position primer

New site lets you compare Toronto election candidates

The 2014 Toronto election fast approaches, with the big day just over a month away. There's already a good site for comparing the platforms of mayoral candidates, but what about city councillors? With so much of our attention focused on the mayor's race, the battles in each ward tend to fly somewhat under the radar when it comes to media coverage. That's why Position Primer, a new site from Women in Toronto Politics, should prove particularly useful to those who've yet to make a decision on their local candidate (or who don't know what ward they live in).

The site offers a side-by-side comparison of where candidates stand on crucial issues such as poverty, public services, taxation, and infrastructure in all 44 wards. Based on an online survey distributed by WiTOpoli, it's a quick way to familiarize yourself with both the political leanings and specific platforms of would-be city councillors. You won't find polling numbers here. Instead, the site summarizes where candidates stand in their own words (or those of their staff, as the case may be).

A random sampling of wards reveals that the participation rate in the survey was quite high, though there are of course numerous candidates who didn't bother to share their policies. That could be to their detriment, of course. In my ward (17, Davenport), for instance, the lack of a voice from incumbent Cesar Palacio makes the other candidates all the more desirable. It might not matter to voters who have made up their minds, but for the rest of us, this is a valuable tool to get primed for the upcoming election.


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