The All Candidates Forum took place at the Lester Centre on Oct. 1. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

COLUMN: On debate, dissent and the clash of ideas in Prince Rupert

Matthew Allen reviews the all candidates forum and the ‘vanilla’ conversation

The general consensus after last week’s All Candidates Forum was that it was a relatively vanilla event.

Most of questions covered topics familiar to most Prince Rupert residents and the debate’s participants agreed on how those issues should be solved.

Renegotiate the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement. Get more help from the province regarding the Port Tax Cap. Revitalize Third Avenue. Regulate the sale of marijuana responsibly.

Rinse. Repeat.

There were no fireworks or no headline grabbing confrontations. Nothing really shook up the room or the status quo.

People seemed disappointed by this, and it made me wonder if a debate truly serves its purpose if ideas don’t clash.

The thing about a dissenting voice is that it can’t be can’t manufactured. Just in the same way you can’t force someone to agree with you, you also can’t force people to disagree with each other.

Maybe the issues that were present in Prince Rupert four years ago are still the same issues present today and there is nothing else to talk about.

Maybe everyone really does agree on how to solve those problems, or at least there aren’t any new ideas on how those problems should be solved.

Maybe the format of the debate was a little too friendly and didn’t force the participants to really take on divisive issues.

I guess my point is that there weren’t any new ideas brought forward at the debate, and if there are no opposing ideas presented, all that’s left to vote on is personality, charisma and presentation.

And while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, I think debates are a really good opportunity for a community to have a hard conversation with itself.

I think we may have left something on the table this time.

READ MORE: 2018 municipal debate primer



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PRMSA wins association of the year honours

The Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association was honoured in Kamploops on Oct. 20

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Hop, hop and a fourth win for Rupert Rampage

Prince Rupert scored four goals in the first period of its 9-2 victory over Quesnel Kangaroos

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Most Read