Last night we popped along to the Kinning Park Hustings to hear what the various candidates had to say at an interesting little event held in Kinning Park Parish Church. It wasn't quite Question Time with a far more relaxed style and the questioners getting almost as much time to speak as the panel. This resulted in only 8 questions being answered and the event running slightly over its allotted time, however it did allow the voters to have their opinions heard. Sunny Govan did a grand job pulling it together and the candidates did a professional job of answering the questions in a succinct manner. Despite the expected minor party point scoring attempts there wasn't quite as much of the negative, finger pointing politics that some of the flyers coming through our doors have promoted. Nothing puts me more off a candidate than them spending 90% of their time attacking everyone elses policies without stating what they would do differently themselves.
Hear more yourself when a recording is broadcast on Sunny Govan Radio or at some of the further hustings taking place before 5th May. (*more info at bottom of post)
We had a little added interest to our evening by attending the event with Gerry Hassan, local southsider and well known political commentator. His well read blog and twitter are great places to get an interesting analysis on the latest pollitical situations - http://www.gerryhassan.com/ . Gerry is also involved in the Scottish Wave of Change project looking at the future of Scotland. We thought it would be interesting to get Gerrys thoughts on last nights event, the election and the future of Scotland, so here they are.
"Glasgow Southside is one of the key marginal seats in the Scottish Parliament elections: the second most competitive seat with a ‘notional’ Labour majority of 27 votes after boundary changes.
The Sunny Govan hustings showed the strange state of local democracy, with a mass of questions on the most local, detailed, individual subjects you could imagine. This gave the evening the air of a gigantic Social Work case conference, while people talked about public spending, the evils of public spending cuts, and generally saw the extension of the entitlement culture as continuing unchecked.
The general thesis berating our politics is to often attack our political class, but at the Southside hustings all four candidates gamefully tried to deal maturely and sensitively with the most intricate, specialist questions.
The people have a role and responsibility, and are often, as this husting, showed part of the problem. How do we change the conversation, challenge people, sometimes tell them ‘No’ or they are wrong, while developing a different kind of democracy and discussion isn’t exactly easy? But we should start by acknowledging that the state of our democracy is down to all of us, and we cant any longer get away with just lampooning politicians."
Ms Sturgeon and Mr Curran will battle it out again, with Conservative David Meikle and Liberal Democrat Carmichael Elder (brilliant name) during the hustings at Queens Park Baptist church at 8pm on Sunday 1st May 1.
There will also be a hustings for the Glasgow Cathcart candidates at 7pm on Sunday 1st May This will take place in Langside Church (if the builders have completed work on the new building, or in the David Cargill Centre, 166 Ledard Road, Glasgow G42 9EU, if not.) Candidates for Glasgow Cathcart on a Question Time type of panel: Eileen Baxendale - Scottish Liberal Democrats, James Dornan - Scottish National Party, Charlie Gordon - Scottish Labour Party, John McKee - Independent, Richard Sullivan - Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
If anyone knows of any more hustings taking place in their local area then add them in the comments.