Complainers free to host own forum

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Like  civic elections.

Some pages from a Nov. 16, 2005 Williams Lake Tribune came my way last week.

They dealt with questions to the city candidates. Three of those candidates (Kerry Cook, Scott Nelson, Surinderpal Rathor) are in this year’s race.

The RC Cotton site was an issue back then, but what caught my eye was an ad.

Change the photo to a current candidate and it would be just fine for this year’s campaign.

It said: “For continued progress in Williams Lake, develop a sustainable economy. Ensure Williams Lake is competitive and open for business. Demand fiscal responsibility. Continue beautification, upgrade water, sewer, roads and sidewalks. Improve community safety.”

As usual, some are complaining about the Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forums. One point complainers forget is that as the sole host of the forums, the Chamber has the right to call the shots. Anyone who wants to can have a forum and do it the “right way,” if there is such a thing. No one else seems to want to. Given that the state/fate of the downtown area is high on the issue list this year, I’ll be surprised if the Business Improvement Area people don’t host one.

I haven’t missed a forum in more than 40 years and none of them have pleased everyone. My first one was at the Elks Hall. Only two “aldermen” were to be elected. When one of the challengers noticed the city administrator was passing answers to the incumbents, she asked him if he’d give her the answers too.

Last but not least.  Some new voters  don’t know about plumping   —  voting   for fewer than six councillors. Experienced voters often plump if they want to advance an alliance (slate?), enhance the chances of a favourite candidate, or if they can’t find six they want to vote for. They  have a choice of choosing “up to” six candidates.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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