Undecided voters may be swayed tonight: Experts

To watch or not to watch or does anyone really care?

With three television outlets, radio and Internet all broadcasting the political fisticuffs, potential exists for this leaders debate to capture the widest audience of any in Alberta’s history.


Given the large percentage of undecided voters — roughly one in five Albertans — it may also have a larger impact than ever before, according to Mount Royal policy studies professor Keith Brownsey.

The political analyst said that what happens during the debate doesn’t typically determine the election’s outcome but it does solidify what people already think. That means there’s plenty of room for movement amongst voters searching for validation.

"It may prove to be the most important provincial election debate in Alberta’s history," Brownsey said. "This one stands to have a massive impact given the large number of undecided voters."

Word on Stephen Avenue Wednesday was split no matter what side they strolled down.

Undecided voter Frank Raedschelders, 19, plans on using tonight’s debate to make up his mind.

"I’m pretty torn right now," he said. "There’s so many parties that agree with my stance on issues like the environment and infrastructure, so what they have to say in the debate will ultimately have an impact on how I vote."

For Jasmine Drewin, 21, debate or no debate, her mind is made up. She’s not voting.

"I just hate politics," she said. "They’ll say anything they can to get where they want to be.

"I’m way more into the United States election right now just because of Hillary Clinton." And that’s the irony, Brownsey said. "Alberta is a parochial political world. We live in this bubble where we think everything revolves around our politics. We’ve been telling ourselves that for 20 years and it just isn’t the case."


  • The Alberta leaders debate is on tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on CBC, CTV and Global.

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