Less than a week into the provincial election campaign, Kings County has been inundated with party leaders.
Within 24 hours over Sept. 11 and 12, all three leaders of the mainstream political parties – the NDP’s Darrell Dexter, the Progressive Conservatives’ Jamie Baillie and the Liberal’s Stephen McNeil – visited Kings North and Kings South. Baillie was back in both ridings Sept. 14.
It’s clear the parties consider those two seats to be pivotal to the Oct. 8 election. While every seat is important, no one can argue the fact certain seats predictably go a certain way. Voting traditions are still strong in some areas of the province.
Kings North has traditionally been a Conservative-held seat. Or it was, until the orange tide swept over Nova Scotia in 2009 as part of the NDP majority that’s governed the province for the past 4.5 years. Prior to that, the Liberals won the seat just once in more than 60 years.
With an interesting mix of candidates in that riding, it will be interesting to see if the incumbent can hold on or if one of the two newcomers to provincial politics will be able to sway voters their way.
Kings South, meanwhile, has a much more diverse history. Currently held by the NDP, it used to be a Tory-occupied seat. However, during the 1990s, it was held primarily by the Liberals and the NDP had the riding for a large chunk of the 1980s. In short, it’s anyone’s guess which way the vote will go there; it will largely depend on the issues, the leaders and the candidates, which is a good thing.
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- Off to the races
- Election forum planned
- Liberals focusing on knocking on doors in Kings County
- Tories hitting the ground running in Kings County
As this campaign develops, it will be interesting to see if the political leaders continue to pay attention to these ridings. Kings North has shown, in the last election, that any riding – even the “safe” ones – can change.
Largely, results will depend on which candidate can mobilize the most voters. The new continuous poll voting available in this election gives voters no excuse not to cast a ballot. Under this system, voters can visit a returning office on any day leading up to the election, except for Sundays, and write in the name of the candidate or the political party they wish to support on a ballot.
The new system is set up with an eye to increasing voter turnout, which has been poor over the past few years. Let’s all hope that continuous voting will make a difference in terms of the number of people who vote. Considering that there are places in the world where democracy is something that must be fought for, Nova Scotians are fortunate that they have the right to vote. It’s not something to waste.
Whatever party or candidate you support, we certainly hope you’ll get out to vote at one of the many opportunities over the next few weeks leading up to Oct. 8.