The last three mayors of Vancouver - Gregor Robertson, Sam Sullivan and Larry Campbell - all value their rich Scottish ancestries.
Even prior to the election of these three kilt-loving men, the number of Vancouver mayors who have had Scottish surnames has proved impressive. Three of the past nine mayors of Vancouver, for instance, have been Campbells, which means "crooked mouth" in Gaelic. They include Gordon Campbell and Tom Campbell.
Vancouver's first mayor, Malcolm McLean, was born in Tiree, Scotland. The city went on to elect a host of mayors with surnames long associated, at least in part, with Scotland, including Malcolm McBeath, Louis Taylor, Gerry McGeer, Tom Alsbury (born in Edinburgh), George Miller, Fred Hume, Charles Thompson and William Rathie.
This West Coast metropolis, in addition, has had far more than its normal share of those with a combination of Scottish, or Welsh-Irish, surnames, such as Philip Owen, William Owen, Art Phillips, William McGuigan and Charles Jones. (See John Mackie's lively list of Vancouver mayors.)
Indeed, with the addition of a few mayors with English-Norman surnames (such as Michael Harcourt and Charles Tisdal), the city of Vancouver has almost entirely lacked mayors of non-British ancestry in its 125 years.
The one well-known exception is mayor David Oppenheimer (1888-1891), who had Jewish-German roots.
Where have been the Italian, Scandinavian or French mayors -since up until the 1970s people of this ethnicity, along with Germans, together accounted for almost 15 per cent of the city's residents?
And - the question that's most obvious in this age of high Asian immigration - why has there been no Vancouver mayor of Chinese extraction?
One might even joke about a Celtic cabal. (And no, McDonald though I am, I can't say anything about this. Really. Can't.)
This sort of underrepresentation isn't unique in Canada to Vancouver. Toronto's mayoral elections last year, held in a city where half the population is foreign-born, all six of the leading candidates were of European descent, three were of British background, and in the end mayor David Miller passed on his position to Rob Ford. This isn't limited to the position of mayor: in the Canadian Parliament, MPs from visible minority groups are consistently only half as numerous as suggested by visible minorities' share of the Canadian population, with similar or greater under-representation in the Ontario Provincial Parliament and even on the most recent Toronto City Council but one. The Canadian experience is not so different from the French, where until recently descendants of the immigrants from North Africa (not, as Sarkozy's existence shows, immigrants from Europe) were excluded. Elsewhere, too?
Todd's almost certainly right in saying that it's only a matter of time before Vancouver gets a Chinese mayor, that it's simply a matter of immigrant groups becoming more comfortable with the Canadian system and second- and third-generation community members moving up through the ranks, perhaps starting low and gradually plugging into networks. I hope so: the scale of this lag is embarrassing, and only partially mitigated by the fact that Canadian multiculturalism is almost entirely a post-Second World War creation. This lag is also potentially problematic, inasmuch as excluding entire population groups from political power can bring obvious negative consequences onto the polity.