The Endorsement Race is ON!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

The Guelph municipal election campaign is entering its final stretch, and things are getting ugly: Mayor Quarrie’s campaign gave out 30,000 leaflets more than suggesting that the former Council breached SUBBOR’s contract, an electoral move that might cost the City the expensive lawsuit it has been involved in for years; one councillor is suing another over demeaning comments made to City employees through City e-mail accounts; and one Ward 1 incumbent councillor is starting to get the shakes, refusing to appear in a debate which he had arranged himself.

To turn the heat up a notch, it is beginning to be the time when local media, community and student organizations might decide to put their two cents’ worth into the political debate and endorse, support or otherwise recommend different candidates. Back in mid-October, the Guelph Labour Council and the Guelph CUPE locals decided to endorse Karen Farbridge for mayor and a number of councillors for each ward, deeming them “labour-friendly.”

But things had been rather quiet in the endorsement front until yesterday, when your own Central Student Association (CSA) released a statement throwing its full weight behind Karen Farbridge. In the statement, CSA Local Affairs Commissioner Bre Walt is quoted as saying: “Farbridge best represents the issues that concern students, and we feel it is our role to inform students about the candidate that best represents our interests.”

This follows ongoing discussion in several CSA Board of Directors meetings over whether or not it was within the CSA’s mandate to endorse candidates in municipal elections. Indeed, the different college student governments contacted by Thecannon.ca have all declined to endorse. Two UoG student clubs, Science for Peace and Guelph Students for Environmental Change, have also decided to support Farbridge. The latter's webpage cites the following reasons: "[Farbridge] isn’t aligned with any political party and GSEC agrees with her platform (pipeline, recycling, etc.)."

Here at Thecannon.ca the debate that the staff has had over the need and the names to endorse has been rather heated at times. But in the end, after extensive research and discussion, Thecannon.ca has too decided to support Karen Farbridge for mayor, and is also recommending two candidates per ward. You can read our choices, and our reasons behind them, here.

Regarding other media outlets on campus and in Guelph at large, The Ontarion has decided not to endorse any candidate, choosing instead to emphasize, through its weekly editorial, the need for students to take advantage of this opportunity and get out and vote. Conversely, the Guelph Mercury has opted to endorse Karen Farbridge, citing "citizen involvement", "openness" and environmental issues as some of the reasons behind their support.

Editor's Note: This article will be edited for content in the next few days as more and more organizations decide –or decline- to endorse. Keep that in mind when posting your comments, as the content of the article might have changed since the last comment.

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