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General News · 9th November 2008
Ralph Nursall
Candidates Forum – Sunday, November 9, 2008

This is how the public meeting with candidates for the Regional Directorship (Electoral Area “B” [Cortes] RDS) will be run. The meeting is a formal presentation of the Cortes Island Seniors Society (aka the Cortes Seniors) as a public service, to introduce the candidates widely to the community and to allow dialogue between them. The meeting is for the public, about the candidates.

The moderator will make an introductory statement, outlining procedures and introducing the candidates. The procedures will be essentially those that have been used successfully in previous pre-election meetings with candidates. Each candidate will have 10 minutes to make an opening statement; order of speaking will be determined by lottery . The statements will be timed, with a two-minute warning before the end. This will be followed by a question period.

There will be as much freedom for questioners as possible. There will not be questions presented to the candidates before the meeting for preparation of a formal answer. There will not be prepared questions from the chair. Questions from the floor should cover all matters of interest. A sign-up sheet will be available at the beginning of the meeting for anyone wishing to make certain his/her question is heard. These will be called for first. There will also be an opportunity for written, signed questions from anyone shy of standing and speaking in a crowd. Cortes experience is that these are do not attract huge numbers of questions; by far the largest number will come spontaneously and orally from the audience. A list of speakers signalling from the floor will be kept and followed as carefully as possible. First questions will have precedence over second requests, if there is competition between them, but if an answer is insufficiently clear, the questioner can press a bit, or ask a supplementary question.

Questioners will be asked to give their names and make their questions as general as possible, so that each candidate can answer, but questions specific to a candidate will be allowed . However, each candidate will be allowed to comment on any question. It will be suggested that complex or convoluted questions be written out, so they can be understood by the candidates. Control will be kept of rambling preambles to questions.

When the questions falter, and before 10 p.m., each candidate will have two minutes for a closing statement.

The meeting will be successful or not, depending on its procedures and the attitudes of the audience. We are a small community, by and large known to each other, generally with sufficient mutual respect to allow a meeting to proceed with openness and moderation.

The meeting will run from 7:30 p.m. to no later than !0:00 p.m.

For Cortes Island we have the enviable circumstance of three candidates for Regional Director, which suggests the probability of a close race. It is an important election; please be sure to exercise your democratic privilege on Saturday, 15 November. The Island polling station is at Cortes Elementary School, open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ralph Nursall will be moderator at the Candidates’ Forum.
If you have questions or need information, he can be reached at 250 935 6620,
or jralphtwincomm.ca , or P.O. Box 37, Whaletown, BC, V0P 1Z0.