5 stylistic things that John Horgan is doing differently than Adrian Dix on the campaign trail

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      Today, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan was offering more financial goodies to voters.

      This time, it's a $400 renter's tax credit, along with promises to close loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act that favour landlords.

      Earlier in the week, he promised to scrap road tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, and he pledged to freeze B.C. Hydro rates.

      Horgan has also backed the $10 per day childcare campaign.

      This contrasts with the last provincial election campaign, where the B.C. NDP was criticized for not doing enough to lower the cost of living for average- and low-income people.

      But Horgan's campaign also differs from that of former leader Adrian Dix in terms of style. Here are just five examples:

      • Horgan is constantly appearing either playing basketball, twirling a basketball on his finger, or talking to young basketball players. He's appealing to jocks, some of whom might be uncomfortable with a female premier. This also explains the B.C. NDP's heavy advertising on sports websites, including TSN.

      • Horgan is occupying the spotlight entirely on his own. He's rarely seen on TV or in party commercials with incumbent MLAs, though sometimes he'll show up with new candidates, like Morgane Oger or Ravi Kahlon. One of the exceptions was when he spent time on April 5 with MLA David Eby, who was noticeably absent from today's housing announcement.

      Former B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix often campaigned in front of an orange podium.
      Stephen Hui

      • The NDP has mostly ditched its orange brand. Horgan invariably appears in soft blue shirts, a light blue windbreaker, and in front of podiums with light blue signage. There's also not nearly as much orange on his campaign bus as there was on federal leader Tom Mulcair's. It's a subtle message to middle-of-the-road voters who are uncomfortable with the NDP. The orange campaign was a loser for Mulcair and for Dix. However, the party website retains the bright orange colour, which appeals to partisans.

      • Horgan is coming across during the campaign as a friendly dad. He says he's working for you, just like any good dad would do. There's a faint hint of paternalism and patriarchy in the NDP campaign, but it just might work with some male voters, particularly in the 250 area code. And the NDP must attract more male voters if it's going to win this election.

      • Horgan is more willing to express his emotions than Dix. Horgan will sometimes get angry or laugh heartily. It adds to his authenticity, which is a very valuable quality in modern politics. But Horgan will have to keep his cool in the televised leaders' debate because Christy Clark is going to try to goad him, much in the way that Hillary Clinton tried to set off Donald Trump's kettle.