This is my latest column over at goldcoast.com.au …
THIS is my last column before the Gold Coast City Council elections.
Thank goodness. I don’t think there’s much more of this garbage I can take, truthfully.
Yesterday we published the results of a Newspoll which apparently some of our more ‘passionate’ readers and social network followers disliked.
It seems, not only is the Gold Coast a ‘one-paper town’, but according to some of you, that makes the city Communist China and the Gold Coast Bulletin is the Party-run mouthpiece telling you who to vote for.
Is it a full moon?
I took calls yesterday from several Shouty People, who wanted to know why we, the Gold Coast Bulletin, are trying to subvert democracy and make people vote for Tom Tate.
How do you think we’re going to do that? Perhaps we’re going to send Matt Killoran and Geoff Chambers out on the road next Saturday, going from polling booth to polling booth threatening you all with baseball bats if you dare to tick a non-Tom’s box.
Or maybe we have a secret transmitter implanted in every copy of the paper, beaming out subliminal how-to-vote instructions.
Ah well … as one Shouty Person said to me yesterday, ‘IT’S ALL THE MEDIA’S FAULT’.
Meanwhile, I have no idea who to vote for as mayor.
With the exception of John Abbott, I’ve now met or talked to every mayoral candidate, thanks to our Wednesday online chats.
Having the candidates here in the newsroom has been an eye-opener for me.
Dean Vegas had my vote all locked up.
Lovely guy, very good with people skills, looks you in the eye — all things you would expect from a man who earns his living entertaining.
He also knew his own mind, and didn’t need his minders to put words in his mouth.
I liked his straightforward approach, and he seemed genuinely passionate about the Gold Coast.
But then a couple of weeks later he came out in support of a moratorium on the light rail and I took my vote back. Sorry, Dean.
David Power was very impressive, also. Good people skills, on top of the issues, also did his own typing and seemed to enjoy the hurly-burly of the online onslaught.
But … well, we all know what happened there.
Keith Douglas was the real surprise to me. When I met him at our front counter he had a copy of the city’s budget — a massive folder of information, and he was sitting reading the thing.
He faced the forum alone, needed no help from me or my team to deal with the flow of questions that came at him, and his answers were straightforward, to the point, and seemed pretty sensible to me.
Susie Douglas came with a friend, who did her typing for her, and who was asked for plenty of input. She seemed nervous and very keen to give the right impression.
Peter Young was very pleasant and seemed to enjoy engaging with the people who came to the chatroom to meet him. But his answers were boilerplate, stump speech rhetoric. Instead of talking with people, he spoke at them.
Eddy Sarroff was even more frustrating. He also gave rote, longwinded answers straight out of his policy documents. He also seemed a little depressed when he thought people weren’t watching him.
Tom Tate was, unfortunately, our very first guest, about six months ago — it can’t be that long, can it?? He also couldn’t come in to the office and took part remotely. But he was feisty and engaged.
So where does that leave me. Beats me. I suspect, reading back over my observations, that Keith Douglas will get my vote.
And I’ll be out there with my baseball bat on Saturday to make sure you all agree with me.
Seriously, people. Make your own decisions — we’ve got nothing to do with it.