tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election Re-Cap: Arab-Canadian candidates face tough times at ballot box

The Tuque Souq deplores the 58% nationwide voter turnout even more than we lament the results in our own riding and the nationwide result.

But enough pontificating... on to the results of the many Arab-Canadians running for the 40th Parliament:

Samira Laouni, thought to be Canada's first candidate for federal parliament to wear a hijab, finished 4th as the NDP's candidate in the riding of Bourassa, QC.

Palestinian-Canadian Zahia El-Masri, a single mother and also an NDP candidate, likewise finished 4th in the riding Laval-Les Isles, QC.

Nourredine Seddiki, born in Algeria, running on the NDP ballot in the riding of Bas-Richelieu-Nicolet-Becancour, QC, finished 4th.

Rachid Arab, a Lebanese-Canadian and NDP tag in Surrey North (B.C.), narrowly lost to popular Tory Dona Cadman.

The Greens' Tony Hajj, a Lebanese-Canadian, running in Calgary-Nose Hill, finished a very respectable second runner-up.

In the Ottawa-South riding, the Green Party's Dr. Qais Ghanem, a Yemeni-born Canadian, finished 4th. Conservative and Lebanese-Canadian Elie Salibi finished a distant 2nd to Liberal David McGuinty.

Samir Sleiman, a Lebanese-Canadian running in Edmonton-St. Albert with the Liberals, finished 3rd behind the Tories and the NDP.

As for le Bloc, candidate Farid Salem, an Algerian-Canadian in the Liberal fortress riding of Saint Leonard-Saint Michel, finished 3rd. Lebanese-born Maria Moulani, the incumbent in the Ahuntsic riding, barely held her seat by the razor-thin margin of 142 votes (0.3%).

But another Arab-Canadian incumbent wasn't so lucky. In a race whose count went deep into the night, Omar Alghabra, the Liberal incumbent in Mississauga-Erindale who is originally from Syria, lost to former and now once again Tory MP Bob Dechert.

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