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letters | the race for mayor

Poll distinguishes those who will take a firm stand

The major issue that splits the Boston mayoral race is between candidates who can answer yes or no to objective questions, and those who cannot, either because they are incapable or unwilling to do so (“Issues unite, divide mayoral contenders,” Page A1, July 31). That distinction, rather than charter schools or a referendum on a casino, is the most useful contribution of the Globe’s survey.

Of course, real-life issues are complex. Of course, a yes or no answer does not fully describe a candidate’s position. Yet good leadership demands clarity and the courage to stand behind one’s belief.

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The Globe has provided a great service to voters by creating a survey that helps candidates clarify their positions on important issues. It did not provide a full picture on any of the candidates, nor did it purport to do so. But those who completed the survey have distinguished themselves from those who did not.

We now know where six of the 12 candidates stand on 14 important issues facing Boston today. We remain uncertain of the positions of the three candidates who refused to address the survey and of those who did not complete it in full.

Maria G. Rodrigues


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