B.C. election campaigns getting creative during COVID-19 pandemic

WatchCOVID-19 has transformed campaigning during this election, but local candidates are finding ways to connect with their constituents online.

In this B.C. election campaign, there’s still the tried and true way of putting up those election signs.

But the pandemic is forcing campaigns to change.

“I think there is that fear, when you’re knocking on doors trying to do the traditional campaigning, there’s hesitation for people to join in,” said Saanich South BC Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma.

Some candidates are trying new ways to campaign ahead of the election on Oct. 24.

Sharma has started Facebook Lives. One weekly spot he calls “Cooking with the Candidate,” with his mother and daughter in tow.

“I’ve noticed like five to six thousand views on videos of just me saying I’m entering politics. That would have never happened in 2013,” said Sharma.

Gone are the days of big rallies, shaking hands, and kissing babies.

“I think first a foremost, definitely COVID-19 is having an impact on how we engage with voters in this election, there’s definitely a focus on the digital campaign,” said Evan Jolicoeur, BC Green Party candidate for the Mid-Island Pacific Rim.

From Instagram lives, zoom town halls, facetime chats, and social media, across party lines, 2020’s election campaign is remarkably different.

And not just because of COVID-19.

“The largest demographic has shifted from baby boomers to being millenials, and that’s really exciting for multiple reasons but one of them being that millennials take in their information differently,” said Jolicoeur.

But Gen X and baby boomers are also taking in their information differently during COVID-19.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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