Over the past two weeks ACL has run its trademark Meet Your Candidate Forums in each of the five Tasmanian electorates ahead of this Saturday’s state election.

There was a good turnout of both candidates and constituents averaging 10 candidates per forum and over 70 in the audience listening and asking questions of those seeking to be elected.

Sadly there was a noticeable absence of attendance from current sitting ALP members with only one Labor MP fronting the forums. In contrast both the Liberals and Greens had a strong showing at the events.

Questions put to the candidates were wide-ranging but generally reflected the general concerns in the community – the economy, jobs and education.

Out of all the major social issues that have characterised the last four years, abortion was the one that came up most often regarding recent changes to Tasmania’s abortion laws. Questions specifically targeted candidates’ views on doctors’ freedom of conscience and freedom of speech (right to protest near abortion clinics).

Feedback from both candidates and constituents was positive with all forums highlighting clear distinctions in the candidates but at the same time maintaining respect for the varying views from across the spectrum of those seeking people’s votes.