The Calgary Journal went live on election night with political experts, student electoral groups and journalists to discuss the election and what it means for Alberta.
The conversations centered around voter concerns and media coverage over the 40 days of the campaign.
Lori Williams, an associate professor of policy studies at MRU, spoke about her concern with a minority government taking power.
“Since we’re likely looking at a minority, it makes it very difficult to predict because they’re going to have to be brokered with policies or platforms. Legislation will have to be brokered with different parties,” said Williams.
She added that Canadians didn’t see clear answers during the campaign, and leaders could have used their time to expand on their platforms.
The past five weeks of the campaign trail saw some aggressive campaign tactics throughout, with the leading parties focusing character attacks on competing parties.
Meri Topchieva, president of the policy studies student society at Mount Royal, was clear that these aggressive tactics on the election trail were disappointing.
“The nature of the aggressiveness so far and the lack of policy [discussed] not only within the debate but [also] when they’re speaking with other constituents,” said Topchieva.
Chris Axford, president of the Mount Royal Liberal Party and Henry Wearmouth vice president of the Mount Royal New Democrats, also joined the live broadcast to discuss the results.
The Mount Royal Conservative club was also invited to join the panel, but could not attend.
“I think a certain level of negativity is to be expected of any campaign, you do need to compare and contrast,” said Wearmouth, adding that this isn’t the worst year for political slander in Canada’s election history.
“It quickly became very dirty for a lot of the candidates,” said Axford. “At first the Conservative party had a lot of issues come up and then unfortunately, Justin Trudeua’s past indiscretions with racialized makeup.”
However, both Axford and Wearmouth are hopeful their parties can work together for shared priorities in the House.
Archie McLean, a journalism professor at Mount Royal University mentioned that media covering the election overall has been balanced, and the negative conversation comes from more than news reports.
“To me, what’s been different is just how the message of the parties have been traded back and forth, and been amplified through social media, through party supporters where the general mood has been a lot more nasty,” said McLean.
“What people need to make decisions about the world around them is quality information based on quality reporting. I think news organizations still need to keep focused on that, doing good reporting.”
Chesley Mutter, a reporter and election editor for the Calgary Journal found it harder this year to move through all of the negative content and truly support a party.
“This election, I didn’t feel like any of the parties were right for me, I didn’t feel like any of them would represent me the way that I want,” Mutter said.
She also explained her call for a scratch ballot, which isn’t currently a part of the federal election system.
Editor | Chesley Mutter | firstname.lastname@example.org