All-Candidates Election Forum
Well this year’s 2010 All-Candidates Election Forum is now over with and will go down, I’m sure, in the history books as “It was an exhausting evening”, as someone rightfully put it by way of a comment to my last post.
With that having been said, I do think people left knowing, for the most part, who stood out and who didn’t.
To be brutally honest, I thought both Irwin and Sygutek clearly showed they were relics from the past, who are still stuck there (re-living past glories) and as such have lost touch with present day reality. Their legacy in most people’s eyes (but not theirs), I believe, is that they failed miserably in the running of this municipality, were there for power and for the sake of power only, and as such have left us a mess to clean up and straighten out.
Of the female candidates, I thought Sasha JaigerBaird did well, especially her dealing with the affordable housing issue (although I think she should give serious consideration to grounding her daughter, for at least a month :-) ) Doreen Glavin, who is one of my morning coffee buddies, who I know to be quite knowledgeable about our local issues and knows the people in this valley well, was not given the opportunity because of the types of questions directed to her to articulate herself as well as I know she can and would have liked to.
Of the male candidates, Andrew Saje came across well, although a bit polished as though his questions were planted ones and as such his answers had been rehearsed beforehand? But he does have a professional presence about him that most people I believe found refreshing. I know I did. I thought Brian Gallant spoke well and intelligently, as did Douglas Raines (although Doug certainly came across as one who loves to talk, and therefore, I wonder if council meetings will ever end once he’s on board :-) ). The incumbents, I thought handled themselves well (although Choppy, at one point might have been a little too ‘curt’) considering the 4-3 split kept coming back to haunt all of them. Dean and Ian, I thought, came across as confident polished veterans who knew what they were talking about and made no apologies for taking the stands they did. (In this regard, I personally believe they deserve more credit than blame for what they have successfully accomplished during their term on council.) Both Jerry Lonsbury and Emile Saindon projected themselves as thoughtful individuals, who I believe would bring a lot of common-sense and practicality to the council table, while Merle whose angry outbursts and moral indignation, brought a constant sense of humour to the evening, by making us all laugh.
Of the mayoral candidates, to be honest, I cannot say much as it is difficult to listen and concentrate on what another is saying when you are up next thinking about what you have to say. I, however, thought my closing speech was well received and have since confirmed this with others. As was my Curriculum Vitae and Brochure. And of course, I humbly submit that I honestly and firmly believe that I am still the best and most capable of the three to lead this community into the future, over the next three years. If I do say so myself. :-)
All in all, I think we as a community could have done better to ensure we had a more suitable location (e.g. MDM) to host this event. It should also have been broken up into at least two forums (one for the mayoral candidates and another for the council candidates), and candidates opening speeches should have been allowed (as they have in the past) in order to get a better feel for the candidates, before heading into the Q&A phase.
I do not believe yesterday’s forum fulfilled its stated purpose as well as it could have, but what is done is done. Next time around, I for one as Mayor will make certain we do it much better by ensuring suitable and adequate facilities are made available and that if necessary more organizations get involved to better facilitate the process of holding more than one forum, so that the public is given every opportunity to better educate themselves as to who the candidates are, and what they stand for. In my opinion, too much time was wasted and taken up dealing with River Run and the 4-3 split. These issues should have been dealt with much earlier by this council in public forums of there own, rather than trying to cram these matters into an election forum, where in my opinion, they took away from dealing with the future direction of our municipality.
What’s next? Three weeks of media blitz in which, following past practices, they first distort the picture of what 280 people saw with their own eyes at this forum into something else, for the benefit of the establishment types who are running in this race, in order to bamboozle the remaining 5600 people in our community who were not able to be there. Followed by several newspaper editions from each of our newspapers with their subtle and sometimes not so subtle barrage of ads, smear campaigns and propaganda telling you who you should vote for (or not), in their efforts to do all they can to predetermine the outcome of our municipal election for their political masters. Oh, and lets not forget the constant daily bombardment over the airwaves from our local radio station as well.
If you manage to survive all of the above, while still maintaining a certain amount of sanity and good judgement, then you will do well to remember…
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.