The Rookies: first-time candidates debate, campaign and attempt to woo voters

1 / 4
The Rookies: 3 first-time provincial candidates reflect on losses

As three first-time candidates have learned during the B.C. provincial election, reaching out to voters in various public settings is a big part of campaigning.

Vancouver-False Creek NDP candidate Morgane Oger did exactly that at a recent forum for women in technology. Oger works in tech consulting, so she understands these voters, she said.

​"It's hard to be a woman in technology," she said. "It has a lot to do with the bro culture a little bit. There are a lot of pinball machines and video games and beer at startups and industry.

"And there are not a lot of child care spaces and things that are of more interest to women."

On the campaign trail, Oger said she attempts to get voters to open up. And she uses those opportunities to raise issues from the NDP platform.

"We're working heavily on that; $10-a-day child care is one of the major promises that we made," Oger said.

"The messaging is about things we believe are important, and they're based on our common experiences of what's important."

Message doesn't always resonate

Vancouver-Kingsway Liberal candidate Trang Nguyen has also worked on reaching out to women. Nguyen spoke at a recent forum about women's equality, which tackled issues such as homelessness and poverty.

Nguyen said she tries to tie in her own experiences while explaining the B.C. Liberals' position on these issues.

"As a single mother of two children age 11 and 13, I know how hard it is to be able to bring home that pay cheque," Nguyen said.

"I believe the best way to help people reach their full potential is by creating job opportunities [for a] strong economy."

Nguyen also talked about what she thinks her party has done to support B.C. women. She mentioned job numbers, child care and affordable housing.

Not everyone was receptive, Nguyen said, which she expected.

"When you're in government for 16 years, of course you're going to have people coming up with issues with your policies," she said. "I did counter that with all the numbers, all the increases in child care and legal aid and housing.

"We believe by getting people out of the poverty line that you can build a future and for yourself and your children."

Are Greens taken seriously?

New Westminster Green Party candidate Jonina Campbell advanced her party's platform at a recent debate on public education.

Campbell is a teacher and she was able to draw on personal experience with issues such as portables, staffing, class sizes and composition.

There were fiery exchanges between the Liberal and NDP candidates, which led Campbell to think that the Greens aren't taken seriously.

"We've been under the radar for some time, and now people are waking up that this is a serious party that is running to govern," she said.

"That will at some point invite that level of critique that has been largely directed at the NDP and Liberals. We'll know that we've arrived when it starts getting directed at us."

She also said it's difficult to persuade women to run for office. "We're not as far as we need to be," she said.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast