There is a long tradition in the newspaper business of endorsing candidates come election season. This week newspapers across the province will no doubt be unveiling their preferred candidates for municipal councils in the upcoming election.
Naturally the question has been asked by many (mostly by candidates) if The Meaford Independent will participate in this long standing tradition.
The short answer is no.
To borrow a line from the film Deconstructing Harry- “Tradition is the illusion of permanence”, and one thing that we refuse to do is to do anything either because everyone else is doing it, or because it has always been done.
What is the purpose of a newspaper endorsing candidates?
The 'traditional' newspapers will likely tell you that they have a duty to their readers to stand up and put their valuable stamp of approval on a selection of candidates that they deem worthy of the jobs on council.
The reality is that when a newspaper endorses candidates, they are hoping to sway public opinion. Why else would they bother sharing their preferred candidates if not in hopes of convincing readers to agree with them?
I would suggest that any news service that has done its job well in providing information and fact based objective articles, combined with editorial columns leading up to an election will have already provided their readers with the information required to make their own choices.
In covering this municipal election campaign thus far, The Meaford Independent has published roughly 25 articles, 15 letters to the editor, and more than 30 Candidate's Corner submissions - which are written and submitted by the candidates themselves.
That is a lot of information that has been provided to our readers.
Included in the 25 articles have been 10 editorials. And while our reporting on the upcoming election has always been fair, objective, and without bias, our editorial columns have certainly let our readers know what candidates we are likely to support.
Our opinion columns have indicated a desire to see some younger members on council, and also those who have fresh ideas, and a new approach. Our opinion columns have called for breaking free from doing the 'same 'ole things' that haven't always worked out so well, and instead blazing some new trails to see where they might lead.
That is what The Meaford Independent endorses- a youthful approach, an unconventional approach, along with a nice dose of thinking outside the box.
So no, we won't be providing our readers with a list of candidates that we feel they should vote for. We've already informed our readers of the criteria that we feel will be important for candidates to meet, and we have fulfilled our duty to inform our readers of what the candidates for Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Council are all about.
Now it is your turn.
This is your council, this is your vote.
Vote for the candidates that you feel have spoken to your needs, and that you feel will represent your interests well.
Most importantly, take the time to vote- our community needs your input.