Kelowna: BC Liberals launch fundraising for 2017 election

Premier Christy Clark dropped the puck outside the BC Liberal convention Saturday to get a street hockey tournament underway; she address the convention at 3:30 this afternoon. - Kathy Michaels
Premier Christy Clark dropped the puck outside the BC Liberal convention Saturday to get a street hockey tournament underway; she address the convention at 3:30 this afternoon.
— image credit: Kathy Michaels

When potential voters tweet a picture of Christy Clark, like one of the campaign's Facebook missives or share a picture of her serving hotdogs, it paves the way for a win.

So said the speakers Saturday morning at the BC Liberal convention where the party launched its 2017 fundraising campaign, $20.17 for 2017.

"It's very Obamaesque, asking for a low number," said Bob Rennie, party fundraising chairman.

Rennie followed a series of speakers targeting the party's social media strategy and guest Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab. Issenberg's message: keep it positive.

"I think there's often this impulse to do the sort of begging (for votes) and I think we have a lot of evidence that doesn't work," he said.

He suggested positive energy actually does win elections, as does demonstrating for voters that their peers are voting, effectively modeling the kind of behaviour a campaign wants constituents to repeat.

From Rennie's stories, it appears an upbeat approach helped the Liberals find their last win, against all odds in the polls.

"Who would have thought that 'the other party' could have won the election?" he said, noting he was nearly mocked by the Globe and Mail's reporter when he predicted a majority for his party the morning of the election.

The Liberal campaign was recently featured on Facebook—the only political campaign, other than President Barack Obama's, the social media site has ever turned the spotlight on.

Social media is clearly the Liberal medium of choice for the next run. The party launched its new responsive website last week, capable of adjusting to any platform, and encouraged convention delegates to share Facebook and Twitter snippets —and share often.

The party borrowed $3 million to win the election and has now paid the investment off. Characterizing it as "quite possibly the best money ever spent in B.C. politics," Rennie said the 2017 campaign is counting on building a continual stream of small donations.

Some 40 per cent of the delegates in the room are new to the convention and the group was told their actions throughout the course of these weekends do shape policy. Of the resolutions passed during the Penticton Liberal convention in 2011, 73 per cent made it into legislation and 26 per cent were included in the platform.

Finding a practical solution to Zebra mussels is among the 20 resolutions to be dealt with this afternoon—a resolution brought to the table by Kelowna Liberals.

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