Friday, September 28, 2007

All Candidate Forum

The All Candidate Forum was held at the EPSB (Blue Building attached to Vic Comp) on Sept. 26. It started with a keynote address from former Minister of Education, Dave King on the role of the trustee and then we all split up in Ward rooms. Don Williams and I were seated side by side at a little table. My family, including my two kids, Mum and sister were in attendance along with about 25 or 30 others. Don and I each had 6 minutes to present our platforms and then it was opened up for questions from the floor. The evening was moderated (with great skill!) by two Jasper Place high school students.

Some thoughts on the evening:
Answering questions off the cuff is hard, but a great way to solidify your position and learn what is important to people. It is also a great chance for people to see if you WILL answer questions or if you are more concerned with "not saying anything" or towing the party line.
The overall event was poorly attended. Why don't people come? What stops them? How can we reach people more effectively?
The overall event was too restrictive. People want to be able to share their opinions, ideas, concerns and suggestions without having to conform to a structured procedure. Every interaction with the public that is set up by the School Board administration is too "procedure oriented." People do not feel heard. They feel stifled. This may be why public participation is so poor.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Sue I would agree that the EPSB has way to much control over the proceedings as we were not allowed to ask Candidate Specific questions, why even have these forums if the board is in control anyways, they control what you can ask and what can be said, it is the same as the School Closure meetings and Forums. They do not allow for any open discussion, it is like they are afraid of what might be said. It is frustrating to say the least.

You on the other hand did very well. What I noticed and appreciated was the when people asked you questions that you spoke to the room, where as our present Trustee only seemed to want to speak to you! You did a very great job and I am definitely on your side and telling everyone I possibly can to vote for you! You have a great Vision and I hope that your vision can be seen by all!

I will be at your next forum and hopefully more people can and will attend it!