Sunday, May 14, 2006


Second Verse, Same as the First

Stop me if you have heard this election phrase:

This campaign will be about who has the best plan for families.

Nova Scotia Conservative leader Rodney MacDonald muttered those words to reporters after visiting Lt.-Gov. Myra Freeman at her official residence, Government House, in Halifax and asking her to dissolve the legislature.

MacDonald is trying to secure his own mandate from Nova Scotia residents and break a minority government situation that has gripped the province for the past three years. Does that sound familiar?

MacDonald's most recent budget had a series of tax cuts, business subsidies and spending. An effort to sway every middle-class voter using Alberta's money. In fact, a close investigation of the past few Nova Scotia budgets and one can see where the federal Tories got some of their tax credit ideas from - e.g. small child hockey bucks.

The two opposition parties - the NDP and Liberals - don't appear as good reasons to turf the current government nor do either appear as "government in waiting." Darrell Dexter, he is no Robert Chisholm, and the NDP are likely to see their support stay at about the same level. If it increases, however, it will come at the expense of the Liberal party. The Liberals appear, to be polite, clueless. Their leader is untested and unknown. They don't stand for anything - that sounds familiar - and they are ripe for pounding.

Young MacDonald will be test driving a "hard working, tax paying family" message that will be form the nexus of discussion in the next federal election. As a result, the outcome on June 15 will be worth paying attention to. It is his to lose and it is hard to see how he will.

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