Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"FIXED" election dates, in the odious sense of that word, are ubiquitous in NS history....

Between Confederation and WWI, only one Nova Scotian election was held in October - the most convenient time of the year today for opposition parties to go door to door and for opposition voters to make their way to the polls.

rural reality before paved roads, cars & snowplows

If it is the most convenient time of the year today, with our roads and cars and buses, with our many days of voting, imagine how convenient October was a hundred and fifty years ago !

Too convenient by half for ruling parties with much lies to promise and much financial disasters to hide.

Imagine campaigning in December, March & April in Victorian times, before the era of snowplows.

Yet those were some of the election dates.

Imagining campaigning in the dusty heat of the high summer, while farmers and fisherman are at the peak of their work load. Yet those too were common election dates.

Imagine trying to get your horse and buggy through the sticky red mud of the early Spring, before paved roads --- yet again those were popular election dates.

Very very popular, because an early Spring election allowed a ruling party to lie about the election goodies it would deliver next year as well as lying about the sorry state of last year's finances.

Forget my (true) tales of rum & chocolates

Forget all my twice-told tales of little bottles of rum, little boxes of Moir's chocolates, and top rate nylons that I remember Conservative poll captain Percy Gaetz openly giving out at the door of the Seaforth polling station, right in front of my house.

They're long gone -- and had little impact anyway.

(My mom, in her first election in Seaforth, was offered nothing : "Your husband is in the Navy, so you must vote Liberal" was Percy's terse explanation.)

The real crookedness is NS politics always was and still is the ability of the (well organized because well financed by government contractors) party-in-power to adroitly cook the books just long enough to survive a snap election held at an inclement time of the year.

Our parties are ALL about voter suppression - not voter turnout

Always holding provincial elections in mid October, well after next year's budget and last years Public Accounts have been well and truly dissected, is one HUGE way to make NS elections more fair and to increase turnout.

But don't hold your breath : because the Bluenose tradition of holding snap elections at the worst time of the year was all about reducing voter turnout : voter suppression...

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