Will we ever have a black prime minister?

On the anniversary of Barack Obama’s election, Wendy Mesley posed the above question on the National tonight. The segment isn’t separately online yet, but can be seen at the 35 minute mark of the National here. Mesley acknowledges it’s not an entirely fair comparison—demographics are different here than in the United States—but the discussion that follows is likely relevant nonetheless.

By the Public Policy Forum’s last check, Parliament was 92.2% white. The examples of non-white politicians even running for the leadership of a federal party are few and far between (Hedy Fry was briefly in the Liberal race in 2006, the last black politician to pursue national leadership might be Howard McCurdy for the NDP in 1989). For argument’s sake, Noah Richler posited a year ago that Canada’s Barack Obama moment won’t come until Canada elects an Aboriginal prime minister.

Of course, you could set race aside and wonder when the Canadian public will elect its first female prime minister vote sufficiently for the candidates of a party led by a woman so that that woman becomes prime minister.

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