Election day in Nova Scotia, Tuesday, June 9th

Tuesday, June 9, Nova Scotians go to the polls again.

I have intentionally avoided discussing politics in this blog.  But today I overheard a comment that revealed why so many people do not vote.  Referring to political candidates of all parties, this man said, “They’re all the same.  They’re in it to get what they can and then get out.”

His friend cleverly managed to avoid an argument while expressing disagreement.  “Not the one I’m voting for!” he replied.

The first speaker’s roots in the province run deep. His comment no doubt reflected Nova Scotia’s outdated tradition of political cronyism and patronage – a system that has limited the provincial government’s effectiveness for more than a century.

The second, less cynical, speaker is a relative newcomer to the province and has probably met more politicians of various stripes.  He has been deeply impressed by some of these, though not by others.

There are many very sincere candidates on all sides.  Some of them could make more money elsewhere but choose to serve as legislators.  It is not an easy choice; the rough-and-tumble of our adversarial system, the stress on families, the uncertainties of continued employment, etc. all take their toll.

Politicians must try to sound sincere.  Voters must decide for themselves which ones really are.  Who is truly interested in providing good government that respects and benefits the people of the province, and who has the experience, the mindset, the values and the commitment to do a good job?

On Tuesday, we Nova Scotians make our choice – again.  I urge you to vote, and vote thoughtfully.