Meet the candidates—but quickly

By Geoff Lee

October 6, 2016 12:00 AM

Voters will have a chance to speed date the 21 candidates who are running for city council seats before they go to the polls.
The Lloydminster Young Professionals group is hosting an event called Candidate Connect on Oct. 13 for voters to pick the candidates they like best before the municipal election on Oct. 26.
The event to be held at the Wildrose Pavilion at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds and will run in the style of a round table discussion, giving voters the opportunity to engage with the candidates in a smaller, personal setting.
Spokesperson and pilot Mark Sampson said Candidate Connect will be less structured than the Chamber of Commerce All Candidates Forum on Oct. 18 and will give voters another chance to get to know the candidates better.
“We decided that our night would be more personal and intimate,”  said Sampson.
“The last thing we wanted to do is duplicate their event because their event is great and they have a great format.”
He said young professionals settled on the round table format as an opportunity for people to get to know the individual candidate in a close informal setting.
Following introductions, voters in approximately groups of 10 will move between the round tables, which will each be staffed by a moderator.
Moderators will have a predetermined list of seed questions, which the candidates are to be given before hand, in order to launch and guide the discussions.
Every 10 minutes, the buzzer will ring and voters will move to the next candidate they would like to learn more about.
“With our round table format it gives voters an opportunity to go to the candidates they don’t know,” said Sampson who notes he’s in the same boat as a long time resident.
He said of the 21 candidates, there is a handful that he knows well, but many others that he doesn’t.
“With our round table format, it gives voters an opportunity to go to the candidates they don’t know and commit their time there,” he said.
After the round table talks, the venue will remain open to provide an opportunity for further dialogue, informal discussions and mingling between candidates and voters, who may not have had time to connect during the round table.
Sampson said in an effort to enhance introductions, all candidates were sent background questions prior, which will be formulated into short biographies and be posted at the entrance of the event.
The evening will be open to the public and is staffed by the Lloydminster Young Professionals volunteers.
The city’s Your Voice, Your Vote initiative will also be in attendance.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the round table discussions running from 7 to 9 p.m.

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