I appreciate you’re new to this Clare. But rocking up the week before the vote asking why the other candidates haven’t done anything about this is a bit much. Especially when you’ve acknowledged its inappropriate for a party to organise it and you’ve got a written record of myself trying to organise a hustings on multiple occasions over multiple elections!
Again I spoke to last years debate organisers to try and get the ball rolling this year. Our host is unavailable. As I’ve said I’ll turn up to any hustings, as unlikely as that is to happen at this late stage.
Finding an independent moderator is a challenge, and I did ask around when I was approached about this when the by election was announced but unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone to take on the role. Sorry everyone involved. As I have previously said - more than happy to host a hustings for outside of central in May and hope to be asked again then.
I’m newish to Eastleigh Online but not politics, having stood before… which did you mean I am “new” to, just for clarification?
I’m sure Eastleigh Online welcomes all members. I’m not that new on here actually… I just haven’t engaged that much because I’m not great with tech as I already said but have had a bit of instruction on how to navigate the site from one of my volunteer team today, so its really not true to say I’m “rocking up the week before the vote”, though why that should matter to you in any case I can’t comment on.
I’ve just suggested a truly independent adjudicator/Chair that could possibly, if agreeable, host a hustings for us, an organisation that has covered us all equally… let’s hope they have the bandwidth and availability to accommodate us… I’ll leave it with admin to make contact if they feel it could be a goer. If you don’t ask you don’t get…
I don’t think there’s time to set this up though in the time available (6 days). We had longer last time and that burnt a fair amount of time just trying to organise.
What could be possible and relatively fast to achieve would be to agree a standard set of questions (“Politicians agree?!”, I hear you cry!). We ask each candidate to answer the questions and send in the video response (under 60 seconds each reply). We then compile a video of the answers together in one video for anyone to watch here anytime.
How does that sound?
If you think it’s a good idea; we need to crowdsource some agreed questions fast; to make this more fun - I’d suggest; each candidate can put forward a question for other candidates to answer. As long as the majority of candidates don’t vote against them, the question is included.
Initial Random questions:
Who are you?
Why are you standing in this Election?
Why should I get out and vote?
Icebreaker: What’s your favourite biscuit?
If you were elected, what would be the first three things on your agenda?
How would you look to bring people back to the town centre?
If you like the idea - please do suggest your questions you’d like included! For this to work and be useful (give people time to see it!) we need to finalising the questions by tomorrow morning, and video responses submitted by Sunday.
Can we invite the public on here to submit questions too about local issues? After all, they are the ones taking the time and trouble to go out and vote. We can then agree together which ones to answer depending on how many we get? Same deadline for users as for the candidates to submit?
Us candidates know what we think and stand for but it would also be good to have questions from residents/voters from the horses mouth, so to speak.
I have spoken to a great number of people who have a plethora of concerns and issues they want resolving, some even I was not fully aware of.
Absolutely, of course anyone (respectful) is welcome to participate! On trying this before though the issue is engagement, very few people actually participate so I don’t think we’ll get many questions in under 24 hours. (Last time I gave 3-6 months notice, and got less than 10 questions)
This is why I think questions from candidates themselves is useful at this late stage. Right now we only have the questions I’ve posted above! Ready and waiting for more…
Perhaps if this proves useful and works - more people will ask questions next time, and it could snowball into a useful resource.
(Feel free to PM me if you prefer your question to be anonymous).
Adam’s absolutely right- even for “big” elections there’s very little participation. Getting questions from candidates and a format that fits round other commitments sounds really promising though. Fingers crossed but if it doesn’t happen in time for the by-election, it would be great to try again for the next local elections.
Anyway, I posted to ask for questions on twitter but I’d be quite surprised to get any!
One suggestion i could think of for May would be to do joint hustings based on the wards in each of the local area committees. I think we would end up with 5 different hustings by doing this so hopefully a bit easier to organise than 13 ward level ones.
It does sound a better idea to wrap them together otherwise it gets way too big to manage with so few people. Problem is though - each hustings becomes large, as you’d likely get 12-15 candidates or so per hustings wouldn’t you?
The downside is the bigger these are, the more we would turn the voters off watching as they may struggle to follow 10+ people they don’t know.
Another suggestion - focus on a specific wards only, and let people vote for where they would like one, to gauge / drum up interest first, somehow?