Nolan Matthews / Senior Andy Editor

Last month, Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney released a list of 27 “safe” countries that drastically reduces the rights of people who hope to leave those countries as refugees. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Kenney claims the list was created to resolve the perceived problem that Canada is letting in too many refugees that would otherwise, in his mind, somehow overrun our country.

Usually when a refugee claimant arrives in Canada they have 60 days to get settled and put together their case, which is heard by a judge who determines whether or not the claimant has sufficient reason to be accepted as a refugee. A claimant from one of the 27 designated country has their first hearing 45 days after they arrive - a timeline that doesn’t seem close to being realistic. That’s 45 days to find a lawyer, a place to live and a way to pay for it all. The Canadian Bar Association recommends having four months to prepare for a refugee hearing.

Kenney defends the shorter timelines by saying that they will make the refugee application process more efficient, but we’re asking people to talk about the worst things that have happened to them. It can take a lot of time to tell a good friend about something terrible, let alone a judge sitting at the end of a table. And a faster process will send refugees more quickly back into the dangerous situations they came from.

Of course, that’s only true if they came from a dangerous situation in the first place. A popular term with Jason Kenney is “bogus,” meaning he sees many refugee claimants as not really being in danger and simply trying to take advantage of Canada’s social services. Kenney’s impression of “bogus” refugees is largely based on flawed statistics spewed by Rick Dykstra, Kenney’s parliamentary secretary. In a parliamentary meeting, Dykstra claimed that in 2010 “Canada received 2,300 [refugee] claims from Hungary, which is 23 times more than any other country.” Hungary is one of the countries on Kenney’s safe list.

“The fact that most gets to the core of why further refugee reform is needed is that virtually every one of these claims was abandoned, withdrawn, or rejected,” said Dykstra. “Refugee claimants themselves are choosing not to see their claims to completion, meaning they are not in genuine need of Canada’s protection. In other words, their claims are bogus.”

So much of what Dykstra said is wrong. The Canadian Council for refugees, which got its data from an access to information request from the Immigration and Refugee Board, states that in 2010 there were 1,973 claims from Hungary, not 2,300. Of those claims, 1,089 were abandoned.

Unless you consider about 55 per cent to be “virtually every” claim, Dykstra and Kenney are not only deluded but plain wrong.

I also wonder if Kenney and Dykstra ever considered why a refugee claimant might decide to abandon their claim - other than the reason being they’re scam artists. Perhaps claimants are finding Canada not nearly as welcoming as we like to think we are.

Perhaps the most disturbing consequence of being from a “safe” country is that refugee claimants will only have access to health care if they have a condition that threatens public health. I’ve spoken to a refugee settlement worker who told me about a woman who had been severely burned all over her body by her husband and wasn’t able to access health care because her condition wasn’t a public health concern. It’s completely ridiculous.

As a country, we’re moving towards a very negative view of people seeking protection and closing our doors to people we should be helping. We are obligated to do so much more.

By Rob Hardy

There are many ways to judge a society. This becomes an even tidier prospect if said society has their eggs in only a scant few baskets. And when we talk about in which baskets we put our eggs, this simply means examining where the majority of Canadians are focused, what they are thinking about, and the proportion of energy they put forth into certain activities.

Right now, we are in the midst of a nasty NHL lockout, one of which is threatening to eliminate an entire hockey season. Since our remotes might be getting some lighter use these days, this is about as good a time as any to give some pause as to just how the hell we spend our time. Far from approaching this from a moralistic point of view, it still might give us pause to step back and really see how crazy we might be getting about all of this.

Hockey has always been a huge part of the Canadian culture; something is always in the background whether in the off-season or on. Even those who don’t much care for sports know that The Maple Leafs are Toronto’s team and the Canadians are Montreal’s. Likely, most anyone would be able to point out the logos - symbols nearly as recognizable as the golden arches. For nearly a century, it is safe to say that the love of this sport has been inherently Canadian, and united most of the country in some strange way.

That being said, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, when such a strong central focus is poured into what is really just a game played by ardent professionals. It’s understandable why hockey, or other sports in general, draw people in.  For some it’s a genuine love of the game, for others it’s keeping in that game as an active spectator when dreams of going pro finally die, and for nearly everyone who watches it’s just an easy past time.

What has been boggling the mind lately, however, is that this group of fans doesn’t amount to just a minor niche but is actually reflective of what has become an outright obsession nation-wide.  And while this may be perfectly normal for a segment of the population, hockey mania is likely one of the top concerns of the average Canadian, eclipsing even that of political discourse.

The hockey arena today is built with the most modern infrastructure, composed of high ceilings, icy colours and choirs of voices singing anthems with an unflinching seriousness rarely witnessed otherwise. The domain of Hockey Night in Canada has become a present-day cathedral, hyped to the highest proportions of both patriotism and consumerism. With a stagnant economy and massive layoffs, especially south of the border where many of the teams are, most games are nevertheless stunningly packed to the rafters by the unerringly faithful.

Especially with the rise of social media, everyone has an opinion on the current disaster that is ensuing. The thing is it’s a disaster for those involved, if you can even call it that. That’s not to say that athletes shouldn’t be recognized for putting themselves on the line and making their owners rich in the process. But how soon this dispute is settled doesn’t affect our own bottom line, so why do we care so much?  Why are Canadians more interested in job negotiations involving hockey players rather than public teachers, where lowering job standards have a much bigger impact on the average worker?

Like most guys, I would’ve loved to be playing pro sports like football, but when that doesn’t happen, life goes on. It may be exciting when your team wins or Canada gets the gold, but at the end of the day we have to realize we do not personally profit from this acclaim. The typical “armchair quarterback” can get distracted by what others are doing, worrying more about someone else’s stats than his own. Does it matter how good a hockey team is even as the average Canadian slips further into obesity, a disease fuelled by their own inactivity?

Most of us can’t be in the pros, but there are still a lot of chances to be active yourself and directly impact your life and community rather than simply vicariously watch others have fun or live life. It’s a sad, silent and woefully incorrect implication that as we get older we don’t need to bother cultivating our own athleticism and stay competitive. Perhaps, it’s this need that causes us to mistakenly plug into sport voyeurism, as we settle into the sedentary, complacent middle-class.

Some of the latest news has been that now beer sales have been suffering, too. Hopefully, this means that television viewership has also declined, leaving us to enjoy the great outdoors instead while putting some time aside for a more civic-minded life, at least until the puck finally drops again. We should remember that a healthy, vibrant country means not only a diverse citizenship, but a diversity of interests and activities - people actively working towards things such as social justice and preserving the halls of academia, lest we somehow slip back into some sort of  neo-dark age.

By Abdullahi Sheikh

With the United States’ election day come and gone, it’s no small wonder that we pay so much attention to their politics.

We may have players as interesting as Justin Trudeau and as vile as Stephen Harper, but we’re almost a high school play compared to the Broadway musical that is American politics.

Regardless of how you feel about the candidates, you’ve probably got your own opinion on who should win and why and I’d bet your neighbour’s got one too.

Now, I’m not trying to say that we should focus solely on our own politics and ignore the rest of the world (probably exactly the opposite of what any newspaper should be advocating) but instead we should take a minute to assess why we are so fond of turning on the television to watch what new debacle whichever presidential candidate has caused.

I think that, ultimately, we’re just more interested by what’s happening just past the border, and it’s not just because they’ve got an African-American president, Silicon Valley and an IHop in every city (although that last one certainly helps.)

It really is more than that. Our infatuation with our Southern cousins must have some basis in reality, right?

There’s got to be a reason that American politics gets our hearts racing while Canadian politics make us check for a pulse.

Well, as someone whose been on both sides of the fence, I think it really just arises from a discontent we, the Canadian people, have regarding our own government and its inner workings.

Whether it’s our style of government (first-past-the-post tends to leave us annoyed the most) or the actions of our officials, we’ve become a bit bored with our government as a whole.

American politics serve as an interesting diversion from the regular tedium of Canadian politics. In a way, Canadian politics can be seen as a Big Top while American Politics represent Cirque du Soliel.

Although going to a circus can be fun, can it really compare to seeing horses trot to the musical styling’s of Michael Jackson?

Now, you don’t have to agree with me on this one, but next time you turn on the television, I want you to see which news channel you’d rather watch when they start to talk shop about politic

And, more importantly, I want you to think about why.

As for Michael Jackson, no, obviously not. Now if only we could get Romney’s horse in Cavalia.

By: Erin Rooney

 

As an international exchange student at Mac, I didn’t really know what to expect from my first Canadian Thanksgiving. I knew there would be turkey, and I knew pumpkin pie would be involved at some point (a pie I was highly suspicious of, despite normally welcoming all desserts, equally and indiscriminately), but that was the extent of my knowledge.

By Monday night I felt more than a little jealous of all of you who get to have this event every year… and not just because it means you get two Christmas dinners.

At both the Thanksgiving meals I went to (I took full advantage of all turkey offers), I was struck by how welcoming and generous-spirited the people I met were. The ‘more the merrier’ logic really did seem to apply. It seems like Thanksgiving is another great chance, like Christmas, to bring the family together but without all the stress and commercialism that so often overtakes December.

Plus, as a student at this time of the year when supplies are running low and pasta becomes a repeat offender, getting to have a huge home-cooked meal is a serious blessing.

So what did I learn over the long weekend to make me a Thanksgiving pro? Well, number one, going out on the Friday of Thanksgiving probably wasn’t the best idea. ‘A lot of people must to go home for the weekend’ was the first thought that crossed my mind as we entered an empty club. I’m almost certain there was some tumbleweed rolling in front of the DJ booth. But hey, at least our group got discounted entry because the bouncer felt sorry for us dancing in the ghost-town. Lesson number two: fullness is just a state of mind. There is always, always room for more turkey if you are determined enough. And finally number three: despite reservations, I discovered pumpkin pie is delicious. I take back every doubt I once had, and replace them with second and third helpings.

Having now experienced my first weekend of Thanksgiving fun, it’s safe to say that I’ve been converted into a die-hard fan!

Canadian tuition rates divided by faculty; province averages. Click the image to see the same rates at Statistics Canada in graduate admissions as well.

Undergraduate tuition fees have risen at more than triple the rate of inflation in the past year according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

Undergraduate tuition is up 5.0 per cent from last year nationwide and up 5.4 per cent in Ontario. Graduate tuition has increased at a slower rate of 4.5 per cent, up from a 3.7 rate last year.

The inflation rate from July 2011 to 2012 is 1.3 per cent as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

According to the Stats Can report, full-time undergraduate students in Canada are paying $5,581 in tuition fees on average compared to $5,313 last year. Undergraduates in Ontario are charged the most - $7,180 on average.

Peter Smith, Associate Vice-President (Academic), said McMaster’s overall undergraduate tuition increases are just under 5 per cent this year, as per 2012/2013 provincial guidelines.

The guidelines stipulated that first year tuition for professional programs could increase by up to 8 per cent. First year non-professional programs were allowed to have increases of up to 4.5 per cent. Upper year tuition could increase by 4 per cent. Overall tuition increases were to be under 5 per cent.

“There’s always a trade-off,” said Smith. “You could have a zero per cent increase, but that could impact the delivery of programs at the university.”

“[In setting tuition fees] you want to strike a balance between affordability and quality of education,” he said.

Simon Gooding-Townsend, one of three student representatives on the university tuition fee committee this year, said averages may not be the most accurate indicator of changes to tuition.

He noted, for example, that incoming first years in professional programs are experiencing double the rate that their upper year classmates are experiencing (8 per cent versus 4 per cent).

International students have experienced a 6 per cent increase at McMaster, with the exception of international medical students (all levels) whose tuition of $95,000 per year has stayed the same.

Compulsory fees for athletics, student health services and student organizations applicable to full-time students have increased nationally by 3.3 per cent for undergraduates and 4.9 per cent for graduate students.

Full-time undergraduate fees increased in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, where tuition has stayed the same since 2003/2004. Quebec showed the highest tuition increase at 10.1 per cent.

By: Miranda Babbitt

 

Dear Drinking Age of Canada,

Canadians always have had a knack for comedy, eh? Constructing our national flag around the glorious symbol of peace, unity and strength - otherwise known as the majestic maple leaf. Sure to intimidate any rivals from overseas with our alarming abundance of maple syrup. We. Will. Drown. You. With sugary goodness. But what’s even more intimidating than a maple leaf, you ask? Our ancestors will announce in gleeful unison, “But a beaver, of course!” I’m sorry to tell you this, you may want to sit down, but our flag very well may have had the dominating presence of a beaver in its center. It was a seriously considered option. The only reason we went against it was the fact that maple leaves are easier to draw. Our sense of Canadian logic really is remarkable.

But there is one central part to Canadian society that simply defies all logic:  the drinking age that came a year too late to make any sense at all.

With Canadians’ clever sense of humour in mind, I can almost imagine the scene unfolding: Sitting ‘round a table made out of a tree they fetched from their backyard, a polar bear politely sleeping at their feet, their graying heads somberly nodded in mutual agreement over the age that will enable us to vote, to risk our lives in fighting for our country, to whisk our lover away to get married, and deciding on what age will finally let you saunter into that sketchy piercing shop, your chest puffed up with pride, without your anxious mother trailing behind you, stifling your independence, and just not giving you your space, man. But then, amidst all the quiet and reasonable discussion, one voice piped up from the far end of the table, with the familiar, mischievous twinkle in his eye reserved only for your younger brother on April Fool’s Day. “You know what would be really funny guys? If we were to delay the drinking age by just one year. Come on. Just one totally pointless year. Keep ‘em guessing. It’s like if we put it to age twenty seven or thirty three, entirely random, but even more brutal because all the kids will be able to taste it, they’re so close.”

So all the boys crack up and loosen their ties, throw off their wigs donning white ringlets and pound their fists together in a joke well pulled.

Obviously, the Quebecois were more of the partying type, understanding that by the time we have the opportunity to go abroad and educate ourselves, leave the abode of our parents, and do almost everything else, we should have the right to drink.

Perhaps it’s that nonchalant air, the exotic taste for croissants in the morning or snails served with olive oil. It’s that je-ne-sais-quoi of our francophone neighbours that let them take a breather for a minute and come to the sensible realization for themselves. And so it was that my friends in Quebec, where the boys and girls speak French in pretty little accents, twirling around with freedom at their toes, had the Frosh Week of champions.

As they were drunkenly frolicking with the Montreal natives, intoxicated with that irrepressible, youthful desire to live each moment to the fullest, and yet somehow not “throwing their lives away” in the face of this strange, dangerous liquid before them, I attended an ice-cream social in the basement of my residence. Hold on though, I did get pretty crazy with the endless variety of syrups and sprinkles. Maybe I even acted a little irresponsibly. Maybe, Canadian Drinking Age, I went a little overboard on the chocolate sauce and it tampered with my blood sugar levels. Maybe I am tainted as a socially responsible individual now. Better raise the Sundae Consumption Age immediately.

But don’t get me wrong. I will never deny myself the luxury of a sundae on a weekday, and our Frosh Week leaders truly milked whatever they could out of the given circumstances, but the irony is plain to see. We’re a collection of adults being educated as the leaders of tomorrow and they had to face the fact that in some senses, we’re being held back to the status of children.

It’s not as if we’re some foreign species from all other nineteen year olds who are deemed fully matured and capable enough to consume this beverage. As I wait to turn nineteen, I am eagerly awaiting a full body and mind transformation, because apparently that’s what is expected to happen within a single year.

But let’s be honest, the drinking age in Canada really is just an optimistic suggestion, isn’t it?

 

Cheers,

Canadian First Year Students of Canada

By: Zara Lewis

 

As an exchange student from the University of Leeds in England, the past three weeks have been a crash course in Canadian culture – from learning how to cut a milk bag correctly to realizing that black squirrels exist to discovering what a “smoke show” is and what it means to have “flo.” It’s fair to say that I have felt like somewhat of an alien over here. There are many aspects of being a Canadian student that were not explained to me in the Studying Abroad Handbook.

But of all the new things that have both enlightened and shocked me, nothing was quite as jaw dropping as the dancing that I have witnessed. With seductive hair flicking and dry humping from both the front and behind, it is evident that the Canadians know how to grind.

I’m not trying to claim that British kids are all prudes and dance at an arms length from one another, but over here, the dance floor appears to be a space reserved for pairs of grinding bodies, while the other not so daring onlookers remain hugged to the bar or their drinks.

So, far I have been one of the latter, crossed with a ‘deer in headlights’ expression etched upon my face.

However, the most pivotal moment of my Canadian dancing experience happened on Friday while I was innocently dancing with my friends, and I was repeatedly being pushed in the back. After turning around to see who the offending dancer was, I was presented with a girl with her legs wrapped around her thrusting dance partner’s waist. The pair danced and gyrated against one another, obviously unaware of anyone in the surrounding area.

After a few minutes, the twosome unsurprisingly left the dance floor. Let your mind fill in the rest.

So, after an educational first few weeks here in Canada, it is safe to say that whilst I expected there to be some cultural differences in comparison to England, it appears that the greatest difference is where I least expected there to be one. That is, on the dance floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myles Chats With Montreal's Newest Noisemakers: The Breezes

Myles Herod
Entertainment Editor

Montreal’s The Breezes are not only defined by their geography, but by an irreverent dose of humour, unpredictable at any instant.

Consisting of Matt Oppenheimer, Daniel Leznoff, James Benjamin and Adam Feingold, the electro-pop foursome possess tunes and talent of adroit jest, as evident in their viral, sing-a-long anthem “Count to Eleven.”  However, as guitarist Dan Leznoff explains to ANDY, their roots are everything. “Seriously, Montreal made us. We’ve seen every band. Living here, the culture just breathes into you, covers you like a film of dust you don’t notice.”

Questioned further as to what gives Quebecois artist’s their certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ over Western Canadian cotemporaries, he didn’t hesitate to lay it down, proud and precise. ”Montreal is significantly cheaper than Vancouver and Toronto. It attracts artists who want to focus deeply on their craft without having to worry about rent and food. When you are really dedicated to learning about your art you come to Montreal and then you move on hopefully. It nurtures growth more than other cities.”

While the band’s sound derives from a dance floor zeitgeist of neon vibes and skinny ties, The Breezes undoubtedly know how to craft tasty hooks that balance the digital divide between today’s Top 40 and indie-chill. Indeed, adopting inspiration from all facets is integral to their tone – channeling the spirit of everyone from the late Owen Hart and Evel Knievel to Guns N' Roses and Ice-T, “boyhood heroes” as he calls them.

As for songwriting styles, Dan makes no bones about it: it’s about camaraderie and analogies. “A songwriter is just like an athlete, after a while he stops thinking about what he does and just does it. All you can do is live your art, study and listen a lot.  Being in a band is all about building together. Competition is a force that helps the building process but one that can obviously destroy everything. Its all about figuring out how much space to give and how much to take.”

Aided by an escalating profile, the band exudes confidence, rather than evince egotism – something blithely reflected in the strength of their music and the successful manner by which they are managed.

The Internet can be a pitiless pool of blog-o-sphere build-up. For The Breezes, life’s too short to worry – embracing technology, but also swaying to their own sails. “Aint no taint to the paint. The Internet has leveled the playing field and opened the door for people all the way from Xanadu to Atlantis to Shangri La to know about you instantaneously, no matter where you’re from. We download music, shop at record stores, listen to the radio, go to clubs and the library to find music. Digital streaming and blog stuff have changed surprisingly little. A song is still a living, breathing thing that you hear with your ears and feel with your soul. ”

Online, songs can sustain longevity. However, to succeed professionally, a group lives or dies by their ability to perform live. From a recording studio to stage milieu, Dan explained the difference between both in typical Breezes fashion. “Our live show is much more free and loose, like a virgin in Tijuana on Spring Break. The record is like her audio engineer twin sister, who views Spring Break as extra study time to nitpick and dissect sonic mysteries.”

Anticipating label approval, and a subsequent debut LP within months, the band are currently on tour, turning people onto their EP of bedroom psychedelia entitled “Update My High.”

The future looks bright, as Dan concludes, with good times ahead “In two years hopefully we won’t see The Breezes, hopefully people will see us. The party is starting very soon…”

If that’s the case, count me in.

 

The Breezes will be performing in Toronto on March. 24 at Wrongbar  

 

Raul Funyon should be the new hero of Canada, chopping down the north one happy tree at a time.

Andrew Terefenko

Opinions Editor

 

O Canada, our home and native land. By thy sons command, I am expected to exhibit true patriot love, but who exactly are thy sons, Canada?

It has recently become clear that our nation has a distinct lack of well-known folk heroes. We have real people who have made great strides in freedom and have flipped off flippant reporters, but where are our heroes of fiction and lore?

I’m talking about an equivalent to the American immortals Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and Al Gore, people who may or may not have existed but inform the very core of moral values that guide citizens’ everyday lives.

Maybe this is why the Canadian moral compass is so misguided. Our four modes of thought are comprised of kindness in the North, and apathy thrice everywhere else. Perhaps I am obsessing over what seems to be an incredibly minor lack in an otherwise peaceful and frigidly awesome country, but at heart I just really care about the children.

Children, who are going to grow up without Canadian folk icons to idolize as they make the early decisions that will distinguish the dainty from the dubious. Instead, they will look up to questionable characters such as the Insane Clown Posse or Jean Chrétien, and that can only lead to a life full of half-hearted patriotism and spirited “eh’s.”

Without these heroes, our neighbours to the south depict us as frightened primitives. Take for example the depiction of Canadians in the popular American sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in which a Canadian-born main character is afraid of the dark, gun-crazy (which seems a bit ironic given American culture) and completely apathetic to human emotion. Does this sound like anyone you know?

To the rest of the world, we are frostbitten nomads living igloo to igloo, enjoying brief hours of summer every year. While that may ring true to the northern one per cent of our fair nation, it is a far cry from the majority of us, whose only experience with igloos began and ended in our childhood snowball wars.

Maybe we were too late to the oral culture party and people grew more skeptical of their elders’ tales by the time our country began to form, but it is a shame nonetheless. Why are there no tales of Mounties who single-handedly fought back the snow beast rebellion, thereby protecting us from an eternity of slavery to our frozen masters? Now our kids will grow up not knowing real, fictional fear.

It is time for us to create folk heroes for our successors. Go grab a pack of exotic fruit seeds and start spreading them across the country. When our kids ask, we can always regale them with the story of how it rained fruits across the country because little Jimmy didn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom. That’ll learn ‘em good.

Mohammad Zubairi

The Silhouette

 

I’m not sure how, but about two months ago, I received a letter from a Canadian lobby group that will remain unnamed, which started off as follows: “British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have all declared multiculturalism to be a failure.”

Part of their argument was around the rise of religious extremists in the past 10 years, and how such extremists are negatively impacting the progress of Western states. The organization was soliciting monetary contribution for ongoing research and policy work. As one of my friends would go on to say: “I was shocked & offended.”

I’ve always seen Canada’s multicultural fabric as its strength, as an opportunity to exercise tolerance and learn about people and their practices, and benefit from their strengths. Inevitably, however, there is the reality that different cultural groups will look to ‘their own’ as they make significant transitions (i.e. migration), or hold onto traditions that are important to their identity. But that shouldn’t be a limiting factor in defining what Canada is or represents, and suggesting that multiculturalism as a policy has failed is simply not fair.

Back in October 2011, I spent two weeks in Guyana, a country situated in north of South America, bordered by Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. It’s the only English-speaking country in South America as a former British colony. The name Guyana derives from a root word meaning ‘the land of many waters’ as three major, and many hundreds of other smaller, rivers traverse the country.

In Guyana, there is a mix of people of East Indian, African and Aboriginal origin. There is a mix of Christian, Hindu and Muslim religious practices and celebration. The food reflects these diverse traditions. Different cultural and religious groups have united through marriage or business, yet when it’s election time (as when I was there), there is a strong polarization between those who are Afro-Guyanese and those who are Indo-Guyanese.

In some ways, Guyana is multicultural. But the multiculturalism there is not the same as the multiculturalism here in Canada. Here, there are Canadians of Guyanese origin, and Canadians with origins in countries representing the world from Mexico to Nigeria to Poland to Pakistan to China. The list can go on. Canada is thus also like a ‘land of many waters.’ There are the Great Lakes, of course, but it is the diversity in people that makes us so unique.

Differences are not meant to divide, as the media might promote, but rather to recognize varied expressions of the human experience. This diversity strengthens our advancement as country by providing perspective on a range of issues, whether they are political, economical or social. If we don’t optimize on this expression, then yes there is a chance that our elections will become polarized. Yet, there are just so many different groups that such polarization will not come so easily. In a speech given in the 1960s,

Malcolm X said: ‘Unity is the right religion.’

Differences aside, multiculturalism can help with such unity, and in the expression of these varying cultures through film, music, art, comedy or poetry there is undoubtedly a lesson for people to learn about people.

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