Recent articles in the Richmond News have indicated that the shift in Richmond voter sentiment may have been driven, at least in part, by social media campaigns orchestrated by supporters of the Chinese Communist Party.
While this possibility is very concerning and should definitely be investigated further, I would like to suggest an alternative hypothesis: voters were tired of being taken for granted.
The assertion that, absent of outside influence, Richmond voters would not have voted against the incumbent MPs is itself an indicator that the two ridings were considered to be “safe seats” in which the Chinese-speaking majority would ensure an easy win.
To this end, we have seen our MP for Richmond Centre ignore letters from constituents and hold a news conference in which only Chinese-language media was invited. This has been incredibly frustrating.
To our two incoming MPs: congratulations on your election. Now, the hard work is about to start. Richmond is a diverse place, and it will be your job to listen to, and act for, our varied interests.