Authenticity Key to a Good Political Campaign, Says Toronto Councilman-turned-MP Kristyn Wong-Tam | New
A great team, a strong history and community involvement are all factors that those used to running for office in Toronto point to as crucial elements of a political campaign.
But above all, said Kristyn Wong-Tam, New Democrat MP from Ontario and former councilor for the center of Toronto, authenticity is key.
“I think that’s it, I think people want to know that their elected officials are going to be connected to their values and their community and I also think voters and residents are very smart, they’ll know when you’re not. insincere,” says Wong-Tam, who uses the pronouns them/them.
It’s especially important, they said, because voters “are coming to political campaigns with a level of cynicism we’ve never seen before,” with less trust in mainstream media, institutions and governments. , which forces elected officials to do a good job.
Getting that point, they said, requires being an active member of the community, participating in local events and groups, even before election season.
This is especially important for times of loss and turmoil within the community, but also for times when “you’re there when no one else is there, when it’s not a high profile event” .
“The most visible acts of care are those that no one is looking at,” they said.
As a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ and Chinese-Canadian communities, Wong-Tam said there was “more work to do.”
“I think the best thing we can do…is amplify the voices of the community,” they said. “It goes beyond identity, it goes to the heart of structural and systemic change, we can’t just focus on one successful person, we have to look at whether the systems that suppress some or oppress some, if everyone everyone has the same chance of success.”
For Don Valley East Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, an understanding of the community comes into play when it comes to identifying the key issues facing the community, which means that a more resonant local message during the campaign can be updated.
He also emphasized authenticity, noting that it stems from the contestant’s story, how their story shapes their perspective, and how they interact with community issues.
Mayoral candidate Blake Acton, who has worked for and in the Toronto Police Service for decades, is focusing his campaign on public safety, tackling and reducing crime, rather than the current mayor who, said Acton, “focuses on cutting cakes and going to parties and dances.
Playing in the foyer is his years of experience.
“I’m not a politician, I’m a taxpayer, (just like) as a police officer,” he said.
Acton expressed frustration with the lack of media attention for rookie candidates, which makes it difficult for him and others to stand out and, therefore, not give a fair selection of prospects to the public.
Mayoral candidate Sarah Climenhaga, who is now participating in a political campaign for the third time, having run in the federal elections in 2019 and for mayor in the last municipal elections in 2018, said she was spending eight to 12 hour workdays, with no weekends off, in his quest to campaign and visit all local neighborhoods.
“I have to say it’s a fun experience and if I need a break I just go for a walk in my local park and it connects me to, you know, the world outside the countryside,” he said. she declared.
The most important thing she’s learned from her campaigns is not to waste time on people who aren’t as receptive to her, because there are always more people who support her.
“I did a fun little math calculation and basically if I talked to five people every day and they told five people every day and so on…in two weeks I could cover the whole city… it’s possible to cover a lot of ground with a word of mouth.”