NEWS

B.C. Liberals' kick off Whistler convention

10/26/2012 01:06 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST
About 1,000 B.C. Liberal Party supporters gathered in Whistler Friday for "Free Enterprise Friday", a chance to float new platform ideas that the party could take into next May's provincial election.

The party's vice president Bill Belsey kicked off the party's annual convention, saying "The momentum is growing. We have a golden opportunity to deliver a devastating blow to supporters of the NDP."

Premier Christy Clark is expected to rally her troops over the weekend as she prepares to lead them into her first election as leader.

But the Liberals trail the NDP in current polls, and Clark has brought in Alberta Premier Alison Redford's former chief of staff for some help.

Campaign strategist Stephen Carter says besides disregarding the poll numbers, Clark needs to better define herself to the public.

"When Premier Clark was elected, I think one of the things that was strongest about her was people knew who she was, they felt comfortable with her. People liked her," Carter told CBC Radio.

"I think right now they want to like her, they just don't know what it is she's in government for. I think she just needs to get back to who she is foundationally and people will remember why they liked her."

University of the Fraser Valley political scientist Hamish Telford says Clark needs to offer real policies, rather than just bash her opposition.

"They've got to develop a policy platform or at least a few key policies that go beyond rhetoric. You know, yes we all want jobs and we all want things that are good for our families, but there have to be some tangible substantive policies for these people to go and sell to their communities."

Telford adds the Liberals need to focus on getting back their momentum now that the threat from the B.C. Conservatives is waning due to internal squabbles within that party.

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