It’s Friday and you know what that means. We’re bringing you, well, some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news. No new Meet A Mayoral Candidate today. And the good news? That may be the good news.
We’ve been doing this beat for well near 7 months now, featuring an assortment of the “other” candidates running for mayor of Toronto. Those who aren’t the 5 spotlight hogging front runners. (When we started out there were six but the most fun one dropped out, leaving the race that much drearier in his absence.) Some call them “fringe” candidates. We prefer the term “undiscovered”.
Upwards of 5 of those we’ve profiled have the goods and would be ready for primetime in our humble opinions if the debate gods so allowed. Rough gems, lacking the resources or big name backers to poke the media awake to their presence. Giving them a crack at more exposure would also broaden the scope of the debate beyond its present supermodel thin range. (OMG! George Smitherman said the F-word!!)
Other candidates have been, how shall we say, less impressive? There are the larkers who seem to be doing it for a bit of laugh, maybe some kind of 15 seconds of fame or so which is about the amount being dished out to them. We’ve profiled the well-intentioned but arguably misguided. Then there’s the stalwarts or veterans, taking a run at the office for the third, fourth time, usually wrapped in a single cause. Or simply just because. One candidate, we’re pretty sure, is just high.
But this week we encountered a candidate so… injured, and alienated from what would seem to be the basic norms of life that it stopped our heart a little. And believe us when we tell you that doesn’t happen very often. We are cold, cold bastards most of the time and attempt to fly above the fray of fractious humanity on a magic carpet of cynicism and contempt.
We could’ve ignored this one. Just walked on by and no one would’ve noticed. We’re not even sure as we write this that it’s still not the best course of action.
The thing is, we can’t shake it. Haunting is how we would describe it, and that’s not being overly melodramatic. We cannot think of a reason this candidate would put themselves out on display like this without going to dark and sad places.
Our overriding impulse is to offer up a matching $200 if the candidate would just take their name off the ballot and collect their nomination fee. Take the money and go, take care of yourself if that’s possible. The last thing you need is more opportunities to be heaped with ridicule and scorn.
We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke won’t be party to that. We probably already are by even just pursuing it this much.
It’s just that, you know, so much bile gets expelled during the course of a political campaign. Nasty names exchanged. Derision delivered. Ugly invective hurled. All of which we participate in, sometimes gleefully.
But there are moments such as this when we stop and look around. Despite the growing ideological rift at all levels of our political landscape and the rising antagonism between the two sides that leaves almost no space for compromise and respect, we should be able to agree on one salient point. Deep down, at the very core, we all get involved in our differing aspects of politics for one reason, and one reason only. And that’s whatever variation you want to take on the notion that a society is measured by how it looks after its weakest members. Mine’s from Hubert Humphrey.
“…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.“
While we’d like to think — rightly for the most part — we are further along that road than many places in the world, it’s helpful sometimes to realize that we’ve still got a long way to go before we can claim to be truly moral.
So I think we’re going to take a breather for a few days and come back at it, refreshed and try to keep that sentiment in mind as we sprint toward this campaign’s finishing line.
– sadly submitted by Cityslikr