Candidate forum to explore more issues than ever
Okotoks: Rapid-fire format should allow for 54 responses to public questions
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 06:00 am
Voters will have the chance to ask more questions than ever before at this year’s candidate forum in Okotoks.
The Okotoks Chamber of Commerce has revamped the format of its municipal election candidate forum on Oct. 3 to allow for more questions from the public and less repetition of responses by candidates.
Andrew Gustafson, president of the Chamber, said it should help educate residents on the issues and give insight into how each candidate handles different questions on the fly.
“The hope was that we can get through a lot more questions, and we can really start to hear some thoughts about all sorts of different issues as opposed to just the major issues,” said Gustafson.
Questions will be submitted by chamber members and the public in advance. Each question will be drawn from a hat, and the candidate to respond will also be randomly drawn, then given 45 seconds to answer. Only one candidate will answer each question, he said.
The rapid-fire question format could allow for about 54 questions – three questions for each of the 18 council candidates – within an hour and a half, he said.
“It will give the public a sense of each candidate’s capacity to answer more obscure questions on perhaps lesser-known issues,” said Gustafson.
At the end of the question period, one final question will be asked of all candidates as the basis of their one-minute closing statement, he said.
Afterward, the two mayoral candidates will answer 15 separate questions beginning at 8:45 p.m., he said.
It’s important for the public to submit questions and attend the forum to see what the candidates have to say, he said.
“The best thing to do is for people to send thoughts in advance and we can develop the questions that really capture the essence of what people are saying to us,” said Gustafson.
Voters are also encouraged to support the Okotoks Food Bank with a PB&J drive, by bringing jars of peanut butter and/or jam to the forum.
The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks.
Questions can be submitted to email@example.com