Forum should be opportunity to ‘talk’ to election candidates

"But take away the opportunity to “talk” to someone, you take away any opportunity to show them in their true light"

I have to concur with Guy Bertrand’s summation of the upcoming all-candidates forum (The disturbing demise of democracy, Trail Times Sept. 2) in which candidates want questions in advance so they don’t have to be put on the spot in front of the audience.

Yes, I could submit a question but how would I be assured that my question would be chosen? And what if all 12 or 15 people who submit questions all ask the same one?

When I was a reporter at the Times years ago, periodically, I’d be asked to provide my questions for an interview in advance. I refused most of the time.

How could a reporter have any control over an interview if the questions were cut and dried in advance? There would be no opportunity of an answer leading to a follow-up question and it might be the follow-up question and answer that has the most meat in it. It could change the entire interview, the entire story, and the entire persona of the person being interviewed – not always in a bad way, either.

The follow-up question might (and usually does) lead deeper into an interviewees life, bring out the “human” in them and find what really makes them tick so that those reading the story could relate to them in a more personal way.

But take away the opportunity to “talk” to someone, you take away any opportunity to show them in their true light – which may turn out to be brighter than what they originally portrayed.

Also, a forum gives us a chance to see them think “on their feet.” CAN they talk – as they’d be required to if a Member of Parliament. How do they handle themselves? None of these opportunities can be presented by reading from a controlled script. I can read that myself online or in their printed material, which I’m sure they’ll all have.

I was looking forward to the forum because the people running for OUR area don’t even live here – or anywhere near here. I wanted to know what they know about this area and what or how they’d serve it.

If they don’t want to put themselves on the line then I don’t see myself wasting time attending the forum.

And since I don’t blindly follow one party, no matter who its leaders are, I like to meet and vote for the “person” running, not the party. After all, it’s not like Canadians really have the chance to vote for the leader of our country, like Americans do.

So, for the first time in my adult life, I may not even vote.

Lana Rodlie