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Thread: token candidate

  1. anhnha's Avatar
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    #1

    token candidate

    Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott has denied that she is a token candidate.

    What does "token candidate" mean?
    Is it mean that the candidate is not very important.

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    #2

    Re: token candidate

    The candidate may or may not be important. The phrase means that the person is the only one, or a few of, a certain group. For example, it may be that Abbott is the only woman candidate or that Abbott is the only candidate from a certain religious persuasion.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: token candidate

    In Diane Abbot's case, there are two obvious possibilities - she is black and female. Those are two groups which have in the past suffered discrimination and, more recently, have been the subject of positive discrimination. However, when "token" is used, it's in a negative or derogatory sense.

    A political party may be criticised for only choosing white candidates to stand in a local election. Political parties don't like criticism so sometimes they will add an extra candidate who is of an ethnic minority, in order to placate those criticising them. When a person has been included simply because they are a particular gender, religion, sexual orientation or colour, rather than on merit, then they are frequently considered to be the "token" ... (woman, Hindu, homosexual, black person etc etc).

    Of course, generally it is not the case that they have been selected as the token anything, but selected on merit. However, an accusation of tokenism is frequently thrown at companies, political parties, schools, and many more.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #4

    Re: token candidate

    A politician may be offered up by a party as "token opposition" when they do not expect to have any chance to win the election.

    But I agree that the "token woman" or "token black" is the meaning meant here.

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