Dear powerful media entities
I hope as an ordinary citizen of Toronto without any political standing, I can still call you ‘dear’. I don’t know about you but for me you are as dear as any other human who carries out his work with honor taking pride that the work that we do will build a better society in times to come.
I am also a candidate for the upcoming Toronto city council election and there again I am ‘ordinary’ as I am neither the incumbent, nor a previous councillor, nor a flag bearer of a political party and also surprisingly not having any financial resources and yet daring to stand.
I know that without the above credentials, I would have no rankings in your power meter and my ‘win-ability’ score may be lower than the ones ruling your charts. It would be easy to eradicate the names of candidates like us from consideration or coverage without giving a thought to our efforts, experience or expertise and dumped easily among the tens who join the race time and again for name and fame amongst family and friends.
But as your spoken and written words will have a huge effect to make public opinion, I am writing to you with a modest request.
Please have a standard way of judging candidates wherein there credentials, experience, expertize, energy, passion, zeal, vision, reasons to stand, skill sets are also considered besides the above ‘power’ barometers used as yet. If you already have such a system may I request you to kindly share the same with the candidates and general public so that we have assurance in the process. Else of course you can have a virtual or a physical debate and invite candidates to participate to gauge their understanding of the job and their prowess. This request if implemented will go a long way in enabling a stronger reputation and respect for your media entity.
I absolutely understand that you have your own limitations of resources and that there are far too many candidates who enter the fray and it would be next to impossible to give everyone an equal chance. Yet at least an equal opportunity to present our case could be given. While our current political systems do not allow that where candidates’ resumes are also shared with voters, the learned media could still stay independent and help people in making better decisions.
Over the years we the ordinary people have been losing faith in the political system seeing how it is used by the powerful to drive the narrative the way they desire. Election time promises and alliances, buddy system which only allows a section of families/politicians or their followers to occupy positions of power, people being guided to vote based on communities, color or religion, the impossibility of fighting a budget with negligible financial resources- there are so many difficulties which disillusion the citizen from the political process, what to talk about participating as a candidate.
Yes I understand that politics is a dirty game and also that the powerful will do anything to cling to power and protect their interests and that you are a novice if you expect any level playing field.
Yet there are some who still have a strong moral compass and wish to get into the system based on ideals, with a desire to bring positive change, become a voice to the muted and serve people with humility. The media can play a positive role in identifying such voices and also giving them a platform.
I know it may be asking for too much but I would still make this humble request as we still have time available. Till then, I start my day again and go door knocking as I have done thousands of times in the last few months.