For those who might not have caught last week’s article and editorial in News Now, there was a focus on the upcoming municipal election debate(s).  The Grimsby Chamber of Commerce has tentatively scheduled a Mayoral debate on October 2nd from 7-8PM at the Casablanca Winery Inn.  A “meet and greet” with all candidates from the other races, will bookend the night before and after the debate.

With the Chamber not holding debates for Regional Councillor or the Ward Aldermen, the group “A Better Grimsby” has proposed a wider range of debates… however all but one incumbent (Aldermen Kadwell) declined.  The rest of the incumbents have all declined for undisclosed or various reasons, with an objection of “bias” being cited by current Regional Councillor Tony Quirk.

For a candidate to perceive bias in a debate invite, lets just say it happens, but a well-schooled candidate rather than toss away the opportunity to connect and engage voters would work with organizers to address their concerns.  By working with organizers to rectify their issues and level what they see as an unfair playing field not only shows transparency to the electorate but that they value their constituents.

The public, to make an informed decision, should be afforded the opportunity to see candidates in all races go face-to-face at the podium and not on Facebook.  If a candidate is pledging transparency and declines debate, what does it say (or not say) about them?

If an incumbent or candidate is unwilling to negotiate (and debate negotiation is a regular part of arranging debates), it shows either a lack of debate skills, have an issue they want to run from, simply do not know issues or lack the dedication to the job they want you to (re)elect them to.

Hopefully those who have declined debate invites, and we know most of them read this site, will reconsider and approach the opportunity to debate with an open hand of negotiation, rather than a closed mind.

The article and editorial from NewsNow are below: