Political integrity? Follow the money

Robert MacDermid, political science professor with York’s Faculty of Arts, has praised Vote Toronto, a citizens’ group concerned about integrity, for “drawing the connection between money and politics,” reported the Toronto Star Nov. 4. The group has launched a Web site (www.votetoronto.ca) where it is attempting to connect political donations to voting records for city councillors. It is using donations data supplied largely by MacDermid, who was not involved in the analysis.

But will the integrity platforms of mayoral candidates, and the public outrage over the whiff of alleged election scandal, translate into a more ethical city government? MacDermid says he’ll believe it when he sees it. “Changes depend upon the details,” he said. “People can suggest things. But whether they are just window dressing or real attempts to control the relationship between money and politics remains to be seen.”