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Editorial: What makes a great candidate?


What matters most to the voter is not what atop the priority list of the candidate. And what one voter wants to see change in his her community will likely be what his neighbour wants to remain exactly the same.

Issues come and go and vary neighbourhood to neighbourhood, street to street and house to house.

But what about the candidates themselves? What makes a good candidate for town or city council?

To overstate the obvious, many people usually vote for people they like and popularity often trumps platform. This is a sad reality; well, sad unless the only tool you have in the chest is that people think you’re swell.

So what can be done to change this mindset and have people vote for the person who will represent the people best, who will govern instead of merely working on getting re-elected, who will make the tough decision because it's right and someone has the best interest of the entirely municipality at heart?

Municipal politics is the purest form of representation as candidates have nowhere to hide, no St. John’s or Ottawa to travel to and no political stripe to sheath themselves.

However, are we using the purest form of support in selecting the right person. If you had to articulate what you look for in a candidate, what would it be? And, if you look at the slate of those running in your community, how many of those fit that criteria?

This election, why not support only those who you think will represent you the best and ignore the fact that she’s a neighbour, or he goes to your church or puts a lot of time in with the service club, or is on Facebook a lot complaining.

Sure, by only filling out only a name or two, you're not using all your choices, but you are also not voting against yourself.

The best vote you can make for your candidate of choice is a ballot with his/her name only.

It may not lend your voice to the selection of others, but you improve your chances of getting the right person on your council, and, in turn, the interests that matter most to you to be part of public discourse.

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