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Three key themes in the B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader Adrian Dix, centre, attends a rally in downtown Vancouver during the first day of the B.C. election campaign on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

FOR THE LIBERALS

1. Change means risk. The BC Liberals' central campaign theme is that a change in government would put jobs and the economy at risk – that a return to an NDP government would lead to higher taxes and more provincial debt.

2. A debt-free B.C. The Liberal campaign bus carries the central promise of the party platform – a "debt-free B.C." The concept is that the province will see the creation of a massive liquefied natural gas industry that would then contribute to a "prosperity fund" starting in 2017.

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3. Ignore the pundits. Starting far behind the opposition NDP, the governing party needs a narrative that gives Premier Christy Clark's team a genuine shot at holding on to power. The Liberals will appeal to voters to reject what they hear pollsters, pundits and political scientists say about the party's chances of hanging on to power.

FOR THE NDP

1. Pragmatism not politics. NDP Leader Adrian Dix says steady management will be an issue. It's time, he says, for less campaigning and more governing – "a government that works seriously and practically every day," he said at the launch of his campaign.

2. Deal with inequality. Mr. Dix hopes to make economic inequality a top-of-mind issue in this election. "[It's] a problem for future prosperity," he said Tuesday. Previously he has called for better skills training efforts, and promised to unveil a new early childcare and early learning program later this week.

3. Revisiting the '90s. The Liberals have been intent on reminding voters of NDP challenges, particularly on economic policy, in the 1990s when Mr. Dix was a key aide to premier Glen Clark. Mr. Dix says he relishes debate on the era, suggesting there is a more favourable narrative to be told about the NDP's time in power.

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