An American ‘town hall’ type debate between Waterford’s by-election candidates would illuminate and enhance the public discourse over who should fill the constituency’s vacant fourth seat.
The proposal has already won the support of two of the declared candidates, with a more guarded approval proffered by the third Dáil aspirant.
Responding to a suggestion put to him by The Munster Express, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane said that such a debate would go a long way towards separating the wheat from the chaff.
“I think it would be a brilliant idea,” said the Waterford City Councillor. “It would allow people to purposefully challenge each of the candidates.”
He added: “Anything that allows voters to interact with candidates and challenge them can only be viewed as a positive; I’d certainly have no opposition to it.
“Often you’ll find it’s the front runner who doesn’t want to engage in such a debate because the front runner is seen as having the most to lose from such a public forum…but I think anything that promotes public interaction should be welcomed and encouraged.”
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