I am an avid politico. I love reading about politics. I love staying on top of what’s in the news – even Canadian politics excite me! I’ve enjoyed the long mayoral election season because it gives me more time to fantasize about the magical place Toronto will be once that asswipe takes his final steps out.
That said – I am exhausted. There are still three months before the election and I’ve never wanted anything over as much in my life. I’m caring less and less about the outcome because I’m just so bored of this.
Here’s the thing. Originally, the idea was that giving us a longer election season meant that people who have had little exposure in the public eye can still develop visibility. I get that. People already know the mayor, so unless you’re an extremely prominent councilor or businessperson you’re shit out of luck without the extra time to get people to notice you.
There have been a number of think pieces recently suggesting that in today’s fast-paced world, all this does is create voter fatigue and reduce the numbers at the polls when it really matters. I don’t disagree. It’s a major boner killer.
Here’s the thing though, I don’t think that’s the worst part. The worst part is what used to help no-name candidates is how actively hampering them. Back in the old days, if you were poor, you needed time because you couldn’t afford the shortcuts of the wealthier. Now, though, time just means that rich candidates have more time to throw around money. They can make fancy posters, roam the city in a huge campaign bus, and attend every major city event because they don’t need to still keep going to work to pay for the luxury of being a part of our democracy.
So essentially, by allowing for such a huge window for campaigning, we’ve actually created a barrier to new entrants to the political arena.
Times change. What used to be done to uphold democracy is now sabotaging it. This isn’t even a difficult fix! Do the vote in council and let’s move on! There are pressing issues to deal with.