According to a new CP report, Canada will rank 43rd in a count of countries that have female representatives as a percentage of the elected representatives. Under 21 percent of parliament is expected to be female after the upcoming elections. That puts Canada behind Ethiopia. Not to say that Canada has anything over Ethiopia, but Canadians do seem to pride themselves in thinking they live in the most equitable place on the planet.
This news relates to the previous post, in which my colleague raises a provocative, yet valid question. Is there a relationship between immigration and violent crime in a country? A question he ties back into a thought on the broader theme of tolerance and the cult that follows it and keeps it sacred.
The number 43 challenges those who think god is in the precious box. My colleague says tolerance hinders the proper assessment of problems, which for him evidently begin by conducting a more comprehensive census. The number 43, however, suggests tolerance is nothing.
As for the relationship of crime to immigration, Japan makes for an interesting comparison to Canada. First, there are critics of the close relationship between the police and the media and their reporting of violent crime (see: 1, 2 - 'the crime of crime reporting' in Japan). While there is evidence to support the argument that aliens tend to comprise much of the crime (see 3), in the context of the media-police relationship this may make the criminals as much as the victims of domestic policy on immigrants as the victims are victims.
Second, Japanese intolerance only gives it short-term security in a globalized world. The Japanese workforce is shrinking and the number of people that will need to be employed to service the grey market increasing. By 2030, there is predicted to be 2 people in the workforce per retiree in the country with the population heading back under the 100 million mark from 127 million people (see 4, 5). And while awareness of the problem has drawn attention to immigration, the reality of a backlash against foreigners is considered very possible (see 6).
The complaint against Japan culminates in drawing out a similarity between it and Canada and not so much in contrasting the two. Both share in their lack of tolerance - though certainly not to the same extent, but emphasizing similarities in intolerance may help Canadians ask hard questions of themselves rather than point the finger at immigrants.
And though women may not be tolerated (or encouraged or want to be) in parliament, and though the Prime Minister goes for banning handguns over listening to the affected (see 7), and though separatism is still alive and well despite what the new Gov Gen says in her investiture speech; almost 80 percent of Canadians like immigrants (see 8) and that's a warm feeling for an immigrant like myself. Tolerance isn't the problem. A shallow tolerance is. Tolerance deepened through greater personal and collective introspection and hospitality is worth pursuing. There's even security in it.