‘Our silent majority’ Geelong Advertiser article

My article and I get a wee spanking on 94.7 The Pulse

I have an opinion piece about the October 10 Geelong mayoral forum in today’s Geelong Advertiser (p. 16). In it I claim that

Of the 13 impromptu audience questions [at the mayoral forum], I believe six were obviously asked by advocates or people who were there to direct ‘Dorothy Dixer‘ questions at a particular candidate.

Here’s my evidence for that claim:

Lisa Dalla-Zuanna, Network Director for Salvo Connect Barwon Region, opened the audience participation with a call for more support for the homeless and underprivileged.

Andrew Lawson of the Geelong Community Foundation asked Keith Fagg a Dorothy Dixer about whether a preferential voting system is appropriate for the mayoral election. Fagg, a partner of the Foundation, has been disadvantaged by the distribution of preferences.

Tim Gooden, secretary of Geelong Trades Hall Council and partner of mayoral candidate Sue Bull, asked Bull whether she would use the portion of the mayor’s $170,000+ salary that she has promised to donate back to the community to improve youth services and reduced youth homelessness. He then asked other candidates whether they would like to do the same.

Barton van Laar, President of Bike Safe, asked whether candidates would lobby VicRoads and Terry Mulder, Victorian Minister for Public Transport & Roads, on behalf of Geelong cyclists and motorists.

Ross Treseder, founder of BullyFreeGeelong.org, asked what candidates would do to stamp out workplace and schoolyard bullying in Geelong — a ‘hot spot’ of bullying, according to Tresder.

Lou Brazier, Executive Officer of Northern Futures, a collaborative partnership that works to improve education and employment in the northern suburbs of Geelong, asked what councillors would do to help the area.

I also suspect that three more of the 13 questions were either Dorothy Dixers or were asked by advocates, but I am unable to verify those suspicions so they remain just that.

Respond, rebuke, participate: