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The politics of the B.C. Liberal ‘troll’ truck – British Columbia

It’s not every day a truck hijacks a press conference.

On Tuesday, as reporters gathered in the kitchen of NDP candidate Ravi Kahlon for an announcement about money for infrastructure projects, a large truck pulled in front of the living room window.

On the side of the truck — a massive orange poster with the words, “Say Anything John,” with two photographs of B.C. NDP leader John Horgan. The truck is being called a “troll” truck by some critics on Twitter. 

One by one, reporters walked out of the announcement to go outside and take a closer look.

In the front seat of the truck: B.C. Liberal staffer Shane Mills. He explained the poster is trying to highlight what he calls Horgan’s hypocrisy when it comes to donations.

“[Horgan] was going to attack our record and we think that he has a record that people don’t know about,” said Mills.

“This works in terms of getting people’s attention.”

twitter account which appears to be linked to the truck is named ‘the truth truck.’

A new strategy

At his campaign event, NDP leader John Horgan shrugged off the truck and said he doesn’t plan to fire back.

“If the B.C. Liberals want to hire people to drive around in a truck and follow me, at least they gave someone a job,” quipped Horgan.

Some political experts say it’s the first time they’ve seen this kind tactic on the B.C. election campaign trail. A truck popped up at NDP events as early as last Tuesday when the writ dropped and the official campaign season got underway.

A closeup of the “troll” truck parked outside an NDP event in Delta. (Farrah Merali/CBC)

“We are already seeing a fairly high level of negativity in this campaign,” said Max Cameron, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia.

“Whether it’s effective or not is often a big question.”

Cameron said political parties use these strategies when they’re trying to get a pejorative term or slogan to stick to their opponents.

“The risk is if you have a…

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