Three Edmonton voters and why they're still undecided

According to polls analyzed by CBC's Poll Tracker, 12 per cent of eligible voters in Canada remain undecided.

CBC's Radio Active fill-in host Rod Kurtz spoke to three undecided Edmonton voters on Wednesday.

Saad Siddiqui works in banking and lives in the Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding, Kady Hobbins is a social media marketer who lives in Edmonton-Mill Woods and Trevor DePagie is a stock keeper and musician living in Edmonton Strathcona.

Below is an excerpt from that interview, which has been edited for length and clarity.

Host: Why are you still undecided?

Saad Siddiqui (SS): I feel like it's about choosing the best of the worst options. There's policies within each party that resonate with me, however there's no clear-cut favourite. I also live in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin. Mike Lake is really well-liked in that riding. If in my riding, 70 per cent of people are going to vote for him anyway and vote Conservative, does my choice make a difference?

You've also helped with the Liberal campaign?

SS: I did. I knocked on doors with my pregnant wife. What weighs heavily on me is the conversation around Bill 21 in Quebec right now. As a Muslim, as a minority, I feel like Trudeau hasn't been outspoken enough. This one issue is very important to me.

Kady Hobbins (KH): I'm mostly on the fence based on how the first four years of Justin Trudeau have looked. I think four years ago, I was a very excited Liberal voter, excited about the future with Justin Trudeau. It hasn't turned out how I wanted it to. I feel a little cheated on how he ended up playing out as our prime minister.

For me, I'd like to vote for the NDP candidate in my riding because I feel like that person more strongly aligns with what I'm interested in, what resonates with me, but my riding is a two-horse race between Amarjeet Sohi and Tim Uppal.

I really do like Amarjeet and I think he's represented my riding well but do I vote for Amarjeet because he represents me and my home or do I vote for somebody because the leader of the party more represents my views?

Trevor DePagie (TD): I like the discussion, you're never going to change someone's mind online. It's hard to sift through all the media. There's always going to be a slant or a bias. Just trying to get the best of the worst, that's what it feels like, and it's a sad thing in its own way. I hate how I've actually gone to look at the poll ridings.

So in my riding it seems like it's somewhat neck-and-neck with the [Conservatives] and the NDP. I like Heather McPherson, it's probably where I'm going with things. But I want to flesh it out and see where all the parties are really about.

Two out of the three of you have mentioned Trudeau directly. Why hasn't he lived up to your expectations?

SS: The reality is I think he is panning to Quebec votes and panning to the east coast. That's how I look at it from a perspective of an Albertan. The reality is I like Trudeau, but I also like some of [Andrew] Scheer's policies as well. I've also been listening to Jagmeet Singh in all these debates and he's also come up as a really good leader. Well-spoken, seems like one of the people that's best able to represent me today but I feel like, given that he wears a turban — and I hate saying it this way — I don't feel like he garners a lot of support in Quebec. Do I want to waste a left vote voting for Jagmeet Singh? So those are some of the questions that I ask myself.

KH: What disappointed me most recently is the SNC Lavalin thing and how that played out with Jody Wilson-Raybould as well. I'm very concerned with women's rights and being a representative of all Canadians and just being generally a good person; that matters to me a lot in a politician that I vote for. It seems to be misstep after misstep when I felt like I backed him hard in face of a lot of people who are quite conservative in Alberta. I have friends who do work in the oil and gas industry, and it just makes it feel like I had his back and then he really bungled it.

TD: I want to like him. I just think it's more what you're saying. It's his missed opportunity after missed opportunity when so much more could have happened. And that's really where that sits. Does he deserve to win? I don't think he deserves to win.

Madeleine Cummings/CBC
Madeleine Cummings/CBC

What's been your big issue in this election that you wanted to hear about?

KH: My main issues would probably be climate change ... because climate change is real. Indigenous issues. I feel like Trudeau has done a lot of PR around that and maybe not a lot of actual, meaningful action. And then as well, women's rights. I really do think that Trudeau is still the lesser of two evils even in the face of other things that have happened in his recent missteps. I know I am scared of Scheer and his policies regarding women. That bothers me.

SS: I'll go back to four years ago. What was the knock on Harper, at least from my perspective? It was the missing indigenous women. What came of that? Nothing. We said Harper muzzled scientists, well Trudeau muzzled Lady Justice with the SNC affair. So those are the issues that tug on my heartstrings. In regards to policies, reality is I am pro-pipeline but I also understand that climate change is a reality.

I'm Muslim, I'm brown and I'm an immigrant. So immigration is also very important in our subject matter and I don't necessarily agree with each party in all these three single issues. So the question is do I vote along pipelines? Do I vote along climate change? Or do I vote along immigration lines? And it's a really tough position to be in because I feel like a lot of Albertans may be socially progressive but we still tend to be fiscally conservative. No one really represents me today.

TD: Social issues. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what party you're for or against, you just want to get home at the end of the day and be with your people. Just social issues. I mean any of the bigotry, should be zero room for that. Any promises across the board, they should be made. People matter.

Will you be voting on Monday? And how will you make your final decision?

KH: Yes I would. Nothing could make me apathetic enough to not cast a vote because it is important in a democracy to always vote. As I said, I think I will be voting for Sohi. I'm going to take one last cruise through the party policies, each candidate and make my choice from there.

SS: I agree. You know I think it is an obligation for us as citizens to vote and cast a ballot. In a riding like my riding, I pretty much know that Mike Lake is going to win again. At this point, I'm still unsure. I think it's important to cast the vote in who I believe in and I'm just going to read more over the next few days. TD: The apathy has made me actually look a little closer. I think I'm going to be leaning towards Heather McPherson.