Better Ballots has completed the public outreach component of our project, and is now moving into the electoral arena. After collecting hundreds of votes from citizens about which voting reform options they would like to see in Toronto, we want to ask our mayoral candidates which options they like and whether they are prepared to make any commitments to reforming our electoral system to make it more fair and inclusive. To do this, we’ll be hosting a Mayoral Forum on June 1st. (details to be announced)
But here’s our problem: There are 26 people running for mayor. We’ve only got about 100 minutes for the event, so if we invite all the candidates we’ll only be able to hear them each speak for about 4 minutes. Considering that we want to hear the candidates’ opinion on fourteen different reform options, this only leaves about 15 seconds for each candidate to talk about each option. That’s not very useful.
On the one hand, we don’t want to be unnecessarily exclusive. On the other hand, we don’t want to organise an event that doesn’t serve a purpose.
After some discussion, this is what we’ve decided:
• All candidates will be invited to speak briefly: to introduce themselves and comment on which reforms they most prefer.
• A group of 8 candidates will be selected to be featured and give more in depth answers.
This compromise allows all candidates to be heard, but also gives the audience more in depth answers than the 15 second sounds bites they would get with a full 27 candidate panel.
So, next question is: Who are the 8? For obvious political reasons, we want to include the six candidates who are polling as the “frontrunners”. That includes Rob Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman and Sarah Thomson.
That leaves two candidates to be selected, out of a remaining slate of 20. Instead of handpicking them ourselves, we want to leave it up to you!!
We’ve created an online poll, and ask you to pick your top TWO choices.