Alberta's Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and NDP Leader Brian Mason are heading out on the road together for a series of debates at post-secondary institutions across Alberta.

"We had a terrific time back in the end of school session in spring when the University of Calgary students organized a one-on-one debate between Brian and I to talk about different political philosophies, different economic philosophies and it worked really well," says Smith.

"What we found with this format, is it actually allowed us both to talk about our own visions for Alberta and so when Brian challenged me to a rematch at the University of Alberta I had to agree."

Mason says they hope to generate interest in provincial politics and encourage civil debate, especially among students.

Smith, who was on the Calgary Eyeopener with Mason this morning, says they tend to disagree most on the role of the provincial government.

"If you let individuals and families and communities take care of themselves in their own way, you will end up seeing a lot of people able to do that and governments role is to step in a provide that safety net."

Mason says that idea will lead to a larger income disparity. 

"The logical result of Ms. Smith's philosophy is that the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer."

Smith, who says she was low income while she was a student, countered by saying that there are times in many people's lives when they are low income. 

"I don't think that just because somebody is in a bad economic circumstance that they're destined to stay there for the rest of their lives," she said.

Although Mason agrees that many people are lower income through their student years, he says many get stuck there. 

"The fact is that there is pervasive, long-standing poverty even here in Alberta of around 20 per cent of people. Those aren't people who move up in the income scale and then move back down, they stay at the low end and they need help."

Despite their political differences, both agree that being able to have a respectful debate is very important.

"Brian and I have had beer together," says Smith. 

"You can actually have a robust debate, but it doesn't get personal and you can have a good personal relationship afterwards and I think we need to see more of that in politics."

Mason says it can be difficult because the whole system is designed to be adversarial. 

"I do think that there is a real value to have some real debate. This is a good forum, it's more fun."