Campaign principles

When we launched this campaign yesterday I shared a letter outlining why I’m running and some of the policy issues I intend to focus on in this election. Today I want to take a step back and talk about principles.

Policies are specific ideas meant to address specific problems. When we go to the polls on October 25th, many people will likely vote based on which candidate has, in that voter’s assessment, the best set of policies. Also important, however, are a campaign’s principles. Principles are more broad and foundational and less fickle than policies. They’re what one uses (or should use) to make decisions and form policy positions. (In other words, instead of asking “what will get us the most votes? what can we get away with?” and so on, campaigns should ask “how do we stay true to our principles?”)

This afternoon we’ve added a new permanent page to this website that outlines and explains our principles. This campaign will be:

Open. We will use both web-based tools and in-person meetings of all kinds to engage with people and make this election about ideas rather than personalities. We will also interface with and draw inspiration from initiatives like ChangeCamp, Better Ballots, #VoteTO and others which seek to engage a broad spectrum of people in civic idea generation and decision-making.

Uniting. It’s tempting for politicians of all stripes to attempt to score points by applying labels to different groups of residents and then pitting those groups against each other (drivers vs. cyclists, union members vs. non-union members, TTC operators vs. TTC riders). When we do that, however, we fail to move forward together. Only by building an inclusive movement that respects all Torontonians can we create the city we want.

Future-oriented. We will make decisions that address the needs of the present generation without sacrificing the rights and prosperity of future ones. We will build a city that we’re proud of today that will also serve us well tomorrow.

Again, these are not meant to be specific policy commitments, but they are declarations of how you can expect the members of this campaign to behave and on what we will base our platform. And, in keeping with the first principle, we’ll do all that together.

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