Nfld. & Labrador·UNDECIDED

There's a voter apathy epidemic. We went to a St. John's bowling alley to find a fix

Who's excited for the provincial election?

Undecided is a series about politics, without the politicians

It's not a very exciting election, is it?

I've see the odd lawn sign here and there. I've heard the candidates' promises. But when I chat with friends and family, no one seems terribly fired up. No one's itching to know how this one will go or what surprises the parties have in store.

In this corner, the man who's held the job for the last four years. At 61, Dwight Ball is a pharmacist and successful businessman. He has a brother who looks just like him. He does a decent Joey Smallwood impression.

And in this corner, the man who'd like to have the job next. At 65, Ches Crosbie is a Rhodes scholar and a successful lawyer. He has a father you have definitely heard of. He does a controversial Stephen Harper impression.

There are other people in other corners, but they didn't make weight. Perhaps if the NDP, the NL Alliance and the nine independent candidates topple the Liberals and PCs in every possible district, they could form a coalition government.

That would be exciting.

Fantasy Premier: A new, weird game show

When the leaders and their parties are so similar, what is the point of voting?

Polls from early 2019 suggest undecided voters make up somewhere between 16 and 40 per cent of the population.

I wanted to talk to these people and find out what they're planning to do this time around. Remember: only 55 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in 2015. That's a record low.

Are you undecided? Check out the full conversation below:

There's a bowling alley near my house, and the place is always blocked. There are plenty of young people, especially on weekends and after 9 p.m., when staff turn down the lights, turn up the radio and switch to glow-bowling.

It's as good a place as any to talk to people who aren't thrilled about their prospects. I asked them to describe their ideal leader — a fantasy premier, if you will.

I would settle for a real person at this point, my bar is that low.- Drew Brown

Some of the characteristics seem obvious. Staples of the job, really.

"Somebody who has good judgment, who's going to listen and understand how to consult with people," said lawyer Caitlin Urquhart.

Not everyone was quite so hopeful.

"I would settle for a real person at this point, my bar is that low," said Drew Brown, editor of the Independent, an online publication.

"If you ask them questions they would give you, like, a real answer that a human being would say."

Standup comedian Vicky Mullaley had a modest request: be honest. Acknowledge when something goes wrong.

"We're all human, we all make mistakes. Just own it."

CBC's Bailey White sits down with undecided voters Vicky Mullaley, Drew Brown and Caitlin Urquhart to find out what they want from the next provincial government. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

About the Author

Bailey White

CBC News

Bailey White is the producer of the St. John's Morning Show, on CBC Radio One.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.