Nova Scotia people go to polling station on August 17

The 41st General Election in Nova Scotia officially began.

Iain Rankin, the leader of the NS Liberal Party, who became prime minister in February, met with the governor on Saturday. Arthur LeBlanc dissolves the Nova Scotia Legislature. Election day is August 17.

“This province is at a critical juncture, and we need to continue to make the right decisions for workers, senior citizens, families and all Nova Scotians,” Rankin told reporters gathered outside the government building in downtown Halifax.

“This election will be about how we can best position the province to achieve a strong economic recovery, with a focus on infrastructure, green technology and renewable energy investment. I am very optimistic about the province’s potential.”

The announcement was made after several weeks of funding announcements across the province, which included Plans to build hundreds of new long-term care beds And reached an agreement with the federal government Bringing affordable childcare services to Nova Scotia.

“It’s time,” Rankin said

Rankin spoke of the fact that the election will take place during the provincial emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday, there are 8 known active cases in Nova Scotia, and Rankin noted that the province is in the fourth phase of its reopening plan.

“It’s time,” he said. “We need to discuss our ideas and our optimistic vision for the future with the province. I think there are differences in the proposals of other parties.”

At the beginning of the campaign, Rankin’s Liberal Party held 24 seats in the legislature, the Progressive Conservative Party held 17 seats, the New Democratic Party held 5 seats, three independent parties and two vacancies.

Rankin was elected as his party leader in February-succeeding the retired Stephen McNeill-and will seek to win the Liberal Party’s third consecutive mandate in the 38-year-old politician’s first election as leader.

On Saturday morning, Ian Rankin (left), leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia, and his wife Mary Chisholm walked to the Governor’s House. (Jean La Roche/CBC)

This will also be the first election of the Progressive Conservative Party with Tim Houston as its leader, and Gary Burrill will lead the New Democratic Party in the second election.

Burrill’s party is scheduled to kick off at noon today, and Houston and his party are planning to start their own campaign at 2 pm Eastern Time. The Liberal Party event is also scheduled to be held at 6:30 pm Eastern Time. All campaign activities are held in Halifax.

New seats, a large number of retirees

Regardless of the outcome, consider the return of the four seats in the so-called Argyle, Clare, Preston and Richmond Reserves, as well as the creation of new seats to reflect population growth and redistribution in certain areas. In 2017, voters selected 51 priorities. This time it is 55.

Also worth noting is the number of senior MLA retirements who participated in this poll. 13 people no longer propose again, including 11 Liberal Party, a New Democratic Party and an independent person.

Lori Turnbull, associate professor of political science at Dalhousie University and dean of the School of Public Administration, said that some of these seats will naturally fall into the hands of the party that holds them, but other seats may now play a role.

“I think let all these people-many of them ministers-put a lot of certain things aside, and give Rankin a chance to brand himself in the party and recruit candidates who are loyal to the party. And don’t think it’s just Mike. The continuation of the Neal government,” Turnbull said.

“However, this is also a lot of work for the party. This is the recruitment of many candidates, the training of many people, and a lot of speeding up. I think we may see a lot of changes.”

Challenges and opportunities faced by all parties

Tom Urbaniak, a political scientist at the University of Cape Breton, said that holding elections in the context of the summer and COVID-19 will be a challenge for all parties. This will not be a traditional campaign, because there will be no large gatherings and opportunities to gather many people together, which means it may be a quiet event.

Considering that almost all political images in the province have been briefed on COVID-19, the Liberal Party may consider this to be an advantage. But Urbaniak pointed out that 2003 was the last summer election in Nova Scotia, which raised some warnings about this theory.

“This seems to be a dull campaign. There were no exciting issues in that particular election, but the votes changed. The intentions of the voters changed, and John Hamm emerged from that election.”

This may not be a long campaign, but Urbaniak believes that there is still enough time, coupled with Rankin’s limited experience as leaders, Houston and Burrill may make progress.

Concerns about voter turnout

Since there are no exciting issues in this campaign, Urbaniak hopes that the New Democrats and the Conservatives will target areas where they think Rankin and the Liberal Party are weak, including long-term care, healthcare, housing, and poverty.

The voter turnout in the 2017 general election hit a record low of 53%, and Turnbull worried that these factors might lead to a lower voter turnout this time.

“I think this movement will be affected by the momentum,” she said.

“People are checked out in the summer. We can finally do things. Turning people to provincial politics for a while may be-not everyone will do it.”

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