EDITORIAL: All-candidates meetings need fresher format

We hope voters gain some insights on candidates from attending election events planned around the West Shore

With the nomination lists now complete and the candidates out on the hustings talking to people around the West Shore, the 2014 election campaign is in full swing.

One of the ways that voters have traditionally gained a better understanding of the views of their candidates for mayor, council or school board is by attending all-candidates meetings.

On the surface, such gatherings appear to offer a reasonable vehicle for people seeking office to communicate their platform or how they might change things if elected, and for voters looking for one last piece of information to help them make their choices.

In reality, such meetings tend to offer little in the way of meat for people to chew on. It’s not so much due to a lack of good questions asked of the candidates, but more due to the format they usually adhere to. The limited time frame is a frequent enemy of a good all-candidates meeting, especially in municipalities or jurisidictions where a large number of candidates are on the ballot.

Too often, by the time two hours or so is expired, candidates have barely got a chance to describe themselves and what they would hope to accomplish in office.

So what is a well-meaning community group or business organization to do? The answer isn’t exactly clear, but voters are not really being served by using the same old formats.

As of the Gazette’s press deadline, a handful of all-candidates meetings had been scheduled for the West Shore, with more to come once venues are nailed down. Our hope is that the people and groups running these information sessions find a way to make them meaningful to the voters who take time out of their busy evenings to attend them.

At the end of the day, however, the onus falls on the candidates. You want to get elected? Get out and do the legwork of meeting people and telling your story on your own time.

Just Posted

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

Fill the railcar to help feed Victoria’s homeless

A community food drive for the Salvation Army

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read