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2020 NB Election – Candidate Evaluations

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Evaluation methodology

All political candidates for the 2020 NB Election in the ridings of Saint John-Lancaster, Portland-Simonds, Saint John Harbour, and Saint John East where contacted by FLIP SJ to participate in an elections candidate survey.

Candidates were told the survey was 15-questions that could be completed in approximately 10-15 minutes and included questions about themselves, the issues that matter to them, and the kinds of solutions they would like to offer. Candidates were also told their answers would be assessed by an independent panel, who would grade each of the responses. Panel members would not know the names of the candidate they would be assessing.

Candidates were additionally contacted through social media and phone. Ten candidates participated and were interviewed by phone. Candidates were not provided with the questions in advance, as the objective was to give each candidate an equal opportunity to provide honest, unscripted answers. Candidate interviews were transcribed in full, edited, and emailed back to candidates to confirm accuracy.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

Section 1: Get to Know the Candidate

  1. Why are you running in this election?
  2. Describe how your time living in your riding has informed your qualifications as a candidate?
  3. Describe how your time living in New Brunswick has informed your qualifications as a candidate?
  4. How does your experience (ie. education, lived experience, workplace) contribute to your qualifications as a candidate?
  5. If elected, what will be your top 5 priorities for your riding?

Section 2: FLIP Areas of Priority
What are your thoughts on the following areas? When applicable, please provide examples and solutions.

  1. LGBTQ+ and reproductive healthcare
  2. Access to mental health and/or addictions services
  3. Glyphosate use in New Brunswick
  4. Access to affordable housing in Saint John
  5. Police funding in Saint John
  6. Reporting and investigations of sexual assaults
  7. Municipal and Industrial Tax reform
  8. Access to public transit in Saint John
  9. Access to affordable childcare in Saint John
  10. Media Ownership in New Brunswick

Upon completion of the interviews, several FLIP members transcribed the audio and created an anonymous form for panelists to assess the candidate’s responses.

FLIP Saint John had 6 panelists from within FLIP and the Saint John Community:

  • Greg Hemmings: Local entrepreneur, filmmaker, B Corp business owner.
  • James Greening: Student. Worked in retail, I.T., and education. Volunteered with community radio and high school breakfast club program. Passionate about transit and healthy urban communities.
  • Sean Benjamin: Librarian and community activist focused on housing and policing
  • Drew Sweet: Local musician, community activist, interim board member of FLIP Saint John
  • Justin Maybe: Technology consultant for a major financial institution, patent holder and recipient of multiple awards of distinction. FLIP SJ contributor focused on political affairs, communications, and project work.
  • Lynaya Astephen: Travel and tourism degree, spokesperson for Leap4wards, spokesperson for Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. Sales executive, chair of environmental committee with employee, on board of CCNB, chair of Just Transition caucus with NBEN

Panelists received assessment instructions, including some of the following exerts:
“The candidate evaluation is divided into 15 sections, 1 section for each question. Below each question, you will see each of the candidate responses below. Each response is to be rated based on the rubric shown below the question.
The first 5 questions evaluate the candidate’s interests, background, and priorities, and are evaluated on a scale of 1-5, based on their understanding of the 10 issues FLIP has identified.
The remaining 10 questions evaluate the candidates understanding of a problem, the solutions they propose, and their commitment or timeline to solve these problems.”

Additionally, panelists were also given the following assessment rubric for each section:

Section 1: Get to Know the Candidate
(Each response rated 1-5 by the panel, 25 points total)
*Assessment Rubric based on understanding and alignment with FLIP priorities
1 = Low alignment, indicates low understanding and/or interest
2 = Neutral alignment, indicates some understanding and/or interest
5 = High alignment, indicates a genuine understanding and/or interest

Section 2: FLIP Areas of Priority
(Each response rated 1-10 by the panel, 100 points total)
*Assessment rubric, based on awareness and commitment to solve issues
1 = Not aware of the issue, or does not see a problem
5 = Aware of the issue, offers no concrete commitment or timeline to solve
10 = Aware of the issue, offers concrete commitment or timeline to solve

We invite candidates, the media, and everyone from the public to download and share these interviews freely.

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