Michael Tasevski is tired of politicians’ bullshit. As such, he decided to run for mayor of Toronto.
“The youth are a powerful movement here. I’m not running because I think I can win. I’m running to make a difference,” said Tasevski.
“I find there’s just so much bureaucracy that goes on that it’s hard to make any change.”
Tasevski entered the race on a whim after he faced lacklustre job prospects following a politics degree from Ryerson. This led him to think creatively about what he could do with his time.
Currently an employee at Lululemon Athletica, Tasevski is a candid spokesperson in the sea of celebrity candidates that make up the Toronto mayoral election.
On Friday, Doug Ford announced that he’s running for mayor, taking the spot of his brother Rob Ford who was admitted to the hospital for a tumour last week.
Tasevski doesn’t see the Fords as interchangeable.
“It’s like if Michael Jordan got injured while shooting free throws at the end of the NBA championship, and the coach decided to put in his brother. It’s not the same. Even though he shares the same last name, it doesn’t make up for his lack of the charismatic buffoonery that Rob has,” he said.
“I don’t think the public will grasp onto Doug’s attempt to fill his brother’s shoes.”
Tasevski is hoping Olivia Chow will win the race, bringing a fresh face as a woman from an immigrant family.
“My favourite thing about Toronto is diversity. I mean, we have beautiful buildings, we’ve got great culture, art and music. But, as cheesy as it sounds, it comes down to the people.”
He believes politicians should reflect the culture and energy of the city. Part of his disdain for those in power is that they don’t reflect the society in which they live.
“My advice for the next mayor would be: just listen. Politicians are so fake. ‘I’m out in the city. I’m enjoying our culture…I’m going to different events.’ They live in a different reality.”
A simple fact of the matter is that a 23-year-old running for public office can relate to the youth of the city. This is what persuaded Tasevski to challenge the electorate. He thinks his message will resonate with those who feel excluded or disengaged from politics.
“I think I’m a great face for politics,” said Taveski. “I listen to people. I relate to people. I’m not a stick board. I’m not rigid. I know I make mistakes.”
His goal is to get 1,001 votes in order to prove to himself that his campaign reached outside his personal bubble of family and friends. The next step: talking at universities around Toronto and the GTA to engage his core audience. He wants to spread his message about challenging your limits and discuss what youth would like to see for the future of Toronto.
Transit is on Tasevski’s mind. He hopes the city can speed up its implementation of respectable transit, including more light rail and streetcars so that it can compare to other international urbanite superpowers such as New York, Berlin and Paris.
After the unpredictable mayoral election, Taveski will be tackling a different challenge.
“I’m going to try to go to law school in London to become an environmental lawyer. The world is an entity but no one is fighting on its behalf. I want to save the environment with a suit on.”
But don’t rule out anything for Tasevski just yet — we could still see those red glasses in public office some day.
“I want to take the route of lawyer and help the environment for a little bit, but politics are definitely in the back of my head,” he said. “Maybe prime minister one day.”