Alberta Election: First time voters share their views

We talked to a handful of Calgary first-time voters about important issues to them

Albertans head to the polls April 16. AZIN GHAFFARI / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

We reached out to Calgarians to find some people who are voting for the very first time in a Canadian election. Here are their thoughts on what issues matter, and what they would change about this Alberta election if they could.

Kate Korte
Age: 21
Occupation: Student

Kate Korte (supplied)

Why I’m voting for the first time: First election where I’m of age.

Issues that matter to me: Education! In particular, the curriculum + GSAs. If we want to build an amazing province, it starts with the kids.

What I would change about this election: I think a lot of people are focusing on and voting based on economic promises, which are hard to keep. I hope Albertans vote for the person they truly want to represent them in the legislature!

Daniela Hejralová (NO PHOTO)
Age: 42
Occupation: Teacher

Why I’m voting for the first time: I became a Canadian citizen last year in February.

Issues that matter to me: Human decency. As a teacher, teaching children how to love everybody, and accept people the way they are. I come from a post-communist country; do not listen to people who promise you a gold mine when they cannot deliver. Do not listen to people who just want to hate.

What I would change about this election: In any election, anywhere, I want an honest politician who will be open to listening.

Hailey Dirk
Age: 19
Occupation: Front of House at Made by Marcus

Hailey Dirk

Why I’m voting for the first time: This is the first election I’m legally allowed to participate (and I’m glad because I think it’s an important election!)

Issues that matter to me: It’s very important to me to diversify Alberta’s economy. I think as long as we are reliant on a fluctuating industry, we will always be vulnerable.

What I would change about this election: I wish that there was a stronger chance that this wasn’t just between the main two parties. Personally, I’m a left-leaning person, but I have friends and family who are conservative-leaning but align more closely with the Alberta Party, but feel that if they vote where they actually stand, their vote will be thrown away.

Eugenio Saenz (NO PHOTO)
Age: 30
Occupation: Technical Director

Why I’m voting for the first time: First election as a Canadian Citizen

Issues that matter to me: Economy, Job Creation, Taxes, Arts Funding, Health Care (mental Health), LGBTQ Rights.

What I would change about this election: Voting system. I hope there was a separate election for the Premier.

Emily Metituk
Age: 19
Occupation: Lifeguard

Emily Metituk

Why I’m voting for the first time: One, I’m 19 and it’s the first time I actually can, but the reason I’m actually voting is I found a party I believe in.

Issues that matter to me: Education is a big one, I’m starting at Mount Royal in the fall. I have a learning disability and growing up there wasn’t a lot of accommodations for it. And jobs, like everyone else. I moved here in September, and only got a job last month.

What I would change about this election: Get rid of the smear campaigns. It’s so negative and awful. There’s better ways to show that you’re better than the other person.

Katie Levinson
Age: 19
Occupation: Student

Why I’m voting for the first time: This is the first election I’ve been eligible since I turned 18.

Katie Levinson

Issues that matter to me: I’m concerned about climate change. Making more solutions to the problem, not arguing over why it exists. I’m not in high school any more, but my friends are, and I want the revamped curriculum to go ahead very much.

What I would change about this election: To be able to have reasonable, respectful discussions around issues, around different stances and perspectives. Working towards solutions.

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