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Goodbye Shawn… You Had Your Chance… You Blew It…

Published September 28, 2010 - 2 Comments

Is anyone really surprised?  I’m not!  Well Shawn Graham… you had your chance, and you blew it.  42 Conservative seats to 13 Liberal ones?  I’m not surprised about that.  I AM a little surprised that the popular vote was as close as it was…   49% for the Conservatives compared to to 34% for the Liberals.  (I’m rounding here).  I find it hard to imagine that a third of New Brunswickers voted Liberal, but hey… it’s quite possible that there are still some good Liberal MLAs out there who deserve another chance.  Just not the leadership!  I was quite happy to see that Dr Jim Parrott trounced Jack Keir in my riding.  Quite satisfying, actually.

That’s all I really want to say about that.  I don’t expect much from the next 4 years… I’m just hoping that the Conservatives don’t screw it up too badly, and the Liberals use the time to get their act together, find a real leader, and come back strong in 2014.

On a final note… I was very pleasantly surprised to learn today that my ranting about the importance of the political process stirred at least one person to vote for the first time.  Regardless of your personal political persuasion, I fully believe that the process is too important to ignore.  As I saw tweeted this morning, too many places in the world do not afford their citizens the right to vote… we take that for granted, and it saddens me when friends of mine don’t even bother to exercise their electoral rights.  It’s not hard, people.  Yes, the system is not perfect.  But it’s what we have, and it’s worth remembering how blessed we are to live in a country that values democracy… even with all it’s imperfections.

Congratulations, Mr Alward. The People have spoken.

[I am going to miss the little bump in traffic that the election has brought to the blog.  I’ve noticed people following the link in #NBvotes, as well as google searches for “NB Election blogs”.  Maybe some of that will translate into regular readers… we’ll see!]
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NB Votes 2010 Interactive Feature

NB Election Tomorrow

Published September 26, 2010 - 0 Comments

So…  we prepare to head into tomorrow’s election…  I’m crossing my fingers that the public has as much disdain for Shawn Graham’s Liberals as I do, but I’m not so sure.  The polls have been surprisingly close, in my opinion.  I didn’t really think that many people would have forgotten about all the lies that we’ve been fed for the last 4 years, but I guess sometimes memories are short.  Don’t get me wrong… I’m not expecting miracles from David Alward, either.  But for me, it’s the lesser of two evils.  Shawn Graham had his chance.  He blew it.  I can not reward him with my vote. 

My prefered outcome tomorrow is to see a Conservative government take power… for the Liberals to get their act together over the next 4 years… have a leadership convention… put someone in there who can actually lead… and come out swinging in 2014.  And in that time, I’m hoping that Alward doesn’t screw things up too badly. 

It can not possibly be any worse than the last 4 years have been.

UNBSJ, NB Power, French immersion, rural ferry service…    It’s time for a change.

NB Election Over Twitter

Published September 12, 2010 - 0 Comments

Last week I wrote about the upcoming provincial election here in New Brunswick. After writing that post, I went looking for some other blogs that were talking about it. One of the first ones I found was Saint John Shawn, a blog that I’ve stopped in to read before. It won’t take you too long to figure out what side Shawn is supporting. (There’s more than just election stuff on Shawn’s blog, and it’s a good read… so check it out)

Then I went to Twitter. I don’t normally use the # list option, but I noticed someone had posted an election-related tweet using #nbvotes in their post. So I did a search for that… #nbvotes

Wow…

There are quite a lot of vocal Twitter users in New Brunswick! It was actually refreshing to see! Yes.. there is a lot of crap there.. the usual cat calls… smearing… anything that you would expect to find when you put a bunch of people with opposing views in the same room and tell them that they can say anything they want. I wouldn’t say that it’s all constructive, but there certainly is value in having the conversation.

Four years ago I doubt anyone was talking about NB politics on Twitter. It will be interesting to see what happens in another four years time.

NB Election September 27, 2010 – Get Out and Vote!

Published August 31, 2010 - 6 Comments

I’m sure that my readers from New Brunswick are already well aware of this, but September 27, 2010 is election day in the province! It’s time to get out and exercise your democratic right by casting your vote. I’m surprised by the general sense of apathy from my generation (and probably younger generations now) when it comes to voting. A good friend of mine is a political science major, and couldn’t be bothered to vote.  “It doesn’t matter who wins. They’ll all screw you.” is his philosophy. I understand the sentiment, but I’m disappointed that he feels that way. And he’s not alone. I won’t pretend to know what the number of non-voters are, but just in speaking to people I know, it can be more than a little disappointing.

I make no secret of the fact that I tend to vote Liberal in both federal and provincial elections. I find that their values are more in line with mine, although that certainly does not make them perfect! Far from it. On the federal side, I consider Michael Ignatieff to be a bit of an arrogant ass, and wildly out of touch with the people. As much as I am no fan of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, I don’t think that the federal Liberal party has any chance of winning an election any time soon with Ignatieff at the helm.

In the case of the provincial Liberal party, Premier Shawn Graham has all but ensured that they will sitting on the sidelines after this election. Of course that is only my opinion, but I will be absolutely shocked if they win a second term under his lackluster leadership.  Opponents of Graham immediately point to the debacle surrounding the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec, and I do not disagree one bit.  The entire thing was mishandled right from the beginning, and New Brunswickers were left holding the bag.  Whether you agree with the idea of privatizing NB Power or not, it’s hard to deny that Graham’s poor leadership (and constant flip flopping) cost New Brunswickers dearly.

But for me, I look back even further at this government’s track record.  Remember the proposal to turn UNBSJ into a polytechnic school? I don’t hear anyone talking about that anymore, but I certainly remember it. I was completing the final few courses of my Bachelor of Business Administration at the time, and seriously wondering whether or not I was even going to have the opportunity to finish.  No one had ever heard of a polytechnic prior to that, and Shawn Graham did a poor job of explaining it.  In the end, he reversed the decision, and UNBSJ remains a proper university.  But it is this kind of reckless behaviour that bothers me about the current Liberal government.  Shawn Graham comes out of nowhere with an idea that does not make sense, does a piss poor job of explaining it to New Brunswickers, and then backtracks completely in the face of public opposition.  At the end of the day, we’re no further ahead, but have spent too much time and money on something that should never have been on the agenda to begin with.

Personally, I see my vote as a vote of non-confidence in the current government.  Can I, in good judgement, give Shawn Graham my personal stamp of approval for the last 4 years?  Do I feel that this party is the right choice to guide our province’s direction for the next 4 years?  The answer is no.

Agree? Disagree? What matters most is that you have a voice that deserves to be heard. On September 27, get out and vote for whichever party you feel most deserves it.