May 20, 2006
Inspired by Britain’s weekly “Question Time” where the Prime Minister has to face questioners in the House of Commons, Supervisor Chris Daly wants San Francisco’s mayor to participate in a similar question-and-answer session each month. So far, so good. But as usual, Daly’s plan amounts to a power grab in populist guise. Sure, he’s all in favor of “Question Time” for The City – as long as he and his colleagues on the Board are the ones asking the questions.
Something like “Question Time” has the potential to greatly enhance participatory democracy and increase the amount of unscripted speech at City Hall. But not only Supervisors should get to directly question the mayor in a regular public forum. Journalists and members of the public should be able to do so as well. And the mayor shouldn’t be the only official forced to publicly answer questions – members of the Board of Supervisors should face the music along with him.
Of course if a proposal like this were on the table, you can bet Chris Daly would be a lot less keen on “Question Time.” He thinks it’s a hot idea now because he doesn’t expect to be the one taking the heat. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had Supervisors with the courage to subject *themselves* to public questioning, and not just their political opponents?
Candidate For Supervisor, District 8
3531 16th Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114