Why is it risky for community groups to endorse any individual or a “slate” of candidates in an Ontario municipal election?

A type of election campaign advertising arrived in the mail this week from the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA.

MRA vote for front

Back.

MRA vote for back

 

I think this is the link that provides more detail on the MRA’s endorsements of what appears to be a slate of candidates.

MRA endorsements 1

Questions Arising:

  • Had the MRA’s membership dues and fundraising made it clear that they would be recommending one candidate over another in the upcoming election?
  • Were members and contributors informed that funds would be used to promote one candidate over another?
  • Were the funds spent by the MRA on the design, printing, and mailing a form of subsidy (indirect $ contributed) to the endorsed candidates’ campaigns?
  • Was this indirect funding a form of soft money campaign donation (undisclosed by the candidate under existing provincial law)?
  • Since Margaret Atwood and Others had been centrally identified as allies, were they aware and approving of this new policy direction?
  • Was a weighted rating system used?
  • Were the means and implications of using the endorsements disclosed to the four candidates?
  • Were the candidates informed of the evaluation method process?
  • Were the candidates provided a copy of the finished evaluation matrix (self and others)?
  • Could and were each of the evaluations, independently audited?
  • Who were the individuals who ranked and evaluated the submissions (eg. MRA’s own transparency and accountability)?
  • Would a secretive and non-accountable process of evaluation likely result in a perceived and real non-biased recommendation?

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. George Orwell

MRA 4 endorsed candidates

 Posted on LesStewart.wikidot.com.

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