General Election – Hustings Meeting

Last night we held a hustings meeting for the general
election which I chaired; over 200 people came to hear what the five candidates
had to say. The format for the evening included each candidate having a couple
of minutes to make a personal statement, three questions put to the candidates
based on people filling out slips asking what the most important issue was, and a
longer period of open questions.  

It’s not a scientific poll but on the basis of the slips
people filled out the main concerns are (in order of popularity): 

  • Economy: how do we identify waste and areas to cut, how do
    we balance cutting the deficit and maintaining public services and how do we
    promote economic growth
  • Politics: is it worth voting, what’s the difference between
    the parties and how will they act if elected
  • Christian faith: are Christians discriminated against and
    will you stand up for Christian beliefs.

     

  • Local issues: predominantly about the need for a bypass 
  • Immigration: the need for action not words

     

  • Care for the elderly and how it is paid for 
  • Education

  • Health

     

  • Policing

     

  • And some single questions about the euro, dog hunting,
    extraordinary rendition and young people.

      

Overall I thought the format worked well and between
the set questions and ones raised from the floor we covered all the issues
which several people identified as important in addition to a range of others.
We had one disruptive heckler, but he seemed to take the hint before I got to
give him a final warning (though I feared I was going to have to eject him).

 


Roll on the real poll

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