The Star is right to take seriously its responsibility to tell you who it supports for public office, writes public editor Kathy English.

By Kathy English, public editor of Toronto Star 

In just a few days, the Toronto Star will tell you whom it believes is best suited to be the next mayor of Toronto.

Will the Star endorse Olivia Chow or give its support to John Tory? One thing you can be sure of — there is no chance the Star will endorse Doug Ford (open Doug Ford’s policard). A recent Star editorial has already expressed the unambiguous view that he is totally unsuitable to lead Toronto: “Regrettably, a third contender for Toronto’s top job, Doug Ford, would deliver four more years of dysfunction. He’s no solution to his brother’s failure — he’s a big part of the problem,” that editorial stated.

Both Chow and Tory paid visits to the Star’s editorial board this week, facing tough questions from the room full of experienced journalists. Both made credible cases for why they should be Toronto’s next chief magistrate at this critical time when solid leadership is desperately needed to heal the harm of the dysfunctional Rob Ford (open Rob Ford’s policard) years.

(Doug Ford was not invited to present his mayoral platform as the editorial board decided that given the clear editorial position stated above, to do so would be farcical. I agree. This is in line with past elections when candidates with no chance of winning the Star’s endorsement were also not invited to the editorial board.)

The Star’s editorial is set to be published Wednesday, following Monday night’s mayoral debate co-sponsored by the Star.

Whomever the Star endorses, I am quite certain I will hear concerns about why the Star must endorse any candidate at all. Whenever an election takes place, this is a perennial matter of misunderstanding for some readers who question why newspapers endorse candidates and wonder whether those endorsements affect news coverage.

First, let’s be clear that in endorsing candidates the Star is not telling you how to vote.

Rather predictably, a few readers expressed that view this week after the Star published an editorial endorsing seven “particularly worthy” candidates who are challenging incumbent candidates.

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