is unavailable
Davenport No PC Non-traditional Non-competitive
Lib Non-traditional Safe
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive
Don Valley Yes PC Traditional Competitive
East Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Don Valley Yes PC Traditional Competitive
North Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive
Don Valley No PC Traditional Safe
West Lib Traditional Non-competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Eglinton- No PC Traditional Non-competitive
Lawrence Lib Non-traditional Safe
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive
Etobicoke No PC Traditional Safe
Centre Lib Traditional Non-competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Etobicoke- Yes PC Traditional Competitive
Lakeshore Lib none
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Etobicoke Yes PC Traditional Competitive
North Lib Traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Parkdale- Yes PC Non-traditional Competitive
High Park Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive
Rosedale No PC Traditional Safe
Lib Traditional Non-competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
St. Paul's Yes PC Traditional Competitive
Lib Traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Scarborough- Yes PC Non-traditional Competitive
Agincourt Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Scarborough Yes PC Traditional Competitive
Centre Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Scarborough No PC Traditional Safe
East Lib Traditional Non-competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
Scarborough- Yes PC Traditional Competitive
Rouge River Lib Traditional Competitive
NDP Non-traditional Competitive
Scarborough Yes PC Traditional Competitive
West Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Competitive
Trinity- Yes PC Non-traditional Competitive
Spadina Lib Non-traditional Non-competitive
NDP Traditional Competitive
Willowdale Yes PC Non-traditional Competitive
Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
York Centre No PC Non-traditional Non-competitive
Lib Non-traditional Safe
NDP Traditional Non-competitive
York South- Yes PC Non-traditional Competitive
Weston Lib Non-traditional Competitive
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive
.ne 3
York West No PC Traditional Non-competitive
Lib Non-traditional Safe
NDP Non-traditional Non-competitive

Competitiveness of Ridings
Traditional Non-traditional
candidates candidates
Ridings No. % No. %
Competitive 22 54 19 46
Non-competitive 15 63 9 37
Toronto (all ridings) 59 41

Competitiveness of Parties
Traditional Non-traditional
candidates candidates
Parties No. % No. %
Safe 4 50 4 50
Competitive 15 50 15 50
Non-competitive 18 67 9 33
Toronto (all ridings) 59 41
(N = 65)


Stasiulis & Abele argue that aboriginal peoples have different problems relating to federal politics: therefore they are not included in this study (1989, p. 240). This article was made possible through the Gordon Sinclair Fellowship. I would like to thank Prof. Gertrude Robinson, Prof. Jerome Black, Prof. Andrew Osler, Ruth Abbey, and Mike Lusztig for their guidance and suggestions.
Census Canada attempts to refuse answers of "Canadian" or "American," as does this essay, because this is regarded as subjective ethnicity.
There had been 69 nominees, but the Liberals did not field a second candidate in Etobicoke-Lakeshore after the first was forced to bow out after the nomination deadline as a result of poor health (Toronto Star, 1988, p. A12).


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