Encourage Direct Participation in Municipal Elections

In Ontario we are blessed with the freedom to vote and choose our leaders democratically. The act of voting will always be the most important part of the process but we must also remember that voters need to have someone they want to vote for. Running for office is a daunting task for new challengers, but it is important that we encourage people to run in order to have a diversity of opinion during elections and ultimately at the council table.

Some municipalities, including Ottawa and Toronto, have enacted a rebate program similar to the provincial and federal political donation tax rebates. While established incumbents or high profile candidates may not need assistance raising campaign funds, challengers and candidates who are less personally affluent deserve our support. The small cost of a campaign rebate program is a worthy investment when you consider the new ideas and unique perspectives that are brought to the table.

The Green Party of Ontario values local participation in the democratic process. We see it as an integral part of establishing a good government. As city councils across Ontario are preparing their first budgets after the 2010 election we encourage them to support local campaign rebate programs. Investing in our democratic process is important if we want smart, capable and imaginative people to step forward and run for office.

Kevin O'Donnell
GPO Municipal Affairs and Housing critic
Green Party of Ontario candidate, Ottawa Centre