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Jerome H. Black and Lynda Erickson, "Ethno-Racial Origins of Candidates and Electoral Performance: Evidence from Canada," Party Politics, 12 (July, 2006), 541-561.

First Paragraph:
For many Western democracies, questions concerning the political representation of ethnic minorities, especially racial minorities, are of growing relevance as their societies become increasingly diverse as a result of immigration. In the Canadian case, the population has long since changed from one overwhelmingly defined by people whose ethnic backgrounds were British or French to one characterized by a significant presence of other European-origin groups. Post-war immigration solidified and accentuated the polyethnic nature of the country and then, starting in the 1970s, dramatically added a multiracial dimension. With these continuing and deepening patterns of ethno-racial diversity in Canadian society, the degree to which Canada's House of Commons reflected this diversity increasingly attracted public and scholarly attention (Black, 2000a, 2002; Black and Lakhani, 1997; Canada, 1991; Stasiulis and Abu-Laban, 1990; Tossutti and Najem, 2002). What has became apparent is that the representation of minority ethnic groups, that is, those whose origins are neither British nor French, has substantially improved over time, but that the extent of equitable representation has been highly variable. In particular, the proportion of racial or visible minorities1 among MPs has consistently been much lower than their incidence in the population. Thus, while overall the proportion of minority MPs has, since 1993, come to approximate closely their share of the population, visible minorities are still underrepresented by about 60 percent (Black, 2002).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Regression models of candidate vote-share with ethno-racial origin and other variables, 1993 Canadian general election
Table 2. Regression models of candidate vote-share with ethno-racial origin, candidate credentials and other variables, 1993 Canadian general election

First Paragraph of Conclusion:
Although the representation in Canada's House of Commons of the minority ethnic population has improved in the past two decades, some minority groups, particularly visible minorities, remain substantially underrepresented. These gaps in minority representation loom especially large in a country that has, with the adoption of official multiculturalism, committed itself to ensuring that mainstream institutions reflect the country's heterogeneity. Moreover, the issue of minority representation and the pressures to narrow the gap are unlikely to diminish in importance in the near future given the continuing immigration of large numbers of visible minorities to Canada and the demographic patterns that result from this influx. This article investigated whether or not voter bias might be a factor in the underrepresentation of minority groups. Our findings confirm and extend those of Tossutti and Najem. Using a measure of minority status that enlarges the range of ethno-racial categories to include a distinctive European group whose integration into the Canadian mainstream has been more recent, and a more sensitive measure of voter bias, the analysis uncovered no evidence that minority candidates from those communities that have traditionally experienced the most discrimination directly lose votes in elections because of their ethnicity. Importantly, neither are there indications that a more indirect or subtle voter bias is at work such that minority candidates compensate against discrimination by virtue of their higher qualifications. Minority candidates do not appear to require more personal credentials than their counterparts in order to gain votes. That this pattern was found in data from the 1993 election which, as we argued earlier, presented special circumstances that might have elicited biased responses is noteworthy. Even under these conditions we did not find evidence that the electorate is biased against minority candidates.