Input: Mayoral Debate 

On Oct. 20, four candidates running in the upcoming municipal election gathered in J.A. de Sève Cinema to present their respective platforms to students and community members alike. The Journal caught up with a few attendees to get their impression of the debate – a collaboration between the CSU and the university – leading up to the Nov. 1 election.

The only way things are going to change is if young people get involved. I know there’s a high level of apathy in general, with youths in particular, because they don’t feel they have a say, but they do. I think this student government is showing them they can get involved and make change.

– Dean of Students Elizabeth Morey

I have to admit I came to this event with preconceived ideas, prior research and an idea in mind of where I was already going to vote. But in politics, you learn not to idealize any one group; you learn to see what its flaws are, and, if there were certain strength areas, you can come to understand perhaps they weren’t as strong as they’ve lead others to believe.

To Projet Montréal’s discredit, they are using plastic signs [to advertise themselves], but they also explained that was due to budgetary concerns. Admittedly, they could have tried mitigating their strategy with more grassroots initiatives, but at the same time, as a somewhat fledgling party, perhaps they didn’t have the resources for that yet.

I thought Mr. DeSousa had quite the advantage over the other candidates due to his track record of already having been in office and that did allow for more fleshed out responses. At the same time, I was expecting a bit more polished response on why he may not be so vocal on certain issues as opposed to the typical politician brush-off of anything that might lead to unfavourable relations with future collaborators.

But, this debate added new dimensions, reinforced and, at times, even contradicted certain points of view that I had, so I feel I will be going to the polls with a much more informed decision.

– Second-year School of Community and Public Affairs undergrad Christopher Korah

There was some stuff I didn’t agree with, like how a tramway will solve the problems with our public transportation. But overall, I think it is good students who vote know how these people present themselves.

– Fourth-year political science undergrad Patrick Magallanes

I live in Alan DeSousa’s riding [of St. Laurent], and he pretty much sweeps it every year. But the Vision candidate [David Hanna] seemed very competent and charismatic. […] I think that an event like this speaks to how active Concordia is, especially the student union, in encouraging students to become involved, not only in their school but outside as well.

– Fourth-year School of Community and Public Affairs undergrad Vanessa O’Connor

We hope to build on this model of [the CSU and the university] working together to try to give the Concordia community an opportunity to hear from candidates and engage in a dialogue with them to get answers before they go and vote.

– Associate Vice-President Government Relations Russell Copeman

Input is a new column soliciting opinions from a range of interested parties on topical issues. Continue the conversation!


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