Written by Carling Dick on October 9, 2020 for our series Earnscliffe BC Election Insights.
Elections often happen in the fall. Summer vacation is over, kids are back at school, and the temperature is still warm enough to be out door knocking. Canadian Thanksgiving nearly always falls in the middle of these campaigns. Families spend hours gathered around the table giving thanks and talking about life, shared memories and inevitably their views on current events. Political parties know these conversations are going to happen and want to make sure people have something to talk about. That is usually why, like clockwork, parties release their election platform the week before Thanksgiving. But different parties have different approaches.
The B.C. NDP followed the script this week – Leader John Horgan released the NDP platform “Working For You” this past Tuesday. Expectations were high that the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. Green Party would follow suit but that hasn’t been the case. The B.C. Liberals have chosen instead to keep doing one big announcement a day. Leader Andrew Wilkinson has so far announced the elimination of the Provincial Sales Tax for one year, elimination of the small business tax, loan guarantees for tourism and hospitality, investments in public safety, and a new Seniors’ Home Care Tax Credit among other promises.
The B.C. Liberals are down in the polls and their news value does not go up by releasing their full platform. Announcing a big promise each day gets them maximum coverage which is much needed when many British Columbians still don’t know their Leader. However, the first leaders’ debate is scheduled for next Tuesday. It will be tough for Andrew Wilkinson to go into the debate without a full platform to speak to. At least for now, the B.C. Liberals are betting that they have released enough of the platform that people will know what they can expect from the Party, while keeping their momentum going and their powder dry. We’ll see if that approach changes before Tuesday.