Along the Trail: Election '17
By the time you read this, the election of ’17 will be toast. Or maybe not. Recounts seldom change final results, but one never knows. I am sure Jamie Baillie says his prayers every night asking for just one successful recount. No matter how studied and analyzed the modern elections are, they are still a crap shoot. Kind of like Chase the Ace times 51. Just ask Michele Samson who was the MLA for Richmond County since the Bras d” or Lakes turned to salt.
The return of Keith Bain was widely predicted, and only the size of his majority provided the slightest surprise. No doubt there was, and is, upset at the Mcneil government’s approach to health care. Combine that with the teacher’s anger and the demise of Ms. Eyking was in the cards. Many people complained at the unresponsiveness from her office and this no doubt translated into renewed support for Mr. Bain. Though in fairness to Mr. Bain, he started campaigning the day after he lost in 2013. He was on Facebook more than Peter Mansbridge and the CBC; the only thing missing was the fudge recipes.
Cape Breton, as it has done so for many years both provincially and federally, went against the tide and elected a strong, robust opposition.
There is a long honoured saying that Cape Bretoners should vote the next day so they can get it right. It might be argued that Cape Breton has not exactly been a pot of gold with both a federal and provincial Liberal government in power. I don’t want to sound like a “down with the causeway” kind of person, but our little province has become totally Halifax driven. That is understandable given the population and economic growth that is occurring there, but in
the “good old day”, there was a little more balance. As I watched election night coverage, I could not help but reflect on the fact that not so many years ago, Sydney had both a CBC and CTV full-time television station. Past election nights would see various local reporters in many different headquarters providing insights into how things were unfolding. With the exception of both networks at the headquarters of Mcneil and Baillie, there was not one other reporter out in the “boonies”: rural Nova Scotia. How many times did CBC and CTV interview some supporter at some riding in HRM? If the results had been delayed another hour, we would have the life history of every janitor in the city. The best example of all of this was the doctor’s rally in Cape Breton which should have been on everyone’s radar. Had it occurred in the HRM, there would have been continuous, blanket coverage. Instead, the doctors got one Skype call to CBC. Scandalous.
Things do change, and to complain is to holler into the wind. So long as the industrial base remains gutted in Cape Breton, nothing will change. The mines are gone (mostly,) the fish plants are gone, and the steel plant is now a park. The population has spiraled downward and our influence continues to wane. I was struck with the fact that CTV had both former Cape Breton premiers on one of their panels. I wonder how long before we see another caper Premier? “Down with the causeway!” Who said that?