Election special in wake of forum
IN TOMORROW'S Daily News we will be giving readers an exclusive look at which mayoral candidate is edging into the lead in the 2012 Southern Downs election.
At the moment we are in the counting room, tallying up the results of exit polls which were done at Meet the Candidates forums in Stanthorpe and Warwick last week.
With about 150 people at the Stanthorpe event and close to 400 in Warwick, the results will in no way be the "real deal" but will give some insight into how voters are feeling about the choice of eight.
In tomorrow's edition we will have a four-page special detailing the questions posed and the answers given at both nights. We are also compiling a list of questions to send to candidates with their responses in our print edition and online.
The forums were organised by the Warwick Daily News and Stanthorpe Border Post in partnership with the Warwick and Stanthorpe Chambers of Commerce.
Candidates were asked questions which had been submitted by readers as it was decided an open-floor arrangement would take up too much time.
Candidates were not asked to recite a prepared speech. Due to the number of candidates, there would have been little time left for questions.
Eight mayoral candidates and 22 councillor candidates are in the race.
The forums last week continue to generate discussion, with readers and candidates taking to our website to voice their opinions.
Mother of five said she would have liked to see the candidates having two minutes to speak to get a clearer idea of their positions.
"I must admit though to having crossed several candidates off my list at the forum, especially ones who seemed more concerned about sharing vehicles with other councillors than where the ratepayers' dollar was really going," she said.
Exevca from Warwick said she was none the wiser.
"The questions asked at Warwick sounded more like they came from journalists than constituents and didn't help me make a decision," she posted online.
"Only Yve Stocks hit it on the head in the dying seconds when she stood up and said, 'Roads, rates, rubbish' - three areas hardly mentioned at Wednesday night's Warwick meeting, but three areas likely to decide who we'd vote for."
Crikeymate from Stanthorpe, said he felt all the councillors except Ross Bartley "flew under the radar".
"I also did not like the format of the evening, and would prefer questions from the floor, the voters, not bureaucrats from a local paper," he posted online.
"The mayoral candidates got nearly an hour, and all the council candidates were also only given around an hour - not long enough.
"I was impressed by a few new candidates, however not enough information was gained for me to decide who to vote for."