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article imageNova Scotia Provincial Election is June 9

By Bob Ewing     May 5, 2009 in Politics
The provincial election in Nova Scotia will be June 9 and it is possible the NDP will score a first and form a provincial government in Canada's east coast.
The provincial legislature was dissolved by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis after the minority Conservative government of Premier Rodney MacDonald was defeated on a financial bill.
The vote the government lost would have allowed it to miss legally required debt payments, which it considered a matter of confidence.
The loss launched a 35-day election campaign and the polls are showing Darrell Dexter's New Democrats are well positioned.
In 1999, The NDP, under a different leader, also looked like it had a good chance but the Tories pulled off a stunning resurrection by winning a majority government.
Liberal Stephen McNeil is running his first province wide campaign since becoming leader two years ago. McNeil is not well known across the province.
In 2006, the Conservatives won their second straight minority.
At dissolution, the Conservatives had 21 seats in the 52-seat legislature. The NDP had 20 and the Liberals nine. One seat was held by an Independent. There was one vacant seat.
The Tories recently launched ads attacking the NDP's ability to govern and est the tone for this election.i
"This is no time to roll the dice. This is no time for risky promises by the NDP. This is a time for stability," MacDonald said.
"Our party, the Progressive Conservative party, has a proven record on the economy. We have a proven record on job creation and we have a proven record when it comes to managing the finances of this province."
Dexter did not miss a beat as he said, "I don't know what could be more riskier than four more years of Conservative government under Mr. MacDonald, I don't know what that could be."
"Mr. MacDonald had his chance. ..."
"Friends and Nova Scotians everywhere, this election is about one simple question. Do you want Rodney MacDonald's Conservatives to have four more years in power or is it time for a change?"
The Liberal leade
r took a different approach and showed up in a campaign bus with his photo and the Liberal logo emblazoned on the side and immediately set to work delivering a speech that focused on leadership and offering a "new deal" to Nova Scotians.
"The premier has made a series of decisions that have led us to today and now Nova Scotia's have been given the task of judging those decisions," McNeil told the crowd.
"The premier decided not to bring in a budget until now. The premier decided not to balance his budget. The premier decided to play politics with the future of Nova Scotia's economy and Nova Scotia jobs in order to delay and deflect from his poor job performance."
"You reap what you sow and Nova Scotians will now judge."
MacDonald's government has experienced a number of scandals during its tenure, for example in 2007 cabinet minister Ernie Fage resigned after a car crash resulted in his conviction of leaving the scene of an accident. Fage remains in the house as an Independent and is seeking re-election.
Last year was not a good year for cabinet members: Education Minister Judy Streatch's son crashed her government vehicle in May as he made a trip to get some ice cream.Taxpayers were originally on the hook for damages to the vehicle, which was eventually written off, until Streatch agreed to cover the costs.
Energy Minister Barry Barnet lost responsibility for health promotion.He was criticized for approving the $250,000 purchase of 66 kid-sized ATVs in what was seen as a bid to win support in rural Nova Scotia.
The premier criticized Barnet for the move, saying he didn't know about the widely unpopular decision to buy the machines.
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