Monday, October 13, 2014

CFAX is asking all the candidates to answer complex municipal issues with a Yes or No

CFAX has sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates in the region.  Their approach is a very simplistic Yes or No answer to complex issues.   They are not allowing maybe or depends as options and then will not allow more than 50 words to explain your answer.   In fact they are saying that if you do not answer Yes or No they will not publish the results of that question.  They also will not allow a link to the candidate website to allow for a proper explanation.

There are many important and pressing issues for local government but some of the questions they are choosing to ask are things I have never heard any say are an issue.   Why ask about regulating personal mobility scooters, is that really one of the big pressing issues?

Here is how David Screech running for mayor of View Royal responded to this on Facebook:
Councillor David Screech
22 hrs · Victoria ·
I have been sent a survey by CFAX that I find impossible to answer. They demand only Yes or No answers to their questions. Most of the questions are ones where I believe a clear yes or no is not possible. One must always approach the Council table with an open mind and be prepared to listen to the Public, colleagues and staff before forming a definitive vote. I cannot commit to vote either yes or no on many of their questions so will not be filling out the survey.
In the comments to this post there were responses from Charlayne Thorton-Joe (Victoria), Denise Blackwell (Langford), Ben Isitt(Victoria) and Judy Brownoff(Saanich) about the problems with the survey.  Only Cairine Green, running for mayor of Oak Bay, did not dismiss it outright.

CFAX is trivializing the election through this not well thought out questionnaire.

Here is the Questionnaire Email:
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Hello from the C-FAX Newsroom.

This year, we are creating a web feature called the “C-FAX Candidate Guide.” It’s driven by listener requests for a way to gauge where candidates, across the Capital Region, stand on a range of issues.
Our listeners have told us what issues will be important to them when picking who to vote for. We are asking “yes” and “no” questions on those subjects.
We request you complete the following questionnaire and reply to this email address as soon as possible. The target date to launch the “C-FAX Candidate Guide” on our website is October 20.
However, we will continue to receive and post responses up to the election.

Along with your “yes” and “no” response, you may elaborate on your answer in no more than 50 words per question. To be fair to all candidates, any elaboration beyond 50 words will not be included.  Any answer that does not include a direct “yes” or “no” will not be included. Answers in the form of links to a candidate's website will not be included.
The questionnaire results will be posted on our website in separate sections for each district. The results also may be referred to in on-air discussions on C-FAX.
Thank you.

Please write responses in the space below each the question and include both in your response:

  • Would you commit to holding municipal property tax increases to no greater than the prevailing rate of inflation?
  • Would you vote to limit union and exempt staff pay increases to no greater than the prevailing rate of inflation?
  • Would you vote to keep infrastructure projects down to the most basic (cheapest) designs?
  • Do you think the Trans-Canada Highway-McKenzie intersection is the most important transportation issue facing the Capital region?
  • Do you favour a formal study of municipal amalgamation options in the Capital Region?
  • (if applicable) Should your municipality pursue a small scale, go-it-alone approach to sewage treatment?
  • Would you vote to for a sewage plant in your municipality?
  • Will you vote for policies and spending that would resurrect rail service on the E&N line?
  • Is it necessary to increase the size of sidewalks in your municipality?
  • Does your municipality need separated bike lanes?
  • Should the default speed limit be lowered in your municipality on some streets?
  • Should personal mobility scooters be regulated?
  • Is a deer cull necessary in your municipality?
  • Should secondary suites be legal in your municipality?
  • Does your municipality need more stringent noise regulations?
  • Do you believe the Capital Region’s mandatory summer time water use restrictions are necessary?
  • Should mayors be required to be a delegate to, and serve on committees of, the Capital Regional District Board?
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