The Nova Scotia election is here, and as McNeil makes election promises, I carefully consider my options. As a political science student, I have been taught about the Canadian government from the ground up. I have also been told time and time again that my vote matters. I will first confess that I am a liberal party member. I confess this not because I am about to sing my praises for McNeil, but the opposite. While I proudly show my liberal membership card, I will not proudly defend Mr. McNeil. As a young Nova Scotian, I know all too well the job prospects, and the decisions youth and young families must make in this province. Sadly, the decision for many is to leave. In the coming Nova Scotia election, I have been thinking carefully.
While Mr. McNeil considers bringing youth to his side, devoting resources to schools, and promising jobs, I have little faith in these programs. I have little faith in a system that does not seem to be changing. I have little faith in a man that pushes unions of nurses and teachers against a wall. Whether one agrees with the demands of the unions is not the point. The point is that Mr. McNeil has shown that in concern to an aging population, and to educating our youth, that his promises only come up during campaigns – and he rules with an iron first.
Like many Liberals, I am now wondering who I should vote for. The NDP may benefit greatly from the failings of Mr. McNeil, whether they will benefit enough to take the election, of course remains to be seen. It is also possible that the conservatives will take the province. This possibility is not because of the greatness of the other two parties, but the shortcomings of Mr. McNeil. In my riding, I believe all three candidates would be an outstanding match for the job. I see little reason to go against the incumbent as he has faithfully served our area for a substantial number of years. I have fond memories of him visiting my school as a child, and would even consider campaigning for him. It is this kind of greatness that I wish I could stand up for without question, but I can’t.
I must weigh my vote carefully because backing the Liberal MLA is not just backing his politics. It is backing a provincial government that I am not necessarily enthralled by. Whether I would support the NDP or Conservative nominees is a question that I am rightfully considering. While I want to vote for “the best man for the job” that can be difficult in a system that ties MLAs with the party that will remain, or become in charge. I do not think we should ignore our districts either. Thus, this has become a great dilemma for me. My choices seem to be to remain complacent, or to tell the Liberal party that while I am loyal, I will not stand for this. I will not stand for a government that has gone against my own values – that people matter, and that education, healthcare, and a good life is something that I wish for all Nova Scotians.
As this election continues, we must ask our candidates not only what they stand for, but how much of the platform they are supporting. We must ask our candidates if they are willing to stand up to their leadership when the ‘going gets tough’, or if a vote for them is merely a vote for the party line. In the modern Canada that I want to support, I hope we can find candidates that are not only willing to be tough on the competition but willing to faithfully stand up for the values that are important both to their constituents and to persons that may have become weary of the party’s position.
I carefully weigh the decision of my vote because I want a province that can stand on its own two feet. I want to ensure that our future is protected and that Nova Scotians of all ages can live in a province that is actively fighting for our development. There will always be questions that are tough to answer and politics, no matter which candidate is in charge, will always have compromises. As I look toward the candidates in this election, both locally and for provincial leader, I want to see what they are willing to change, what they are willing to stand up for at all costs, and what they are not willing to concede to. I hope that they will be uncompromising on their values, but compromising on positions that impede change. Now, more than ever, I am looking for candidates that will put Nova Scotians – all of them, at the top of their agenda. Instead of making me promises you cannot keep – show me. Show me that you are a candidate that respects my values and respects my province. Please remember that this election is more than the candidate that has the best Facebook posts. This election is more than rallies or campaign signs. This election is about our future. In that future, I hope to see a political process that is evolving.