Party leaders reveal favourites
Political differences aside, Nova Scotia’s major party leaders can find common ground on a few fronts.
But sharp differences in taste emerged elsewhere in a survey of the leaders’ cultural, sports and other personal preferences.
Tory leader Jamie Baillie said his favourite food was Thai cuisine — “pad Thai, glass noodles, you name it.’’
Both Liberal Stephen McNeil and the NDP’s Gary Burrill kept it simple, however, when it came to their culinary favourites. The premier revealed that McDonald’s is his go-to meal, while Burrill said there’s nothing like a “good oldfashioned’’ hamburger and fries.
Their responses to a survey by The Canadian Press appeared to line up with their political personas, particularly when it came to their TV-viewing habits.
McNeil said he relaxes by watching home renovation shows hosted by no-nonsense, budget-conscious contractors like “Holmes on Homes’’ and “Leave it to Bryan.’’
Baillie, who has campaigned as a family man, said he watches family comedies like “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.”
McNeil and Baillie both said they have Netflix and basic cable. Meanwhile, Burrill has cut the cable cord altogether at home, but said he watches some TV news at the office.
Burrill said he prefers the radio to screen entertainment, often turning his dial to hear the baseball play-by-play, especially if it’s a Boston Red Sox game.
“Baseball is my sport!’’ the NDP leader said. “When my family lived in Boston, I used to take my kids to the game a few times a week.’’
The other two leaders said they are Toronto Blue Jays fans.
None of the leaders’ hockey favourites are still playing this year: Baillie and Burrill are Toronto Maple Leafs fans, while McNeil is a Montreal Canadiens man.
The candidate’s playlists varied widely — ranging from glam metal to Celtic reels.
Baillie showed a penchant for the upbeat chart toppers of the 70s and 80s, including Elton John, Kiss’s first live album and “Love Shack’’ by the B-52’s.
McNeil mixed up his music picks between the soft rock of the Eagles and Johnny Cash’s mournful country twang. He also highlighted the lyrics of “Green Eyes’’ by Coldplay, saying the verse “You are rock upon which I stand’’ evokes memories of his mother.
“(She) was the rock for me and my 16 brothers and sisters after my father died,’’ McNeil wrote.
Burrill’s musical preferences were also driven by a familial connection. He listed Halifax-based indie folk band Hillsburn as his favourite album and musical act, granting that there may be some nepotism involved, given that two of the group’s members are his children.
Burrill also shared his predilection for the fiddle. He said the last album he purchased was by fiddling duo the Bb Sisters, and said there’s “no reel that a good fiddler can drive much better’’ than Dan R. MacDonald’s rendition of “The Trip to Windsor.’’
Burrill said his favourite beach spot was the cobble and sand shoreline of Port Maitland “because it’s home.’’ McNeil said he enjoyed the rocky Hampton Beach in Annapolis County, while Baillie favoured the sands of Dragline Beach on Caribou Island.