That's a lot of votes

You've probably heard it said that local governments are "closest to the people," in some sense. This is definitely true when it comes to mayors. Unlike federal and provincial leaders, mayors are directly elected by the communities they serve.

In the largest 28 Canadian cities, the mayor is elected by more citizens than any federal or provincial official in Canada. The Mayor of Toronto is elected by more citizens than any other official, period. In the 2018 election, Mayor John Tory received almost 480,000 votes. That's a *lot* of votes.

While we're on the topic, mayoral campaigns are also unique. In most cases, mayoral candidates run as independents. They don't need to go through political party processes (seeking a nomination, serving as a member, running in and winning a leadership race), and don't run on party stripes. Instead, they run on big ideas. They become the embodiment of those ideas, and represent different potential futures of their cities. To become a mayor, you need to be able to sell ideas that capture the attention and motivate the electorate. It's a different kind of race, attracts a different kind of leader, and gives mayors a different relationship with the people they serve.

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