Our View: Impact yet to be understood

What’s the big deal with a group of business people getting together and deciding to endorse four candidates for council?

What’s the big deal? A group of business people feeling disenfranchised from the existing council get together and decide to endorse four candidates for council.

Other organizations active in civic politics do that every election. The difference this time around is they don’t make a big deal about it, and they don’t target specific incumbents for defeat, at least not before even seeing what other candidates will come forward to be voting alternatives. While the release of the names of those four incumbents was unintended, a little naïvety in thinking that Internet communication is the same as a close-door meeting put FourChange in the media spotlight.

But now while the mystery of choosing four candidates for them is over, the reality of what FourChange hopes to achieve may be something different than was originally intended.

Almost before the announcement of support was made Tuesday, the four candidates and FourChange were disavowing any sense of obligation.

So if the candidates are saying they will speak their minds on council and be owing to no one, and FourChange is encouraging people to continue checking out all the candidates, what was all the fuss about?

A little of that has to do with being associated with a pro-business lobby effort, and how that might not go over with citizens who have rejected such initiatives as the CD-21 zone proposal in the past. Theirs is a collective voice in our city that is not being openly considered when the mayoral and city candidates advocate their pro-business stance.

FourChange’s biggest contribution has been to generate more interest in the election, to get talking about issues and to hopefully encourage more people to vote. Whether that works to the favour of FourChange’s chosen candidates remains to be seen.