Federal candidates from the riding of Kitchener South-Hespeler had a tough crowd to please on Thursday when they participated in a panel discussion run by Grade 5 students at Pioneer Park Public School.
Candidates were given a minute to answer questions on a range of topics, including the economy, Canada's refugee policy and the safety of endangered animals.
Anyone who ventured over the one minute limit was cut short by a red flag.
"They can't go over," said 10-year-old Ihsaan Bhoyroo. "That's the rules. When the red flag goes up, they're done answering their question."
According to Bhoyroo, running overtime is embarrassing, but being unprepared is worse, especially since all of the candidates were given the questions in advance.
"If someone asks them a question, they had to answer it. They couldn't hesitate or not know what they were saying."
Using simple, understandable words was also important according to Bhoyroo's classmate Hailey Cammie.
"We went to the city hall a couple of weeks ago and they had so much big words that you could barely know what they were talking about."
When the discussion was over, both Bhoyroo and Cammie thought the candidates had presented themselves well. Among the fashion comments were observations that a blue blazer was appropriate for a female candidate, and a tuxedo would work well for a man.
Their final advice to Parliament hopefuls: dress well and don't lie.