Alberta Politics

sparks will fly as party leaders take off their gloves at tonight’s “make or break” televised debate.

The televised leaders' debate starts tonight at 6:30pm.

Tonight’s hotly anticipated televised Leaders’ Debate will be the first time that the four main party leaders have debated each other in this format. All eyes will be on Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford and Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith, but do not count out veteran NDP leader Brian Mason or Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman, who is the wild-card in tonight’s debate.

Whether tonight’s debate will have an impact on how Albertans vote on April 23 is yet to be seen. Its relevance will entirely depend on the leaders’ performances and abilities to deliver a message that connects with Albertans.

The talented Jen Gerson, now with the National Post, has prepared a drinking game for the evening.

Alberta Party leader Glenn Taylor was not invited to join the debate and he will be live-blogging his responses to debate questions on his party’s website.

I will be live-chatting about the debate on Global Edmonton’s website with Calgary’s Joey Oberhoffner and Lethbridge’s Jeff Henry. I will also be talking about the election on CityTV’s Breakfast Television at 7:10am tomorrow.

If you are looking for a place to debate, the Edmonton-Calder NDP are hosting a debate party at candidate David Eggen‘s campaign office and the non-partisan folks behind Alberta Votes Matter will be watching the debate at Edmonton’s Suede Lounge.

17 replies on “sparks will fly as party leaders take off their gloves at tonight’s “make or break” televised debate.”

After watching Alison Redford debate the PC Leadership candidates I predict she will win tonight`s debate. Danielle Smith will make a respectable showing but will not be as aggressive due to her self proclaimed `{Ì am new at this…
Brian Mason will struggle but will loose the battle to control his temper and Raj Sherman will smile alot and say little.

It has nothing to do with the debate, and everything to do with how the media ‘reports’ the event. And to fit it in, they will take a few moments out of context and make it momentous. So any gaffe, mistake or unusual facial expression will fill the papers and internet tomorrow.

Anyone wathching the debate will probably say that they all performed well, made good points, and stay true to their affiliations going into the debate. The media response will be for almost everyone who did not watch the dabate – and there they will shape the comming days with any even mild rebuke, remark or expression. That is the narrative the media will spin for the next week. There will be no real reporting on the debate, that is too long and boring.

@ fubar .. yes that is exactly what happened when one poll(which contrasted with the previous 5) showed the pcs and Wildrose in a neck and neck battle …the narrative changed that the pcs were gaining momentum –minority government on the way etc . Next poll released WR 43 pcs 29 % …whooopps ! It becomes a self fufilling prophecy .. party A now has momentum b/c their leader won ..

The expectations of Smith are so high she can’t possibly meet them. People will see her for the extremist ideologue that she is – unfit for elected office.

I’m sure the Captain of the Tory Titanic is as she says “frightened”, not of some imaginary Wildrose hidden agenda, but rather of having to live up to her promise not to pocket a severance when she loses Elbow on April 23. One would have to suffer from severe integrity deficiency to vote for a party whose MLAs evidently see nothing wrong with illegal party donations, personally pocketing thousands of tax dollars for nonexistent work on imaginary committees, running perennial multibillion dollar deficits, intimidating stakeholders in the health and education sectors, the outrageous 30+% pay raise Redford and her cabinet cronies voted themselves immediately after the last election, and obscene six or seven figure severance packages for defeated or retiring incumbents. With the latest poll showing the Wildrose up by about 20 points in Calgary and rural Alberta, Liberal/ND/Alberta party voters in Edmonton have the opportunity to apply the coup de grâce to a Putrefied, Corrupted party that richly deserves a devastating defeat of Kim Campbell proportions.

In this debate, have to say that Brian Mason is striking me as the most consistent speaker in terms of his message and the most reasonable in terms of tone of voice. He comes across as thoughful and non-confrontational yet stating his views.

Did anyone notice the “crazy eyes” moments during the debate? In 30 years of watching politics I don’t think I’ve seen anything so strange.

Smith lost the debate when she started to explain citizen initiated referenda and when she had no explanation for the $20k payment to Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth.

Brilliant closer, Alison Redford. Summed up the choice to be made in crystal clear terms. Buzzer beater, knock out punch, turn out the lights the party’s over. Pick your cliche. Alison came across as a leader. Dani seemed like she and her self professed “cool kids” were running for student council.

Hey Herbert B…”holy run on sentence, Batman! Lay down for a moment, the election isn’t until the 23rd and you sound like you’re having a stroke.

Hey Herbert, did you choke on that dictionary you swallowed? In case you missed the debate, WR are the ones who make “questionable payments.” Sorry to disappoint you conspiracy theorists, I’m just an old white guy voter who isn’t fooled by Reform in sheep’s clothing. Baaaaaaa…..

Tom, were you watching the same debate? I saw a very angry Allison, with her eyes bulging out and face a twitching akin to a Nickelodeon character.

Brian Mason did very well, but he looked like a third party opposition attack dog.

Raj Sherman looked like he was trying to emulate the speaking style of Ronald Reagan except he didn’t have Regan’s cadence, zazz, polish and half the other qualities that made Regan a legendary speaker.

Danielle came across as a little weak in some respects but she was consistent, calm, cool presented her message and ideas and stayed mainly above the fray. There were times when I didn’t feel she was assertive enough and let the other leaders interrupt her or speak when she should have been speaking.

Anyways, my prediction, Wildrose majority and NDP official opposition PC’s third party rump and Liberals lucky to be fourth place.

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