Making city elections more interesting

I am running for city council in ward 11, and I have noticed dozens of things that can be done to make elections more fair and equitable. In Ward 11, we don’t have an incumbent; however, like most wards, there are 70,000 plus voters. How do we reach them all? How does the city create more fairness and inform residents of the issues? I have a few ideas.

Right now, a candidate only needs 100 dollars and 25 signatures. The Mayor only needs 250 dollars and 25 signatures. It is also worth noting that with any nomination papers, we, as candidates, get a letter allowing us, by law, to have access and entry into every condo or apartment in the city. In many ways, this is unwelcome by many residents in condos and apartments. But hey, for a hundred bucks, why not…I am surprised people don’t deliver pizza flyers for that cost. So ensuring the candidates are legitimate and serious about the campaign would be an essential step to better elections. Unfortunately, the rules around our city elections are stacked in favour of the incumbents and the connected. However, many things can be done.

  • Increase the Mayor’s nomination requirement to 1000 dollars and 500 signatures to discourage less serious Mayoral candidates. This year there are 32 candidates for Mayor on the ballot.
  • Increase councillor commitment to 200 dollars and 100 signatures to discourage less serious councillor candidates.
  • Randomly validate the legitimacy of the signatures and or emails, another layer of ensuring the candidate is not making them up.
  • As part of every city election, the city should use its extensive printing facilities and affordable mailing rates to create an election package for every ward. This package would be sent to every voter’s front door. In that package, there would be a 5×7 postcard from each councillor candidate in the ward, printed by the city, inserted in the package, along with a ward map, polling stations and other election materials the city already sends out.
  • They should also host a website with an upload of video for all candidates, 3 mins or less, to promote equal video access and findability for all candidates.
  • Absolutely no endorsements from sitting councillors, Mayor or active politicians that recently left city office preceding the election.
  • Incumbent Councillor email lists developed from past interactions in the role of councillor, including social, should never be used for promoting another candidate or themselves.
  • Appointed councillors should be forbidden from running.
  • The city should reserve council chambers for council and Mayoral debates, to be live streamed with every candidate being invited. It is the very least the city can do. The city has the space, audio-video and production facilities ready to go. Oh, and the council is not using the space anyways. This offer should also be the case for every ward.
  • The nomination process should begin 4 months before the election instead of almost 6. Incumbents should only be allowed to campaign 60 days before the election.
  • There should be 5 mayoral mandated debates sponsored by the major broadcasters and one supported by the city for a total of six Mayoral debates.
  • Signs for an incumbent should be allowed until 20 days before the election. Signs for the challenger can go up 30 days before the election.

A more fair and equal distribution of basic candidate information will help voters better appreciate the issues and the candidates. The benefits will be terrific. We will meet more candidates, hear more issues, and ultimately, there will be much greater involvement in the political process.

Contributed by Peter Lovering, Publisher of the Parliament Street News and current Candidate for City Councillor Ward 11, University-Rosedale.

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News


Hello Holiday Readers

How many holiday editions is this now?? Twelve to be precise. The last two, amid pandemics, have been interesting. We did the giving guide last year, and this year did not get the content or … [Read More...]


Will Our Small Businesses Survive?

Contributed by Anita Bostok. As Cabbagetown residents, we know full well the advantages of downtown living. We walk down the street, and everything we need is at our fingertips. But we can’t take it … [Read More...]


DVAC Holiday Show and Sale:

The show remains open at the Papermill Gallery until Sunday, November 20th at 4pm We are excited to be back in our favourite haunt, the Papermill Gallery at Todmorden Mills for this year’s Holiday … [Read More...]


Thanks a billion for your support

Thank you to my fellow candidates and you , as residents, for your commitment to the election process and being engaged. It is people like you who give me hope for all we can accomplish together and … [Read More...]



Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway and we’re proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know … [Read More...]



“We can do better” - Candidate for City Councillor Ward 13 - Toronto - Center Caroline Murphy In September, I wrote about why I was running to be your City Councillor for Ward 13 and since then, I … [Read More...]

Photo credits Marion Voysey

My Betty White

My Betty White Photo credits Marion Voysey Betty White– is a visual artist, living and working in downtown Toronto. Born in the US, Betty studied painting and, for a period, paper making, in a … [Read More...]


Elora L’Avenue

Contributed by Anita Bostok - After a soft opening last summer, L’Avenue restaurant at 583 Parliament Street is now creating quite a buzz. Taking inspiration from the chic cafes and brasseries she … [Read More...]