Halifax, Nova Scotia, politics

Really?

First, they make the decision to flood the under-capacity convention market with more space to be more under-capacity in downtown Halifax.

Then they decide it’s in the public interest to commit taxpayer money without showing the taxpayers who are funding this the business plan that says it’s a smart thing to do. They do this despite complaints from other downtown hotel owners and those considering the construction of new hotels in the area that they are effectively funding the construction of competition. (Could there be a legal avenue here?)

Then they try to force together a deal that leaves the city holding the bag for money lost in the old convention centre, as well as the tax revenue on a high-priced property in the city core.

And now they suggest to the federal government that their “contribution” to this white elephant could come from infrastructure money normally used for roads and bridges – you know, stuff we use on  a regular basis. Though in fairness, as a runner and eight months of the year cycle commuter here in metro, you don’t know how many times I’ve traveled along Windmill Rd. on the way to work saying “man, this road is fucking perfect!” Obviously the roads don’t need the cash.  And it will be obvious when the bridge commission raises their rates again later this year that they don’t need it. And it’s very obvious from the 2011 tax assessment on my home that the city doesn’t need it.

What about the school boards that are looking at cuts in the neighbourhood of 20%? Bloodykids – let ’em learn like the business leaders did – private schools funded by their rich parents the school of hard knocks.  Education is a privilege we evidently can’t afford, but hotels and empty conference rooms – whoah, baby! I gotta get me some of this action!

Sigh.

Could Darrell Dexter have bought that old chestnut that socialism is for kids who don’t know any better and that real governance means making the “hard decisions” that hurt the average man in favour of business? Could it be that he feels he’s not really at the adult table until he’s carrying water for them?

Could it be that as of today I am no longer a member of the Nova Scotia NDP? Yes, why I think it could.

I once thought that I too would outgrow my commitment to social democracy, that at some stage I would turn all conservative. I think I assumed there was something genetic in that saying attributed to Churchill that “all men with hearts are communists at twenty and all men with brains are conservative at thirty”.  But you know what? It didn’t happen to  me.  It didn’t happen because reality is on the side of the left; that selling out to corporate interests is a series of denials and delusions that there is something more natural about a “free” market, that it’s “God’s way”.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the falsehoods in Ayn Rand.

Darrell has apparently decided that in order to be take seriously, to be seen as a “real” premier of Nova Scotia he has to throw money hand over fist toward failed business ventures that will benefit no one but the immediate owners and those directly involved in the construction of bone-white elephants. Put that way, in light of this province’s history of electing idiot after fool after criminal, he’s likely right.

But sadly he’s not right in any way that I want to be part of. I’ll figure out who I’ll vote for next time at some point, but from this point forward, I’m no longer a member of the NDP.

maritimes, Nova Scotia, politics, Rodney MacDonald

Life’s like that…

Wouldn’t you know that as soon as Rodney Dangerfield’s government finally collapsed under the weight of it’s incompetence and there’s something interesting and local worth blogging extensively about, I enter into pre-survey mode and become busier than ever. Gaaaaa!  Life is like that sometimes.

For what it’s worth, an anecdote. Owing to the fact that I’m going on a boat for a couple of months, I voted early last night. While waiting for Doug to cast his ballot, I was chatting with the matronly local who always seems to be employed at these balloting offices and I asked her what the write-in turnout was like. “Here”, she said, “it was so-so, a hundred or so. But provincially it’s waaaayyy up from the last election.”

Does that indicate a higher-than-pathetic turnout for this election? Does it indicate increased interest in the result? Usually, a high turnout is not good news for the incumbant, and I have to think that it’s the case here.

The fact that the only useful act performed by this government was to say “no” to the Commonwealth Games a few years ago (after letting the local Games committee fleece us for some fourteen large) and that he’s limited his campaign to empty promises to fine parents for the bad deeds of their kids (the Get Off My Lawn campaign plan of John McCain), he’s dead.

The NDP were essentially handed this election on a platter, and they’re running a classic leader’s campaign – cautious and deliberate, making no mistakes. However the Liberals are rejuvenated under their new leader and their support outside of the NDP bastion of Metro is growing quickly – areas where the electorate may well swing to them rather than the NDP.

The results are going to be interesting – the Conservatives’ greatest fear was obviously a surge of support for the Liberals, and that’s what they’re seeing. How will the results split? Will the “left” of the province (such as it is) perform the classic split between the Liberals and NDP or will the alergic-to-real-change voters in the province cut their votes between Liberals and Conservatives and let the NDP up the middle? I don’t think there’s enough support for the Liberals in Metro (this time) to give them a real shot at even a minority, leaving the only real options in my mind being a smaller Conservative minority or an NDP win, a larger minority or even a narrow majority. That said, the NDP have made moderate gains outside HRM, but it’s likely that a large part of those gains were traditional Liberal voters loaning their votes while their party was being lead by toothless befuddled idiots. 

An interesting campaign, which I will watch with great interest from offshore.

Canadian politics, Conservatives, Nova Scotia, right-wing tomfoolery

With a Move Showing Staggering Levels of Genius…

..The fiddler locks up the crotchety old man and nervous old lady vote. If there’s  anything that shows that the NS Conservative party has both run out of ideas and conceded that no-one under 65 is going to vote for them anyway it’s this. Really Rodney, I know it’ll play well with the old folks who vote for you, and God knows, they don’t like the looks of those teenagers, but with all the PR disasters of the last few years to make up for this is the best you can do? A curfew? Giving them ATV’s didn’t pan out, so now maybe you’ll remind them that they’re pariahs until they hit middle age?  Sure, it’s a safe bet, chasing votes by pissing off people who are too young to vote for you anyway and it does appeal to the “hang’em high” crowd, which seems to be the natural constituancy of the Canadian conservative. However Nova Scotia is suffering from a steady and damaging drain from the younger end of it’s population which is doing a number on it’s labour pool. Is there someone in the Conservative party who can explain  how reinforcing the “As soon as I can do it I’m outta this backwards-ass dump ” viewpoint is going to solve this problem? Or have they decided that as this demographic will be leaving shortly anyway  they can safely be fucked over. Not that I would blame anyone for leaving the low wage ghetto that is Nova Scotia but that’s another post. This will be a stupid, barely enforcable law that will leave the province open to court challenges from any15 and under kid with parents can find a lawyer with even a minimal grasp of how the constitution applies to age specific laws. Rodney has just stated his willingness to screw the province’s future and embrace a costly lawsuit or two just to get a couple of votes and keep those damned kids off his lawn.

NDP, Nova Scotia, politics, Rodney MacDonald

On Bluenose Polling…

Before yesterday’s first campaign debate, the Chronicle Herald released the results of Corporate Research Associates most recent quarterly political poll. This might well be the only poll we see during the Nova Scotia 2009 election campaign, so we should take note of the results. On voting intention, the result breakdown is this:

  • NDP – 37%
  • Lib – 31%
  • PC – 28%
  • Green – 3%
  • Other – 1%

There is little doubt now that Rodney MacDonald was right – it’s a two party race, unfortunately for him, his party is fading from the scene. Doubtless, the fact that the NDP are stronger in urban ridings rather than the overly-represented rural ones will produce a tighter seat total than the popular vote spread indicates, but the news is good for the provinical NDP and Liberals, who seem to be finally building under their new leader.

However, CRA did a curious thing with the undecided component of the vote – they combined it with the “don’t know”, “refused to answer”, and (shameful) “won’t vote” component of the vote, which together comprised 30% of the poll sample.  The curious thing about this is that they did not in fact lump all of these groups together in the poll, only in the press release. If you go to their website you will see that in fact only 17% of the poll sample is truly undecided.

Why would they do this? Would they do this because CRA would like to inflate the undecided vote to make the race seem tighter than it is? Hell, if 30% of the electorate is undecided, it’s anybody’s race, right?

Just sayin’…

Conservatives, Nova Scotia, politics

Let the shoe drop…

The Nova Scotia provincial Conservatives have finally set out the budget, only a month after the start of the fiscal year and a mere five months after the legislature last got together for a congenial chat. Not only that, they’ve conveniently redefined the word “surplus” and demanded a change in laws to account for that new definition. This government has demonstrated time and again, but not showing up and by not doing anything when they do, that they exist only to collect their MLA and ministerial salaries. It’s time to be rid of them. For too long we’ve been led nowhere by idiots good only at treading water in the province’s salary pool – idiots that have built up an enormouse debt through croney collusions and backroom deals, with no vision for our future. It’s time to shine a light on the roaches in the legislature and start cleaning house. Oh that we could break free from our Liberal/Conservative voting record and dare to try something a little new. Oh, to dream!

Update: There, that was quick!