Public meetings for Assembly election candidates are a great way to find out what's bugging some people. Of course, you can get that on the doorstep but when people come to a public meeting (or husting), they have a right to expect their local candidate to show up.
Tonight all candidates were invited to meet local doctors at a public meeting organised by the British Medical Association. John Marek failed to turn up - can't think why with the Tories privatising health in England. Local GPs were dead against such a move.
Lesley Griffiths also failed to attend, so a bad case of hustingitis from the big parties.
Bill Brereton (Lib Dem) did attend but probably wished he hadn't come either after the hammering he took over his party being part of the Con-Dem coalition introducing the NHS privatisation and tuition fees (which hit doctors particularly hard because they have to do five years' training).
The doctors had some really interesting points to make and it was a sparky evening's debate. There are specific problem in the North that need addressing and we need someone who will listen to specialist concerns to make sure we have the best possible health service locally.
But what is disturbing is that some candidates obviously don't feel they need to attend local public meetings to explain themselves. Labour's regional list candidate David Phillips has now attended meetings with the PCS civil service union and the doctors - both times having to dash off because he has to catch a train to his home in Holyhead the poor lad. If they can't be bothered to turn up, do we assume that the absentee candidates don't care about explaining their views to the voting public?