Manitoba Liberals, NDP court youth vote with nightclub party, bar trivia night
Manitoba Tories say 'stay tuned' for events geared toward youth with PC leader Brian Pallister
Two of the three largest political parties in Manitoba have planned events specifically targeting younger voters ahead of April's provincial election.
The New Democrats are set to hold a beer and trivia night with Premier Greg Selinger on Feb. 6, while Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari is hosting a party at a downtown night club Feb. 11.
The Liberal "Pep Rally" is at nightclub 441 Main and will feature Bokhari along with several candidates and campaign volunteers.
I think that's a little controversial in terms of mixing alcohol with political views.- Katrina Stratton, age 18
"[Young voters] want to have relaxed conversations about who we are and what we're about," Bokhari said. "It's just a conversation that may very well be relevant to you as a young Manitoban."
The club is geared towards a late-twenties, early-thirties crowd, but Bokhari said she wants to engage everyone. She said she doesn't think the party will alienate older voters from the Liberal party.
Bokhari's event will come five days after Selinger tries to woo students at the University of Winnipeg.
"Try to have an evening of fun and political discussion and a little bit of outreach on campus," said NDP provincial secretary Keith Bellamy. "It really is focused on students and youth for sure."
Bellamy said the event on the University of Winnipeg campus dubbed "Beer & Politics: Trivia Night with the Premier" isn't an attempt to clean up Selinger's image.
"The Premier has always had a pretty solid relationship with younger voters," he said.
Voter Desmond Brown likes the Liberals party plan more, but the 19 year old isn't sure he'd go to either.
"[Clubs are] where most people are, and there will be more attention for people to check it out," Brown said.
After [the Tories] just lost the election, you'd think they'd try and build up their reputation again.- Katrina Stratton, age 18
But Katrina Stratton, 18, has a some reservations.
"I think that's a little controversial in terms of mixing alcohol with political views and trying to sway people, but if it gets their cause out there, then it's a good way to reach everyone because a lot of people wouldn't go to something else in a more formal setting," Stratton said.
The Progressive Conservatives say at this point, they don't have a similar event planned with Tory boss Brian Pallister.
"That's a little disappointing," said Stratton. "After they just lost the [federal] election, you'd think they'd try and build up their reputation again, but if they also are conservative, [they're] maybe not as into beer trivia night kind of idea."
PC campaign spokesperson Michael Richards said "stay tuned" for future events targeted specifically at young people.
"We are ramping up our social media presence in particular and very social events to reach out and get young people excited about the campaign," Richards said. "These are early days; campaigns are very fluid."
He said conservative university groups are already active on campuses in Winnipeg and often hold mixers and other events.