The traditional election meeting allows candidates three minutes each to introduce themselves and state their positions on issues, followed by questions from the floor. With a long list of candidates this format can tax the stamina of the audience – and the candidates - and doesn’t usually allow for follow up questions or discussion.
Last night, the arts sector meeting for candidates took the speed- dating approach. Candidates sat at a table where those attending could spend three minutes with them before moving on. At the end of the evening, candidates were each given 30 seconds to respond as they wished.
This format proved a useful advocacy tool for arts groups. A succession of people raising the same issue has more impact than one question from the floor on a topic.
In addition, a booklet with candidates responses to a questionnaire on arts issues, provided further information on which to make a considered choice.