Meena Wong hopes to unseat Ujjal Dosanjh in Vancouver South for NDP

Able to speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and Shanghainese, community activist Meena Wong could be a formidable candidate in Vancouver South, where at least 43 percent of residents are of Chinese descent.

Wong, who is seeking the NDP's nomination in the federal riding, may give Conservative candidate Wai Young stiff competition for the Chinese vote.

With incumbent Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, a politician of South Asian roots, gunning for a fourth term, the three major parties will be represented in the riding by contenders with ethnic-minority origins.

“Vancouver South is a very diverse community,” Wong told the Straight by phone.

If the last election in 2008 gave Dosanjh a scare as Young came close to knocking him off, the former B.C. NDP premier sounded confident in a phone interview with the Straight, saying that he has been “working very, very hard in the last two years”.

“This is going to be a different campaign,” Dosanjh declared on the line from Ottawa.

Dosanjh said that he has been regularly engaging his constituents through town-hall meetings. He also noted that compared to 2008, federal Liberals in B.C. are polling higher.

Wong has done extensive work with the Coalition of Progressive Electors, a Vancouver civic party. She is known in the Chinese community for her involvement in the head-tax issue, and she is on the board of the Civic Education Society, a voluntary organization.

Comments (24) Add New Comment
really
I beleive she will only split the asian vote while the indian vote goes directly to Dosangh, in 2008 most of the asian vote went to Young....bad news for Young.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley
Meena is a bright, engaging, intelligent woman of integrity. Her passions and commitment to social justice and human development are impressive. Vancouver South will be a fantastic race in the next election. I'm very happy to see Meena in the mix.
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David Wong
I agree with the first comment. The Chinese vote will be split, and Ujjal will benefit from it.
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tim.
that's great to see meena running in vancouver south. i think she'd be a great MP and she will really represent the constituency.
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jerrymith
she's in it to get the benefits after only a few years of service. Most people who can't work in private enterprises, tend to go to politics so they can get paid and get early benefits for only a few years of service
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Stephen
Meena will be a formidable candidate for the NDP. She's intelligent, committed, and articulate. I suspect her appeal will transcend ethnicity. She has what it takes to attract the support of left-leaning Liberals, "progressive" Conservatives, and working class people of all backgrounds.
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J_J
Another possibility: Left-leaning Chinese voters who usually vote for Dosanjh could go to Meena Wong, while the majority of Chinese people who hold more conservative beliefs could push Wai Young to victory.
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Lisa J
This is great! Meena is a fantastic addition to the already strong slate of New Democrats in Vancouver.
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Carolyn Jerome
Meena will make an excellent Member of Parliament given her commitment to the larger community she has made as an activist.
And as such, she has the qualifications to appeal to all voters, not just one group in the community, as so suggested.

So, I think she will appeal to many voters.
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@Carolyn
Don't know much about Meena, but at least she looks better than the other candidates.
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annonymous
Meen a is very articulate and intelligent. She has done alot of work for the community and i think that she'll give all the candidates a run for their money.
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David Wong
Nice to see all the "Disagree" votes on my earlier comment.

Here's my explanation: the Chinese community is not a very sophisticated voting block. Those strategists working within the various parties all know that.

Let's not hide the unpleasant facts. Work with it... understand it... then adjust your game plan and capitalize on it.

Meena, is indeed, the best of the 3 running in Vanc. South.

Between the two Chinese candidates, there is no contest. Meena beats Wai Young, hands now. It's a real shame for the Conservatives.

If the Conservatives really wanted to win, they should have fielded a better candidate Wai Young has a nice padded resume, but no real profile in the Chinese community. Wai's coming in close in the last election, was helped by her ethnicity, and by the smart Conservative ethnic media strategy.

Now, the thought is, knowing that the Chinese vote may be split, what to do? Stating nice things about Meena on the Straight may help a bit, but supportive readers are already believers. Remember, the 'chinese vote' in Vanc South won't be reading this post.

So understand the landscape, approach this with your eyes open and listen to constructive observations.

Give me a shout, Meena... some of your friends will help you give Ujjal and Wai something to worry about.
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John Billstrom
I think the far right will vote conservative and the left and center NDP so race will not enter into it. But lets face it the HST screwed the Liberals.
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J_J
I disagree with David Wong.

Wai Young is well respected by many in the Chinese community and is well-connected. For example, she worked with SUCCESS and has built important relationships there. She also worked with the Chinatown Business Improvement Society. Her near victory in 2008 has brought her a lot of recognition in the Chinese community.

To say that Meena Wong is better connected in the Chinese community is silly. I have never heard of her, nor have many other Chinese except maybe for New Democrat activists. The article says she worked for COPE -- great, another career politician. In contrast, Young actually has a record of results for the community of Vancouver South.

Meena seems quite involved with volunteering, but to be honest I'm still not sure what her job is. In terms of real experience working with public policy and program development, Wai Young wins hands down.

Wai Young will be helped by the fact that Conservative principles of law-and-order, lower taxes, and "family values" resonate strongly with Chinese values as well. The Conservatives are getting competitive within the ethnic communities, so underestimate this at your own peril.
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Ken Lawson
I say good luck because your will need it in this riding but you should try running Richmond Centre Alice Wong is useless, you may have a better chance.
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ex-coper
If she couldn't win the nomination to run for Cope city councillor, I'm not sure she can be any more successful against two other seasoned politicians with much more credentials under their belt. Her nomination to run in this riding may have been fuelled by the revelation that the Conservatives have been aggressively targeting ethnic ridings.
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PublicSoapBox
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PublicSoapBox
Once a traitor, always a traitor.... can you trust that Ujjal won't betray your Liberal vote and become NDP? Join my group... lure Ujjal back to the NDP side: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ujjal-Come-Back-to-NDP/170175279699157
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15 Minutes of Fame
How desparate! If Ujjal is such a traitor, then how come you want him back in NDP party? He can win elections and you were pissed that he left you. You complain so much about him and make so much noise about him because you have little confidence in your candidate.
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