Posted by Phil Andrews
We're mulling optimal ways to stage our all-candidates mayoral forum on Oct. 20.
It's challenging to frame a format that all participants feel is a level playing field and that produces value for the community and that fits into the time allowed. This is particularly so with a big candidate field such as is running for mayor.
Our debate will be live-streamed in partnership with Conestoga College. That's great but provides some additional logistical juggling too.
Among format factors we're thinking about is how to allow online and in-person audience people equitable cracks at putting questions to the candidates. Another issue is how to manage rebuttals. In previous sessions, we have allowed rebuttals only to candidates named by others in responses. This has proven a controversial rule but a useful guideline in moederating these affairs.
I expect to be moderating again. I have a sense not all registered Guelph candidates are planning to attend some or all debates. But I would be surprised if perceived front-runners are absent from the Mercury event.
I spoke this week with Lloyd Longfield, who will be moderating the events staged by the Chamber of Commerce, about formats for these things. The Chamber has a few interesting forums ahead of it. One will be the nine-candidate Ward 4 forum. That is to see opening and closing statements from the candidates -- and some debating -- all within a one-hour broadcast event. Good luck Lloyd!