As a follow up to our (relatively successful!) online version of a candidate hustings for Edinburgh Central, Conservative candidate for the seat Iain McGill has kindly provided the following list of actual, physical, non-virtual hustings happening in the constituency in the next few weeks.  It might sound dull to those of you who don’t live in the constituency – but Malc thought it helpful to demonstrate a) the different organisations involved in organising these events and b) the contrasting types of democracy on show with what we’ve done on here.  Apologies that it has taken a few days to put up, so the “tonight” was actually “Monday” and the “tomorrow morning” was Tuesday…

The Edinburgh Central hustings on Better Nation proved a good idea – and a useful exercise - I’m reading more blogs than news websites, and love Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn – I see their uses for all my varied interests – including politics.  For me though nothing beats a live hustings – were you never know what the audience are going to throw at you – or even more fearful – the opposition candidates!

We’ve had a few so far – Edinburgh Universities Climate Conference, Fettes College, Amnesty International & Broughton High School all hosting us. There has been some lively debate – everything from human rights to the new forth bridge, recycling Irn Bru bottles to Lybia, Inverleith Park to free prescriptions- and nothing off limits so far!

In Edinburgh Central we are spoilt for choice with hustings – some the traditional, tried and tested ones and others more, well, creative.

For those of you who like to see your candidates in the flesh, were they don’t have a weekend to script the perfect answer to your probing questions here are the hustings booked in so far – though I’m sure there will be one or two more

Tonight we have a Stop Climate Chaos Scotland “Climate Cafe” – sold to us as being like speed dating your politicians – we all get our own table, and people get 3 minutes at a time with us all and then get moved onto the next candidate! This is my first experience of this format – but it should be fun! Lots of coffee, tea & biscuits they tell us…

The rest of this is a fairly exhaustive/exhausting list of hustings coming up – lots of dates, times & topics – do try to come along to one or two and see what you make of us all!

Tomorrow morning on student radio some us do battle over the papers etc from 10am till high noon.

Wednesday 23rd March sees 3 hustings within a mile of each other:

Spokes have a hustings on cycling & transport issues – 19.30 at Augustine United Reform Church

The Broughton Spurtle have a general hustings 19.30 at Broughton St Marys Church

and The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations have a hustings at 18.00 at St.Andrews & St Georges
on George Street at 17.30.

It’s unusual to have 3 hustings on within a mile of each other at the same time – I am doing the one on housing & homelessness – but hate missing any hustings in my patch – but until the cloning machine for politicians is made a reality I will have to cope!

Saturday 26th March there is an AV debate in Edinburgh at 11am – the referendum, of course, is being held on the same day as the Holyrood election.

Sunday April 1st sees a hustings arranged by The Islamic Centre, Polwarth, Real Foundation of
Scotland and The Muslim League, 18.00 at Portobello Town Hall.

Edinburgh Association Of Community Councils hosts its Scottish Parliament Elections Hustings on Saturday 9 April 2011 10.00 am to 12pm in Edinburgh City Chambers.

Murrayfield Churches Together & Murrayfield Community Council together host hustings at Murrayfield Parish Church on
Tuesday 12th April at 19.30

Wednesday 13th April sees 3 hustings – the first by SAMH, 18.00 at The Point Hotel on Bread Street – and the second at 19.30 at the headquarters of SCVO at the Mansfield Traquair Centre sees the Climate Day Election Debate – this one broadcast live and the one I am doing.

Saturday 16th Aprile sees a hustings themed around learning disabilities, though I am waiting on confirmation of when, where and chaired by whom!

Tuesday 19th April sees Age Concern host a hustings at The Storytelling Centre

Wednesday 20th April sees a hustings in Edinburgh Eastern at the Restalrig Community Hub from 7pm -9pm

Tuesday 26th April sees Edinburgh University Students Association hosting from 18.00 in the dining room on Bristo Square. This will be my second of the day after appearing at the Holyrood Magazine “Supporting Disability” hustings earlier in the day

Thursday 28th April sees Craigleith & Blackhall Community Council hosting at Blackhall St Columbas at 19.00

Presumably this is a familiar story in many seats, but there are plenty opportunities to get involved in questioning candidates and helping you make up your mind who to vote for if you remain undecided.  This is what elections are actually about!