Friday, August 21, 2009

Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

So asks the Courier Times in this morning's editorial which supported the Middletown Supervisors' decision to host political debates in the township building. The editorial goes on to say . . .

"Thumbs up to the Middletown supervisors for approving use of the township building and township television equipment to host and broadcast election debates. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Something every local government and school board would naturally do, but that's not the case . . . The thin argument that it's inappropriate for government to support election debates is invoked by incumbents who, in reality, don't want to give the competition exposure. "

Earlier this year I brought a similar proposal to the Neshaminy Board Policies Committee but it seems that our little group wasn't committed to progressive thinking. My proposal never made it out of committee.

One of the great challenges that local politicians face is raising enough money to get the message of their candidacy out to the public. More often than not, the candidates that raise more money win the elections because they can afford to send out more mailers, buy more signs, etc. We can level the playing field and help to inform the public about school board candidates by making NNTV available to them at a reasonable cost.

If you think this is a good idea, then speak up during our board meetings and encourage the board to make NNTV available to school board candidates. And just don't show up at one meeting and think that will be enough. It will take a bit of prodding to get this board to warm up to the idea.

You can read the entire Courier Times editorial by clicking here.


I Must Be Living in Jersey said...

Televised debates, remote voting, banning pay to play. Lots of good ideas that never seem to get board support. I am starting to wonder if the others oppose your ideas or if its just you they are against. Standing up for what is right is often a lonely journey. Keep chopping!

William O'Connor said...

Thanks for pointing out my 0-3 streak, Jersey :-)

sportsfan said...

I think a debate will never happen because it is like playing against Tiger Woods in golf or going up against Obama in politics. The weaker player/candidate will not agree to it.
The Courier thinks it is a great idea but says the only negative would be cost. How about if each candidate just introduced themselves after a board meeting, since the TV equipment is already set up (no extra cost). No debate. They could just give a 2-3 minute speech giving their background and present any ideas they might have as a potential board member.
Right now the only thing the voter has is the negative campaign stuff we get in the mail. That does not tell us who the best candidate is.