Time to vote
Results will be interesting
Let’s face it. By- elections aren’t very exciting at the best of times.
And what’s worse? How about mid- summer byelections? In fact, how about two of them today in Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and a third in Dartmouth South?
This means that voter turnout will, in all likelihood, be lousy and for most the results won’t mean much. There’s a Liberal majority government running the province today. There will be a Liberal majority government running the province tomorrow.
Yet, here we are and political junkies in the crowd (yes, there are still a few) will be watching the results closely.
Can, for instance, the NDP, following the retirements of longtime MLAs Gordie Gosse and Frank Corbett, hang on to Sydney-Whitney Pier and Cape Breton Centre? Or will the Liberals and/ or Progressive Conservatives score a breakthrough in at least one of those ridings.
And what will happen in Dartmouth South following the death of Liberal MLA Allan Rowe? The former broadcaster- turned- politician scored a solid victory in this newly created riding two years ago but the NDP won big when it was Dartmouth SouthPortland Valley in 2009.
Mid- term by- elections tend not to favour the ruling party as disgruntlement with the status quo is often the primary incentive for those who do bother to vote. Send the government a strong message is usually the battle cry.
So any successes the Liberals score today will surely be interpreted in a positive light by both party supporters and independent analysts.
Should the Grits be swept in all three ridings, however, the opposition parties will have something to build on and in Nova Scotia politics these days power can be a fleeting thing. Even for those holding solid a majority. Just ask the NDP.
New idea a big hit
Remember back in April when Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce president Bruce Meloney predicted that the inaugural three- day Rotary Ribfest was going to be one of CBRM’s highlights of the year?
No doubt there were others who weren’t quite so optimistic. A Ribfest? On the Sydney waterfront? What if it rains?
Well, it didn’t rain (except for a short spell on Sunday) and people didn’t stop coming. Some more than once.
All told, attendance was estimated at 25,000, far exceeding organizer expectations of 10,000.
And it was for a good cause, too, with a “generous” amount of money raised for the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County. The exact figure hasn’t been released.
Early reports indicate the event will return next year and if the weather co-operates we wouldn’t be surprised to see the attendance mark shattered once the no-shows hear about what they missed.
The Rotary Ribfest is a wonderful example of a new idea being tested out in our community and turning into a huge hit. Hopefully, there are others to follow.