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NorthReport

Dave Wilson launches leadership campaign for Nova Scotia NDP

http://globalnews.ca/news/2041037/dave-wilson-launches-leadership-campai...

NorthReport

Feb 28, 2016 is the date to elect the new leader

MLA Dave Wilson announces bid for NDP leadership

Wilson's entry into the leadership race brings the total number of candidates to three.

Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA Lenore Zann has already put her bid into motion.

Former Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MLA Gary Burrill, who previously confirmed his interest in the leadership, will launch his campaign at an event in Halifax on Thursday.

The party has been without a permanent leader since it was defeated in the last provincial election and Dexter, who also lost his seat, resigned.

Halifax Needham MLA Maureen MacDonald has been the acting leader since the last election, but she has said she is not interested in the role on a permanent basis.


http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1291723-mla-dave-wilson-announces-bid...

sherpa-finn

*Bump*

Online voting for the new NDP leader in NS has been underway for the past week. Its a ranked ballot: you have to vote 1-2-3 for the candidates if you want your ballot to count.   

The Convention is this weekend: assembling tomorrow evening for council meetings, then a reception and appreciation of the interim leader, Maureen MacDonald. There will be one final round of candidate speeches on Saturday morning, with last minute voting over lunch, and results announced in the afternoon, followed by winners speech and we all go home. 

I expect an election planning / readiness gathering will be convened in the next few months by whomever is the new leader. 

sherpa-finn

According to the latest news, two-thirds of the 3,000 eligble members of the provincial party have already voted. And the Party expects another 10% or so to vote in the coming 24 hours.

A wholly unauthorised description of the three candidates:

Gary Burrill is a former back-bench MLA and United Church Minister, well known amongst old-school lefties for his work on The New Maritimes paper for many years through the 80s and 90s. He is playing the Bernie Sanders / Tommy Douglas role in this race.  

Dave Wilson is a former cabinet minister in the Dexter Gov't and a long-standing MLA. He was a first responder medic / fireman before entering politics, and has the 'working man' touch. Widely seen as 'labour's choice' for the leadership, he carries the 'aura' of experience and the baggage of the previous gov't.

Lenore Zann: a bit of a wild card, Lenore is from the arts/film sector, was a back-bench MLA thru the Dexter years, and to the surprise of many, held on to her traditionally Conservative seat in the ensuing 2013 debacle. Initially seen as a bit of a 'lightweight', she has done well getting her message out over the past six months, and has since secured some key endorsements, including that of Alexa McDonough.

I am told that the smart money is on Dave Wilson, but as a new arrival don't actually have much insight on what's been happening across the province.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/ndp-leadership-convention-zann...

Stockholm

Gary Burrill won!

sherpa-finn

Yup. we had a very good turnout online - over 74% of all membership voted, which was claimed to be some sort of record. With the majority going to "The Change Candidate", - Burrill who does not currently have a seat in the legislature and who regularly quotes (channels) Bernie, Corbyn and Tommy Douglas in his speeches.

It was 1. Burrill / 2. Zann / 3. Wilson in the first round, with Wilson's votes then putting Burrill over the top in the second round.

It will be interesting to see now how the Party - and the Province - responds: presumably Burrill will spend much of the next 12-18 months 'on the road' trying to get the grassroots re-mobilised and re-energised in advance of the next election.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/ndp-leadership-nova-scotia-zan...

mark_alfred

Should be an interesting election.  When is it?

sherpa-finn

We have no fixed election legislation in Nova Scotia, - so its a bit of a mug's game trying to guess. The last election was October 2013, so sometime in 2017 would be most likely.  Which will give Burrill a year to establish a stronger public presence and persona - and to see if he can re-energise the NDP base.

sherpa-finn

I see that Chris Majka has a Rabble Blog on Burrill's election here: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2016/02/nova-scotia-new...

 

mark_alfred

Very good.  I don't know a huge amount about Nova Scotia, though I do have a good friend from there.  She's rather right leaning, so she generally strays Liberal.  Her big gripe about the Nova Scotia NDP was that they didn't enforce back to work legislation on striking transit workers, which according to her hurt many low income people.  So, ensuring workers have the right to strike is an act against low income people, apparently (an argument I heard by some against Toronto's mayor David Miller regarding his dealings with CUPE Local 416 (outside workers)).  Anyway, I plan to get the book What I learned about politics : inside the rise--and collapse--of Nova Scotia's NDP government, to learn more of Nova Scota and the NDP's rise and fall from power there.

Good luck in the next election!

sherpa-finn

There were two books written from an NDP perspective after the fall of the Dexter Gov't.  The one you cite is by Graham Steele, who was Finance Minister for much of the time the NDP was in office. (He's now a CBC pundit.) The book is a discouraging (some say cynical) look at the practice of politics in this day and age: he speaks to the 'theatre' of the Legislature (ie nothing of substance ever actually happens there), the centralisation of power behind the closed door of the Premiers Office (remember, - he was the Finance Minister - and HE felt marginalised), and the zero room to manoeuvre that a (have-not) provincial gov't (carrying a debt) actually has to do anything substantively progressive. So politics comes down to daily communications games with the media which is all in the hand of professional (if not particularly skilled) spin doctors. As regards the flock of newly elected and enthusiastic local MLAs, well, they simply earn their keep helping constituents engage with gov't administration, - more often than not by pointing them to the appropriate municipal or federal offices. So not a particularly uplifting call to arms ... but not wholly unbelievable either, IMHO. 

A more critical and policy focused book was then written (partly in response to Steele's effort) by Howard Epstein who comes from the more progressive wing of the party, and remained a backbench MLA through the NDPs time in office, despite many years prior experience as the well-respected head of the province's main environmental group, the Ecology Action Centre.  His book "Rise Again: Nova Scotia's NDP on the Rocks" is more substantive policy-wise and leaves the reader with a little more hope that a better world is indeed possible.  As a big supporter of Gary Burrill, it will be interesting to see if Epstein continues to play an engaged leadership role.   

mark_alfred

Thanks sherpa-finn, I'll get that one from the library as well.  Regarding your description of Steele's cynicism, it sounds similar to thoughts I myself have had.  It just seems that provinces don't have that much financial clout.  The federal government is where the money and clout is, which is why I was so disappointed with the last federal election result.  Still, I'm not completely cynical about provincial politics, so I look forward to checking out Rise Again: Nova Scotia's NDP on the Rocks as well.

josh

sherpa-finn wrote:

I see that Chris Majka has a Rabble Blog on Burrill's election here: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2016/02/nova-scotia-new...

 

Sounds like a clear rejection of Mulcairism.

mark_alfred
Hunky_Monkey

Gary's interview with CTV's Steve Murphy - 

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=818953&binId=1.1145518&playlistP...

I hope he gets some media training quite frankly.  He reminded me of a boring university professor giving a lecture and was a bit awkward. 

Remains to be seen if this leftward lurch will fly with most voters.  May tickle the fancy of party members but we'll see if the general voting public is excited by it.  I suspect they won't and may relegate the NS NDP to even more marginal status.  Promising the moon and not saying how you'll pay for it except "we already pay for it in other ways" will be something new to try with voters.  Will it work?  I suspect not.

Gary's biggest challenge will be to win a seat in the next election.  His old seat is traditional Conservative territory.  They won it by over 1000 votes in 2013.  Gary barely placed second.  Will he run there?  Or will he try for a Halifax seat that he has little connection to but more winnable for the NDP.  I don't see a Halifax riding that is a good fit for him that he could easily win.  Maybe Halifax Chebecto.  I don't know.

 Gary also tends to talk over people's heads which is a huge problem when you're a politician and a leader wanting to be Premier of NS.

What Gary has going for him a is dislike of Stephen McNeil and Jamie Baillie not connecting.  However, while the Premier's ratings are mediocre, the Liberal brand is extremely strong.  At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see another Liberal majority. 

Stockholm

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

  Promising the moon and not saying how you'll pay for it except "we already pay for it in other ways" will be something new to try with voters.  Will it work?  I suspect not.

But that is exactly what Justin Trudeau did in the federal election and look at how well it worked for him!!

Stockholm

josh wrote:
sherpa-finn wrote:

I see that Chris Majka has a Rabble Blog on Burrill's election here: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2016/02/nova-scotia-new...

 

Sounds like a clear rejection of Mulcairism.

IMHO, it was all about rejecting "Dexterism"...

Hunky_Monkey

True in a sense, Stockholm.  However, in addition to Trudeau's personal appeal which Gary doesn't have, he targeted a lot of his stuff to the middle class.  Gary is an old school socialist running on eliminating poverty for example.  Worthy goal and should always be something a government works toward.  But does that win elections?

And while Trudeau lied about his costing, he at least said "this is how much it will cost".

And "Dexterism" got the NS NDP elected.  I don't think they lost in 2013 because they weren't left enough.  Lots of other screw ups led to that.

Stockholm

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

And "Dexterism" got the NS NDP elected.  I don't think they lost in 2013 because they weren't left enough. 

I don't live in Nova Scotia and i don't claim to be an authority but FWIW, my impression of what sank the Dexter gov't was that people voted NDP expecting a more economically and socially progressive government that would do bold new things...instead they got very dull government that seemed focused on balancing the budget and nothing else. By the end of their term there was literally NOTHING they could point to as a signature achievement for the first NDP government in Nova Scotia...except cuts to education, an HST hike and a supposedly balanced budget.

The BC NDP was in power for just one term in the early 70s, but if three and half years they made massive changes like the Land bank, ICBC and many other policiues that proved irreversible and are now permanent fixtures of the political landscape. The Dexter government in contrast left no legacxy whatsoever. nothing. nada. No wonder people voted them out.  

Hunky_Monkey

I think they were too cautious and too focused on balancing the budget in a specific time period.  That said, they inherited a huge mess.  A $1.3 billion deficit that was originally pegged at around $200 million.  

Dexter ran on a very limited platform including "living within our means".  But somehow voters lurched to the left after he was elected? 

There were many progressive items accomplished.  People over $150,000 had their taxes increased.  Low income seniors were taken off the income tax rolls.  Affordable Living Tax Credit was introduced.  Province's first Mental Health Strategy created.  First Affordable Housing Strategy.  Children's Dental Care was expanded.  Emergency room wait times were cut.  List goes on and on.  

As for education, it was a 1.65% reduction when we had 10,000 fewer students over the last decade and 2% fewer students per year.  Education funding was actually at the highest per capita.

Personally, I don't think Dexter, who governed in the mold of Gary Doer, was cut out to go on the attack and fight for his job.  He became premier because people liked him and trusted him.  He was your favourite uncle type.  After the expense scandal, he became just another politician that was in it for himself.  Then the Liberals got their act together, focus grouped and polled what would move votes regardless what if it was doable or not, and spent a quarter of a million dollars in attack ads against us.  Our response?  Silence.  We sat back as the Liberals went to town defining the actions of the government.  By the time we did respond, we did it in such a poor way and far too late.  I still shake my head at that. 

Hunky_Monkey

Stockholm, this was the platform the Dexter NDP ran on in 2009 and won on... 

Create the secure jobs Nova Scotia’s economy needs

Keep emergency rooms open and reduce health care waits

Ensure more young people stay and build a life in Nova Scotia

Take the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) off home energy

Fix rural roads and keep communities strong

Give seniors options to stay in their homes and communities longer

Live within the province’s means

Aristotleded24

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Gary is an old school socialist running on eliminating poverty for example.  Worthy goal and should always be something a government works toward.  But does that win elections?

One of the main reasons that the NDP has a hard time winning on the issue of poverty reduction is that the Manitoba and Saskatchewan provincial sections permitted their citizens to have among the highest poverty rates in the country for a long time.

sherpa-finn

There is something to be said for the argument that in Nova Scotia, provincial elections are not won by parties so much as they are lost by sitting governments. Darryl's success was in positioning the NDP over six or more years as a moderate, responsible and credible Opposition Party that should be given serious consideration by the voting public, if and when the sitting gov't (and other Opposition Party) imploded. 

Which they both proceeded to do. And then the electorate did their part. 

The task facing Burrill feels a little different: there is a huge need to re-energize the party membership and supporters such that the NDP can reclaim much of its electoral base next time round (ie those would mainly be seats in and around Halifax). If that can be accomplished in 2017, it is possible that NS returns to a minority gov't situation and then its a whole new ball game as to political strategy and positioning.

The NDP's strategy in that scenario will very much depend upon whether Burrill is successful or not in personally winning a seat in the Legislature.

Stockholm

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Stockholm, this was the platform the Dexter NDP ran on in 2009 and won on... 

Create the secure jobs Nova Scotia’s economy needs

Keep emergency rooms open and reduce health care waits

Ensure more young people stay and build a life in Nova Scotia

Take the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) off home energy

Fix rural roads and keep communities strong

Give seniors options to stay in their homes and communities longer

Live within the province’s means

Why don't i see "increase the HST by two points" in that list?? It seems to me that they never recovered from that move.

Also, the NDP often falls for this CRAZY idea that your election platform has to be a responsible plan for government. NO! Election platforms are about winning elections. They are to be discarded afterwards. The Liberals are often god at winning elections because they don't make mistake an election platfomr for good public policy. They just say ANYTHING they need to say to win the election and they worry about the consequences afterwards - as a result they are in power and the NDP is not. 

Hunky_Monkey

They won on that, Stockholm.  So I guess some responsible plans do win.  

Regarding the HST, they didn't.  We also didn't know the $200 million deficit was $1.3 billion.  However, polls still had them in the lead after the HST increase.  When they took a nosedive?  You may find this shocking but it was when the Liberals ran a quarter of a million dollars in attack ads BEFORE the election was called.  And the NS NDP sat back and just smiled.  I know... who knew something like that could happen, right?!?!?!?!

Even promising the moon you still need to say how much it will cost.  Even if it's a lie like Trudeau's.  This "we already pay for it" won't fly with voters and I hope saner minds prevail on that talking point.

Hunky_Monkey

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Gary is an old school socialist running on eliminating poverty for example.  Worthy goal and should always be something a government works toward.  But does that win elections?

One of the main reasons that the NDP has a hard time winning on the issue of poverty reduction is that the Manitoba and Saskatchewan provincial sections permitted their citizens to have among the highest poverty rates in the country for a long time.

No because most elections are won on pocketbook issues that appeal to the broadest electorate.  Like Trudeau's middle income tax cut.  And even then, it appealed to people who weren't middle class because most working class and poorer people don't necessarily think themselves as living in poverty.

It's like our national childcare program.  Great program and truly needed.  But it spoke mostly to parents with kids under five with certain incomes no one else.  And it didn't speak to anyone in QC.  Why?  Didn't have any impact on them personally in their eyes.  And that's how most voters cast their ballots when it comes to election platforms.  What's in it for me and my family.  That said there are lots of factors that go into what party wins an election but for the most part, thinking most voters vote for the common good is naive.

Hunky_Monkey

sherpa-finn wrote:

There is something to be said for the argument that in Nova Scotia, provincial elections are not won by parties so much as they are lost by sitting governments. Darryl's success was in positioning the NDP over six or more years as a moderate, responsible and credible Opposition Party that should be given serious consideration by the voting public, if and when the sitting gov't (and other Opposition Party) imploded. 

Which they both proceeded to do. And then the electorate did their part. 

The task facing Burrill feels a little different: there is a huge need to re-energize the party membership and supporters such that the NDP can reclaim much of its electoral base next time round (ie those would mainly be seats in and around Halifax). If that can be accomplished in 2017, it is possible that NS returns to a minority gov't situation and then its a whole new ball game as to political strategy and positioning.

The NDP's strategy in that scenario will very much depend upon whether Burrill is successful or not in personally winning a seat in the Legislature.

Those base seats you speak of came after Alexa.  It was a fight to win three to four seats at the time under her leadership.  Our real breakthrough came with Robert Chisholm.  And I would venture to guess Gary Burill is no Robert but more like Alexa.

But it's telling when we wonder if he can win a seat or not...  

Aristotleded24

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
We also didn't know the $200 million deficit was $1.3 billion.

"The deficit is larger than we expected" is just politician-speak for "we need an excuse to not carry out the platform on which we were elected so we can focus on enriching the elite special interest groups that we like."

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Gary is an old school socialist running on eliminating poverty for example.  Worthy goal and should always be something a government works toward.  But does that win elections?

One of the main reasons that the NDP has a hard time winning on the issue of poverty reduction is that the Manitoba and Saskatchewan provincial sections permitted their citizens to have among the highest poverty rates in the country for a long time.

No because most elections are won on pocketbook issues that appeal to the broadest electorate.  Like Trudeau's middle income tax cut.  And even then, it appealed to people who weren't middle class because most working class and poorer people don't necessarily think themselves as living in poverty.

Poverty is not a marginal issue here in Manitoba. Most people in Winnipeg and Brandon, if they don't live in poverty outright, they are damn close, and they know it. You try talking about politics with these people, they will roll their eyes at you and share their (well-founded) perception that nothing changes regardless of which party is in power. That is why there is a near direct correlation between your likelihood to vote in an election and your income.

Stockholm

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
We also didn't know the $200 million deficit was $1.3 billion.

"The deficit is larger than we expected" is just politician-speak for "we need an excuse to not carry out the platform on which we were elected so we can focus on enriching the elite special interest groups that we like."

Quote:

You're being very simplistic there. Sometimes, outgoing parties really do leave massive deficits and debt that was hidden that make it impossible for the party that succeeds them to do anything. For example when Romanow came to power in Saskatchewan in 1991 - the province was literally bankrupt thanks to Grant Devine. The debt had been downgraded so far and the accumulated debt was so massive and interest rates were so high at the time that the new government literally could not borrow anymore money from anyone. Their only options were spending cuts or defaulting and declaring bankruptcy. If even Syriza in Greece wasn't willing to bite that bullet, do you think Romanow and the Sask NDP was going to?

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Sometimes, outgoing parties really do leave massive deficits and debt that was hidden that make it impossible for the party that succeeds them to do anything.

True, however what I said points to widespread distrust about politicians and the promises they make. I'll also ask, if the Opposition is doing its job, how can it legitimately claim to be surprised upon finding out what the actual numbers are upon taking office? Remember when Harper claimed that there was a balanced budget? Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison called them out for using the same tactics that Mike Harris and Ernie Eves used to hide the deficit in Ontario. This is why Trudeau has the political wiggle room he needs to run a bigger deficit to get the economy going. The question this raises is, if Brison caught onto this, why didn't Mulcair and the then-official Opposition led by the NDP?

quizzical

did you think about  searching the internet to see if your presumption is correct? i did a quick search and found the NDP brought it up long before the Liberals did.

mark_alfred

I finished Steele's book and liked it.  But yes, a tad cynical.  I plan to get Howard Epstein's book next.

sherpa-finn

I spent the day in Halifax-Needham helping pull the vote for Lisa Roberts the NDP candidate in a provincial by-election. The seat has long been an NDP stronghold, - in fact, it was the only NDP seat on the Halifax peninsula that stayed orange in the Dexter debacle of 2013.  Halifax Needham was then held by just a few hundred votes by Maureen MacDonald, who subsequently served as interim leader until this year's election of Gary Burrill as new leader, and then announced her retirement.

Burrill is channelling Bernie Sanders as a political / campaign model, - lots of talk of anti-austerity and anti-poverty measures. And he has a bit of a 'preacher man' style, - not surprising as he is a United Church minister. This by-election was seen as a test of his new leadership style and orientation: certainly, the Liberals were hopeful of winning the seat with a star candidate and a snap election call in August.

Anyhow, the good news is that Lisa Roberts won tonight, - quite convincingly. Turnout was abysmally low of course (around 25%, I think) but the NDP was able to pull its core vote and that was enough.  

The smart talk seems to be that the provincial election (once considered imminent) will now get bumped back to the Spring after the next McNeil budget which will likely announce an end to austerity, so long as the public service unions sign on to 0% increases forever.  

mark_alfred

Congratulations on the Roberts win!  Good news.

sherpa-finn

Ooh!

Eric Grenier just called us "over-achievers". I am all aglow ...

NDP's Halifax Needham byelection victory a warning to Stephen McNeil's Liberals

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/grenier-halifax-needham-byelec...

sherpa-finn

Christopher Majka here at Rabble on the significance of the Roberts victory in Halifax Needham. 

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2016/09/nova-scotias-nd...

... Although the balance of political power and legislative calculus are unaffected by this by-election, its real impact will be in having such an eloquent activist voice, not only in the legislature, but in her community and across the province. It's a clear marker of where the NDP is going as a political force under the leadership of Gary Burrill, a party that is firmly engaged in building social capital, in addressing economic and social injustice, in dealing with environmental issues, and in becoming a force for progressive social and political change in the province. Where this will lead is anyone's guess but the flags of change have been hoisted on the political ramparts of Nova Scotia. Who will heed the call in the coming days, weeks, months, and years remains not only to be seen, but to be forged. Roberts will clearly fly that banner and be a force for such change.

mark_alfred

That's good.  At this point in time, it seems Burrill has united people under his more progressive approach.  I figure that's what is important, is that people are united, more than whether the approach is pragmatic or progressive.  Anyway, I'll be keeping my eye on Nova Scotia politics.  Looks like some good things are to come.

Mellencamp

Marian Mancini is out as Leader in the House under Gary Burrill (who doesn't have a seat). She was an excellent replacement for Maureen MacDonald in the Legislature, but didn't back Burrill for leadership, and will be taking time this fall to decide if she will run again. MLA Lenore Zann was publicly lobbying for the job after her leadership loss in Feburuary, and will likely get the title and the pay bump.

Mellencamp

With Dartmouth South MLA Marian Mancini stepping down as Leader in the House, it was expected that Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann would get the role, and the pay increase, as she had been publicly lobbying for the position. Instead, it is going to Queens-Shelburne MLA Sterling Belliveau, who stayed neutral during the leadership campaign, but has already confirmed he is not re-offering.

Newly elected Halifax-Needham MLA Lisa Roberts has been given a few small critic portfolios, some of which are useful for her constituency: African Nova Scotian Affairs; Communications Nova Scotia; Housing; Immigration; and Municipal Affairs.

Mellencamp

Since Gary Burrill became leader, he has faced one big public test - the Halifax Needham by-election, which the NDP won. Now, with at least one NDP MLA musing about retirement, he faces a second public test - can he unify the Caucus before any more MLAs step down.

The timeline to fix the unity problem is short - Dartmouth South MLA Marian Mancini has stated she will make her decision on whether she will run for Burrill after the next sitting of the Legislature, which begins next week and is likely to rise in late November. Mancini is a former Party President, under Robert Chisholm; her roots in the Party are deep, and she was the most thoughtful and well-researched MLA in the last session.

Mellencamp

The new communications staff at the Nova Scotia NDP had publicly wondered whether polling and focus groups served any purpose, but they have commissioned both, and the results are in.

The NDP is polling in a distant third in most regions of the province, except peninsular Halifax, industrial Cape Breton, and the South Shore, where they are second. The region with the weakest numbers is Northern Nova Scotia, which includes the seat of a sitting NDP MLA.

The communications staff strongly disagreed with the results of the focus group, which showed the new platform and focus was on the wrong track. The focus group felt that the NDP was the “party of health care” - an issue of lower priority under Burrill.

Aristotleded24

Mellencamp wrote:
The communications staff strongly disagreed with the results of the focus group, which showed the new platform and focus was on the wrong track. The focus group felt that the NDP was the “party of health care” - an issue of lower priority under Burrill.

I'm really getting tired of this focus of "health care, health care, health care." To me, what "health care" means is spending a whole bunch of money so that middle class people will have access to their machines and emergency rooms. Why can't we have an honest discussion about health care in this country where we realize that there are so many issues around poverty and housing that cause people to need hospital care in the first place, and that if we spent a fraction of what we spent on health care dealing with those issues, that would create more spaces in ERs and reduced waiting lists and better outcomes for everyone?

Besides, everyone has known for decades that the NDP everywhere is the party of health care, and yet that hasn't helped the NDP's political fortunes even as our health care system comes under attack.

Mellencamp

The latest poll by MQO Research shows Burrill's NDP holding steady at 16%.

http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Regional/2016-10-26/article-4672285/N...

53% support the Liberal party (a drop of 10 points since July)
The PC's are at 25% (an increase of 8 points)

 

sherpa-finn

Marian Mancini of Dartmouth South makes it official: 

https://nsndp.ca/ns/statement-from-mla-for-dartmouth-south-marian-mancini

"I thought at a certain age decision making would get easier. I have proven myself to be wrong. I have, however, finally decided that I will not be re-offering as the MLA candidate for Dartmouth South in the next election...."

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

This would have happened even if the NSNDP was led by a Dexterite.  And the party would be just as low in the polls.

 

Mellencamp

Here in Nova Scotia the biggest issue right now is an impending teachers' strike. The topic dominated the very short fall session. The next poll from Corporate Research Associates is scheduled to come out in the first week of December. Perhaps we will see a bump in the polls for the NDP then.

Mellencamp

The latest quarterly opinion poll is out and the numbers have not changed much since August.

The Party numbers show nothing outside the margin or error:

Liberal 56% (unchanged)
Progressive Conservative 20% (down two points)
NDP 19% (unchanged)
Green 4% (up two points.

But the Leader numbers shows a dip for the Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil that is outside the poll’s margin of error:

McNeil 38% (down five points)
Baillie 20% (up two points)
Burrill 11% (down three points)
Trappenberg 5% (up three points)

Mellencamp

.

Mellencamp

Here's NS NDP Leader Gary Burrill's year-end interview:

Three priorities: loosen the focus on a balanced budget. push for a national Pharmacare strategy, remove college tution fees.

He says the first step is getting a seat in the House:

"When I see the McNeil Liberals in some of their orgies of self congratulation about the wonderful things in their view that they’ve done and I compare it to the real dire situation of lots of people in the province, I often think to myself ‘oh for 1,500 more votes in the last election, that I could be on the floor.'”

On reducing the debt-to-GPP ratio, a goal of the NDP-commissioned Ivany Report:

The report is “a little bit like the bible, it contains lots of different prescriptions and not all of them are consistent.”

http://globalnews.ca/news/3144593/ns-ndps-gary-burrill-calls-for-balance...

Mellencamp

Here is Gary Burrill’s interview with CTV Atlantic host Steve Murphy on the political issue of the year here in Nova Scotia - the Teachers’ negotiations. Caucus staff, and the NDP’s education critic Lenore Zann, have publicly called this interview unfair, and questioned Murphy’s political independence.

Burrill: “There are four things that need to take place and they can begin to take place tomorrow. One is the government should take Bill 148 out of the equation. That has poisoned the relationship with the union from the outset. Second, the government should come to the negotiating table and really negotiate, without any preconditions. Third is the government should agree to commit us, contractually, to making investments in the classroom that the Teachers’ Union says are necessary. And fourthly the government should say to teachers they will not see their income go backwards relative to inflation.”

Murphy: “You have just spent a considerable amount of money there, money the government says it doesn’t have. Where do you get the money to do all those things?”

Burrill: “Well you know I think it’s kind of like this - the teachers are saying that the education system is a, a house, where the roof has got, dozens of leaks and you have buckets all over everywhere, the sills are rotting the drywall is rotting, and the government is sitting in the middle of all this, we’ve run out of buckets and the government says, “Well too bad about all these leaks but we can’t afford to fix the roof.” What we’re saying is, the teachers are right. The roof has to be fixed and we will figure out how to do it as we do it.”

Murphy: “Are the teachers right about everything? Would you give the teachers everything they’re asking for?”

Burrill: “I think that the public of Nova Scotia needs to say to teachers “We will not see you go backwards in terms of your income.” I believe teachers when they say “This is not about the money.” But it’s also true that we have the most capable, qualifies group of teachers in our history with very demanding circumstances, and we ought to be able to say to them “Look we won’t see you go backwards in income in relation to inflation.”

Murphy: “But when you say the teachers aren’t looking for a wage increase they are looking to keep up to inflation - that is an increase in cost to government. So, you know, short of taxes or deficit, where do you get that money? Or do you just pay them what they want and have the taxpayers pay for it?”

Burrill: Well what I think that the the position they have taken, that they ought to be able to negotiate a contract where they don’t go backwards relative to inflation, is perfectly fair. And in terms of deficits you know it is not the case if I can speak in terms of the biblical traditions, it is not the case that Moses came down from the mountain with an 11th Commandment saying ‘Thou Shalt Never Have a Deficit.’ ”

Murphy: “So you’re okay with deficits no matter how large they would be in this case?”

Burrill: Deficits are like a lot of things, there are times when it’s prudent to do it and there are times when it’s not prudent. I think it would be prudent for us to make the investment in education that the Teachers’ Union’s calling for.”

Murphy: “You will know that the wage settlement for the teachers’ will become the pattern for all other public sector unions. So what would be the cost of giving all other public sector employees the kind of wage increases you’re talking about? What would that cost the taxpayers?”

Burrill: “Well I don’t have that number in my head but I think it is a reasonable thing for teachers to say “We think we ought not to go backwards in relation to inflation and I think it would be reasonable for the government to go into negotiations being prepared and to make that agreement. Teachers aren’t asking for the moon.”

Murphy: “But the teachers are asking what the government says is about 500 million dollars worth of value. 500 million dollars seems like an awful lot of money.”

Burrill: “Well there is great dispute about this number. The Teachers’ Union doesn’t accept that this is an accurate number it has many different sides I don’t want to get into the details of where that number comes from.”

Murphy: “But you don’t agree with it obviously.”

Burrill: “I think it’s an exaggeration but I think the core principle, it seems to me what teachers are saying we ought to listen to and its very simple. They’re saying “We cannot go on. We’ve got to have a mega-infusion of investment in the classroom. And at the same time we don’t think we should be paid less.”

Murphy: “But you’re saying this is no time to worry about the cost whatever it would be?”

Burrill: “I’m not saying ‘Not worry about the cost’ I’m saying -

Murphy: “But how much money would you be willing to spend to do it? Lets pin you down on this.”

Burrill: “Well I think this would be a worthy investment to make. The government has got, in my view. one central thought, and that is that the books of the province must be balanced there must not be a deficit.”

Murphy: “The government was elected on that pledge.”

Burrill: “Well that’s true but I think we’re in a situation where this thought is actually taking us in a wrong direction. What there, what they’ve been willing to say is that they’re willing to pay any price in order to accomplish this including the demoralization of this wonderful body of teachers.”

Murphy: “But aren’t you saying just the opposite - that you’re willing to pay any price in terms of public spending to accommodate these needs?”

Burrill: “No, not any price, but the price that is required to restore the capacity of teachers to give proper expression to their vocation in the classroom and that would extend to teachers in respect to the contract I think the public ought to pay that price.”

Murphy: “But you don’t know what that price would be?”

Burrill: “That would be the subject of negotiations. That’s why we need to get back to negotiations and figure that out. Not for the government to come and simply sit at the negotiating table like bumps on a log but to come prepared to really hammer this out as teachers have been willing to do. The government has said no they wouldn’t do conciliation, no we wouldn’t do mediation, for a long time, no we wouldn’t do negotiation. Go to the table and hammer out these details.”

Murphy: “Mr. Burrill we appreciate your time.”