Democracy in Action

Jul 13, 2012 | 1 comment

Last night we attended the AAUW’s Candidate Forum to hear from the eight men who are running for the two open positions for Pacific County Commissioner – four candidates from District One and four  from District Two.  In the primary election, we will vote for one man from our own district but in the general election we will vote for two – one from each district.

The Senior Center was packed with people, mostly “of an age” and mostly those who comprise “the movers and shakers” of the area.   I didn’t see many young people and I didn’t see many I would term “the average man on the street.”  If I were to generalize, I would say that most of those present were probably already fairly well-informed.

Because of the large number of candidates, we heard from a panel of four at a time.  Each candidate was directed to spend three minutes telling about his qualifications and his reasons for running and, from that point forward, the moderator asked questions that the audience members had written out on 5×8 index cards.

The fly in the ointment was that only in some cases were all candidates given an opportunity to answer the same questions.  Because of time constraints, the moderator chose among the cards and directed questions to candidates at random.  It wasn’t a level playing field and it made it hard to compare one candidate with another which, I thought, should have been the point.

Even among this crowd of apparently intelligent people, the questions ran the gamut and did not always pertain to the purview of County Commissioner.  But neither did the responses of some candidates.  Indeed, one of the men seemed to have the commissioner’s role confused with that of an advocate for greener public school curricula.

I left hoping that the local paper would continue informing us concerning the choices we will soon be making — more candidate profiles and interviews and more announcements of meet-and-greet opportunities.  The AAUW is to be commended for hosting last night’s activity but, all-in-all, it wasn’t a satisfactory experience.

1 Comment

  1. sandy stonebreaker

    Sorry your experience was lacking last night. Other than one question I thought the same was asked of the four in each panel. Since they are actually running against only those in their own district that seemed alright. And, you are very correct that only one was asked of all 8.
    AAUW will host another forum prior to the general election.
    And, another group is hosting one at the Grange soon but I don’t know the date.
    Maybe they will do it more to your satisfaction.
    Regardless of everything it was great to see such a large crowd of interested citizens.
    Thanks for coming.

    Reply

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