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Why is a leaders debate so important ahead of an election?

Last Updated Apr 1, 2019 at 10:17 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — With the leaders debate in the provincial election set to take place on Thursday, some would wonder why a debate is so important with an election looming.

The goal of the debate is to give voters an idea of where each party stands and will give a look into each party’s platform, the event can also help sway fence-sitters one way or another.

“People are really busy and they don’t have a lot of time to tune in to politics,” said political data scientist John Santos. “The debate is often one of the few points of contact that any voter will have with an election campaign, and for a lot of people that will be the only time that they really spend a lot of time thinking about who they’re going to vote for.”

The event will also give NDP leader Rachel Notley and UCP leader Jason Kenney a chance to face off ahead of the election, following weeks of back and forth.

“I think predominantly, we’re going to see a two-person contest in the debate, much like we’ve seen a two-party race so far, and you’re going to see Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney really try and squeeze the minor party leaders out.”

The leaders debate will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. and post-debate analysis immediately following on CityNews. The debate will also be streamed at 660CityNews.com and 660 NEWS will have in-depth coverage of the debate.