Time to vote

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

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.

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