Exploring Running for Office

I was first asked to run for the position of City Councillor more than a decade ago, when I started fighting for my community as president of a neighbourhood association. Since then, the more I learned about city politics, the more eager I became to serve my neighbours in a position where I could better effect change.

Although I started my first Internet business back in 1995 (registered 1996), I have been very careful so far to keep my identity private. So is most of anything I published or posted on the Internet (though nothing is shameful): under a pseudonymous identity. I do not like to take photos and as such I have very few – the ones I do seem comical to me (the one posted here was automatically created by Google Photos). I think I need professional help! :D

One reason I have difficulties with photos (taking, keeping and selecting the good ones) is that I find this “marketing” game to lack substance. Presentation is nonetheless important and I will take care of it in due time. What I plan on discussing here is mostly “the issues”.

If you are in a position to help, kindly see the links here, as well as in the sidebar of my personal blog at https://andrei.zodian.net


First and foremost on my mind is direct democracy. By that I mean that:

  1. Issues debated at City Council should be routinely (and easily, through the use of technology) put up for vote, directly to citizens.
  2. Until such a system is in place, a city councillor (such as myself, once I am elected) should make every effort to poll his constituents and let that outcome determine his vote in the council. I would use my expertise with Internet security and IVR (phone menu) setup to allow such polling.

Why would direct democracy (DD) be better than our current representative democracy (RD)?

There are many reasons and advantages, and I plan to discuss them over the coming weeks, but for now, let me mention a few.

  • In my experience as a community organizer, I found that many people feel left out of the democratic process and though they are unsatisfied with their representatives, they feel they have no choice but to re-elect them. DD empowers people to be in better charge of their destiny.
  • DD significantly reduces corruption. Special interests often corrupt representatives, as it is easier to bribe an individual representing a large number of people, than it is to convince the same number of people to vote against their best interest.
  • Countries and jurisdictions that have implemented some form of direct democracy (e.g., Switzerland), have done very well in the long run. A mix of DD and RD is desirable, though personally I prefer it to bend more toward DD.
  • Implementing DD at municipal level is consistent with the use of this level of government as a testing ground: this is where the switch to electronic from paper voting was first made as well in Canada.

I have a number of other ideas in my platform, but DD is, for now, the most pressing.


The province has recently intervened in the Toronto election, which was under way, by slashing the number of councillors in half, ostensibly because this is what people want. Justice Belobaba found it to infringe on Charter rights, and Doug Ford vowed to use the “notwithstanding clause”, prompting John Tory to call it an overreaction. Still, some see the judicial decision as based on strenuous logic. Some warn of more court challenges ahead, others attack (or “fact check”) Ford’s claims, his “politics of chaos” and the use of the Clause.

Could all this have been avoided? I believe so. If more decisional power is given back to the people, it becomes less relevant how many councillors are there, and fewer councillors will be able to take a lesser workload.

On the national stage, where an election is looming, we had an earlier fracas, when Maxime Bernier left the Conservative Party. He feels that national politics has become too corrupt and representatives are unrepresentative, but as shown above, these are also issues resolved or at least significantly ameliorated by DD.

What we need is not more politicians, but more power to the people.

Sources / More info: on-news


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