Tonight, while attending the mayoral debate hosted by City Watch, I also engaged in some "back and forth" with mayoral candidate Robert Falcon-Oulette. Up to this point, I have been very much impressed by his ideas, approach, and poise. Unfortunately tonight I was disappointed. Not by his performance in the debate - that was impressive - but by the behaviour of his team in responding to and managing social media.
As you may know, there has been some hullabaloo over the City Firefighters endorsing Judy WL
. While this has been a practice for as long as I can remember (firefighters unions endorsing candidates) I certainly value the questioning of this support. It is an extremely valid question. Mr Forrester, president of the union, responded in an inappropriate manner, and Dan Lett of the free press published these comments. None of this is okay.
Neither is attributing statements to a candidate that they did not make. I saw it come across Dr Falcon-Oulette's twitter that Judy had made a statement about him being a fringe candidate. Search as I may (and request links!) I could only find indication (in the previously linked article) that Mr Forrester had made such statements. I pointed this out, and received only circular comments in response, including those from Dr Falcon Oulette's twitter page. I know for a fact these statements were not his own; he was sitting in front of me at a debate, with only a pen and notebook in front of him. They were that of his team, which is worrisome.
The tone of these posts was less than amicable, and definitely unprofessional. Unprovoked, as many of my tweets for the evening highlighted Dr Falcon-Oulette's strengths, and were re-tweeted by the candidate's team.
Within 2 hours, the inappropriate responses were deleted. No comment to myself. And a good handful of supporters now running with incorrect assumptions.
I'm all for truth and transparency. 100%. But that is a two-way street. You can't make unfounded accusations, respond in a snarky manner, and then delete it. Once something is on the internet, it is there forever.
I think that both Judy and Robert are fantastic candidates. I wish there was a way to merge them into the super candidate. As my 10 year old stated during the debate, if we could, we would have one fantastic city.
Lets' not devolve into inaccuracy and mud slinging, please. Rise above it. RFL needs to reign in his social media team, and yes, Judy's team should make a statement about the inappropriate comments from the firefighters. Then lets get back to things that matter - how to make a better city.