No winners in leader's debate: commentators
Loading articles...

No winners in leader's debate: commentators

Last Updated Apr 5, 2019 at 11:10 am MDT

(iStock)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Voters hoping to make a decision following Thursday’s leader’s debate may have come away disappointed.

That is the consensus among several commentators.

Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, said all four leaders struggled to separate themselves from the others.

“I would say nobody really hit a knockout punch,” Williams said.

READ MORE: Alberta leaders debate major issues ahead of election

John Santos with Janet Brown Opinion Research thinks viewers were left with a lot of unanswered questions.

“I can tell you there was a loser and that was anyone who was hoping for a forthright and very in-depth discussion on policy,” Santos said. “It was just a lot more personal attacks and a re-treading of the same party lines.”

During open answer sessions, the debate at times deteriorated into a shouting match, with all four leaders trying to speak above their opponents.

“A lot of cross-talking unfortunately, so people couldn’t quite get all the information they would have liked in some cases,” Williams said.

Brand specialist Robyn Braley was watching body language and composure among the leaders.

He said small nuances and actions can tell a lot about a person in a pressure situation.

“There were times when (Rachel Notley) would come across as being entitled, being dismissive, particularly in the free flow of the question periods,” Braley said.

What about Jason Kenney‘s performance?

“He had a great smile at the end of his first statement,” Braley said. “As soon as the camera was off he dropped his smile and I wondered if he was acting if he really meant what he was saying.”

Before the debate, several opinion polls ranked undecided voters in the 20-25 per cent range.

Braley said the leaders struggled to appeal to them.

“They maybe didn’t attract any undecided voters, but they certainly maintained their bases.”