Editorial: Planned answers raise questions

The New Jersey gubernatorial election will occur Nov. 3. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is fighting for re-election against two other top candidates — Republican Chris Christie and independent Chris Daggett. All three candidates have been to Rider in order to present their views on what are considered to be the most important topics for this year. And so far, they have proven to be knowledgeable in what they are talking about.

However, certain answers given at the speeches seemed rehearsed, as if the questions were known ahead of time. Most who did ask questions were supporters of that candidate. Many of the questions asked were easy and none of them was really meant to challenge the candidates. This has made some people wonder if the campaigns had placed people to ask questions that would make each candidate look good in front of the voters.

Today’s political world is tough. As the failing economy makes people feel insecure, everyone is looking for answers. This is where offices of the state come in. While the governor definitely can’t help the entire nation, he can at least make New Jersey residents feel safer. Governors run with some of the same issues as the president — new jobs, health care, education and the economy. These issues affect everyone, and hearing each candidate speak should make listeners feel better about the future, as well as convince them who to vote for.

Surely the three candidates so thoroughly knew their material that they were completely ready for any question asked. Maybe they each came up with a list of possible questions that could be asked, and had an idea of what they would say. No doubt they had practiced and were ready to perform. The problem is, if all the questions are friendly, the audience will never get to see the full extent of the candidate’s knowledge on a topic. It helps gather support if voters know that the person they choose to elect really understands what is going on and how to go about solving any problems.

Whichever way, the candidates knew what to say. What matters most is if they meant what was said in their speeches. Even if one candidate knew the question ahead of time and spoke about how he would improve education in New Jersey, the real issue is whether he would follow through. If the candidate has a real plan to help the state, then by all means, he should be elected. While it is wrong to have the advantage of preparing a statement, if all three of them have that same opportunity, then is it still an advantage?

In the future, Rider should have some way to balance the types of questions asked, from those both in support of and in opposition of each candidate.

Whatever happens, the election for governor is sure to be an eventful one. There are three strong candidates — and the outcome is not yet clear. There are more than five weeks until the election. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the announcement of the elected governor to come, students should read about all three and pick the right one for them. And most importantly, they should go out and vote for the candidate of their choice on Nov. 3.

This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the Opinion Editor, Angelique Lee.

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