January 17, 2019 8:32 am

Bill Kelly: The Liberals’ gaffe in Burnaby South might be to their benefit

Karen Wang dropped out of the race Wednesday over racial comments she posted on social media about NDP Leader and candidate Jagmeet Singh. Robin Gill has more on what was said and why it may have been an example of "micro-targeting."


Let’s be clear right off the top: the wrongheaded post by the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South byelection was a stupid political move.

The Liberal candidate, Karen Wang, who is of Asian descent, encouraged her Asian community to reject NDP candidate Jagmeet Singh because of his ethnic heritage.

Not a clever move, since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been banging the drum about ethnic and religious inclusion in a 21st century Canada.

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READ MORE: Liberal candidate Karen Wang steps aside after pointing to Jagmeet Singh’s ‘Indian origin’ on WeChat

So, the disgraced Liberal candidate dropped out of the race, which likely creates a clear path to victory for Jagmeet Singh.

In a bizarre way, that could actually benefit the Liberals in the upcoming federal election in October.

Singh has been underwhelming as NDP leader and a weak NDP usually means that left-of-centre voters would shun the NDP and vote Liberal.

READ MORE: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh under pressure after widely-panned TV interview

History has shown that a strong NDP leader like Jack Layton, or even Tom Mulcair, draws votes away from potential Liberal supporters, which would be good news for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

But, so far, Singh has stumbled in the national arena and that’s good news for a Liberal government looking for a second term.

WATCH BELOW: What Wang’s remarks about targeting ethnic votes means

It’s one of the strange idiosyncrasies of politics.

An egregious mistake by a naive candidate cost the federal Liberals a byelection in Burnaby South, but it could prove to help them in the long run.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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