British Columbia

Joy MacPhail part of UBC program teaching students how to be politicians

Joy MacPhail says when she started in politics she didn’t even know how to get paid. Now, she’s part of a program that helps students learn how to be a politician.

Veteran former politico says she wishes the program was available when she started

Former NDP politician Joy MacPhail hopes students learn the how-to's of becoming a politician. (Adler University )

It's been called a boot camp for potential future politicians. The Summer Institute for Future Legislators at UBC aims to educate students on the do's and don'ts of the political life.

For former NDP MLA Joy MacPhail, it's a program she wish she had when she began her career.

"I showed up as a politician in the legislature in Victoria thinking I knew everything of what it meant to be a successful politician. It turns out I didn't know a thing," she told the Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

MacPhail, who was first elected provincially in 1991, now sits on the advisory board for UBC's Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions. She's hoping to use her own personal stories to promote the importance of the program.

"There are many rules that everyone must follow and you're constantly in the glare of the public eye — all rightly so," she said. "It takes experience and education to manage those things in a way that's legal, forthright, transparent, and gets the job done."

This is the third consecutive year that the program is running in Vancouver. MacPhail says she's been happy with the results.

"I think what they learn is how wonderful it is to put your name forward for political office. I think what they'll learn is anybody, anybody in British Columbia can run for office. It's a great thing. "

To hear more, click the audio labelled: Boot camp for wannabe politicians. 

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