Word on the Street: What Calgary voters want in a leader in the 2019 federal election

Click to play video: 'Word on the Street Election Edition: what voters want to see in a prime minister'
Word on the Street Election Edition: what voters want to see in a prime minister
The Global News Morning Calgary team takes to the streets to find out if Calgarians think the federal party leaders have done enough to win their vote – Oct 18, 2019

Each day this week, Global News will explore some of the issues that matter to Calgary voters as we approach the 2019 federal election in a new segment called ‘Word on the Street.’

Federal party leaders have laid out their platforms and taken part in several televised debates, but have they done enough to get your vote come Oct. 21?

The Global News Morning Calgary team took to the street last week to find out what Calgarians want in a prime minister as we approach the 2019 federal election.

Speaking to Global News, Susan Waddell said she wants a leader who is focused on getting people back to work.

“It has to be somebody that addresses the economy, then addresses the social programs,” Waddell said. “Everybody is contributing to the tax base. If you take the jobs away then where’s the money coming from?”

Story continues below advertisement

Mel Reyes said he is looking for someone “thoughtful” and “strategic” who benefits all Canadians.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Edworthy, a mother, said she is not impressed with the mudslinging from the leaders on the campaign trail this election.

“If my child in kindergarten is learning about integrity then why can’t, as adults, we do that?”

However, Edworthy says she will definitely be voting on Oct. 21.

Hillary Johnstone said she wants to see honesty.

“They have to be honest, and if they say they’re going to do something, do it and not backtrack,” Johnstone said. “I think we just need more compassion and realness.”

Johnstone isn’t alone in her desire to see more honest politics. A recent Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News found that voters remain cynical.

According to the poll, three in four of those surveyed (76 per cent) felt that no matter who becomes prime minister, they will wind up breaking their campaign pledges.

Story continues below advertisement

Meanwhile, eight in 10 of those surveyed (83 per cent) said they will cast a ballot for someone they believe in.

Mount Royal University political analyst David Taras said it seems many Canadians are “extremely distrustful” of the federal leaders.

“A lot of the pollsters and experts are predicting a low voter turnout,” Taras said. “There’s a lot of people who are just turning away and a lot of people who are turned off.”

When asked if he thinks Canadians are voting for the leaders or the parties themselves, Taras said he thought it was the leaders who were getting ballots cast.

“The leaders come to symbolize the party,” Taras explained. “It’s kind of become a presidential system. … They symbolize the parties, and the people vote because, ultimately, you have to trust the leader.”

Taras said he thinks most Canadians are turned off by negativity and mudslinging from party representatives.

“My sense is that [Liberal Leader Justin] Trudeau made a terrible mistake by not only his vacuous speeches but going negative almost all the time,” Taras said.
Story continues below advertisement
“If he had just [campaigned] on the economy — here’s the jobs I created, here’s the growth, here are the trade agreements, here’s the infrastructure that we built, here’s the number of people that we’ve [helped] out of poverty … I think he would have done very, very well.”

As for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, Taras said though voters seem to be comfortable with him, there is a lot of distrust.

“[There’s] not a lot of trust on climate change. A lot of Canadians have changed their opinions about climate change, and the Tories seem to be way behind.”

Taras anticipates the Conservatives will win by “gigantic margins” in “almost every riding” in Alberta, with similar results across the prairies.

“There are probably only 30 or 40 seats that are hotly contested across the country where there are three-way races,” he explained.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Taras said. “The parties are tied in terms of the popular vote; they seem to be tied in terms of seats.

“We may not have a government after Monday night in the sense that any combination of the Tories and other parties or the Liberals and other parties don’t get you to a majority [government].”

Taras added he thought NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was the “star” among the party leaders, saying he had proven to be “charming, charismatic and articulate.”

“He saved the NDP from the destruction that seemed to await them at the beginning of the campaign,” Taras said. “It’s, of course, easy when you are leading the third or fourth party to promise the moon and the sky — dentacare, national daycare, pharmacare, etc. — but no one can accuse him of thinking small.”

Sponsored content