Painting a New Parliament

It can be said that extraordinary history is currently being made in the UK’s political environment. A possible Conservative-Liberal parliament is in the works – but the question remains – who will decide it? An interesting article in the Guardian discusses the need for a more diverse government to be formed.

The headline results are already solidly familiar. But it is the analysis of who voted where, and who they voted for, that will best illustrate the wider political health of the nation. Already, it is clear that once again the House of Commons is too white and too male and too middle class to reflect the people who voted for it.[link]

4305597569_3ac76b5712.jpgThere were a number of South Asian candidates who were hoping for seats in parliament. Gurcharan Singh was one such candidate (hat tip: Southall Lad). As the first turban wearing mayor of Ealing, Gurcharan stood as the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservatives in Ealing Southall – a Labour stronghold for many years. The following is a message from the candidate,

If elected, I will make sure that I represent the concerns and interests of all communities. This will include visiting local Mosques, Mandirs, Churches and Gurdwaras. I would like to set up an inter-faith working group to ensure that we can tackle local issues together and in a unified manner. I believe that the issues we face cut across us all. For example, we all care about the NHS, we all care about the safety of our families, we all want to be able to express our religious freedoms without hindrance and we all care about education. Therefore, we should tackle these issues together. [link]

Gurcharan Singh did not win the recent elections. However, by placing 2nd he achieved a significant swing of 8.3% in his favor along with a 10.8% increase in vote share which gave him nearly 30% of the public vote. In a message posted on his website and Facebook page yesterday, he thanked the voters.

The results clearly demonstrate that without a shadow of doubt there is a real alternative to the previous political status quo in Ealing Southall. The Conservatives now have a firm foothold in terms of the popular vote albeit without firm representation. It is also clear that there is a strong desire for change and that this Labour hold should not be misconstrued as the right to rule without consultation with the public. There are a significant number of people in Southall (almost 30%) who want to see a difference made and have shown that they do not support the current administration.

Clearly, Parliament needs to take note and paint a new picture which represents it’s people. However, whether Conservative or Labour or Liberal Democrat – I think it’s significant to take these moments to recognize the accomplishments and growth of Sikhs in the political realm. As we watch these events take place in the UK and even in Canada, i often wonder when similar events will be witnessed in the U.S.


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16 Responses to “Painting a New Parliament”

  1. Jodha says:

    Still Sundari, despite the Sikhs' long presence in the UK, there has rarely been a Sikh presence at the national level. What do you think are the reasons for this?

    In Canada, in the current Parliament there are 3 keshadhari Sikhs (2 amrithdhari, I believe).

    In the US, the reasons for a lack of a national-level Sikh representative is probably related to 1) lack of a concentration density and thus a vote bank; 2) lack of the same-level of politicization and political mobilization as a reaction to being targeted by anti-immigrant groups, as in Canada and the UK; 3) relatively recent movements to get involved in local-level politics.

    If these are indeed important factors, then why should the UK lack so far behind Canada? What is the situation for factor #3 I listed? Sundari or anyone else from the UK, any conjectures?

  2. Jodha says:

    Still Sundari, despite the Sikhs' long presence in the UK, there has rarely been a Sikh presence at the national level. What do you think are the reasons for this?

    In Canada, in the current Parliament there are 3 keshadhari Sikhs (2 amrithdhari, I believe).

    In the US, the reasons for a lack of a national-level Sikh representative is probably related to 1) lack of a concentration density and thus a vote bank; 2) lack of the same-level of politicization and political mobilization as a reaction to being targeted by anti-immigrant groups, as in Canada and the UK; 3) relatively recent movements to get involved in local-level politics.

    If these are indeed important factors, then why should the UK lack so far behind Canada? What is the situation for factor #3 I listed? Sundari or anyone else from the UK, any conjectures?

  3. Bahadar says:

    Most Sikhs are actually naturally Tory…just vote labour out of working class loyalities of the past…when In Punjab, I noticed how conservative people's attitude realy was, especially those who were wealthly Ludhianaites…

  4. Roop Dhillon says:

    I agree with all you have said Bahadar
    John, Punjabi is the second most spoken language in UK, in some areas Sikhs and Muslims are a majority..Leicster is virtually ruled by Hindus…so it is not a surprise..if yo look at all the candidates that stood at Ealing Southall, they were all desis

  5. Bahadar says:

    Most Sikhs are actually naturally Tory…just vote labour out of working class loyalities of the past…when In Punjab, I noticed how conservative people's attitude realy was, especially those who were wealthly Ludhianaites…

  6. Roop Dhillon says:

    I agree with all you have said Bahadar
    John, Punjabi is the second most spoken language in UK, in some areas Sikhs and Muslims are a majority..Leicster is virtually ruled by Hindus…so it is not a surprise..if yo look at all the candidates that stood at Ealing Southall, they were all desis

  7. Dosanjh says:

    "then why should the UK lack so far behind Canada? What is the situation for factor #3 I listed? Sundari or anyone else from the UK, any conjectures? "
    ————– ^ I wouldn't describe it as being behind Canada. I think it's grown up politics rather than third world politics. What I mean is, if everyone started to vote for 'their own' candidate…because 'he's one of us' than the whole system would become a farce. Sikhs in the Uk generally vote along ideological lines and for the candidate that reflects their own personal views rather then who their 'community' tells them to vote for….regardless of the racial or religious origins of the candidate.

  8. Dosanjh says:

    "then why should the UK lack so far behind Canada? What is the situation for factor #3 I listed? Sundari or anyone else from the UK, any conjectures? "
    ————– ^ I wouldn't describe it as being behind Canada. I think it's grown up politics rather than third world politics. What I mean is, if everyone started to vote for 'their own' candidate…because 'he's one of us' than the whole system would become a farce. Sikhs in the Uk generally vote along ideological lines and for the candidate that reflects their own personal views rather then who their 'community' tells them to vote for….regardless of the racial or religious origins of the candidate.

  9. Magda says:

    Dbrze nam si? czyta :-) blog dodany do ulubionych :)

  10. Magda says:

    Dbrze nam si? czyta :-) blog dodany do ulubionych :)

  11. Cheema says:

    I agree with Dosanjh

  12. Cheema says:

    I agree with Dosanjh