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Meat-Eater's Guide to Nova Scotia Politics

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Meat-Eater's Guide to Nova Scotia Politics

Hundreds of NDP supporters savoured the aroma of medium-rare roast beef last night during the party’s annual leader’s levee at Pier 21 on the Halifax waterfront. “People with power have always eaten meat,” feminist-vegetarian theorist Carol J. Adams observes in her 1990 book, “The Sexual Politics of Meat.” Last night was an apt illustration. The NDP’s status as Nova Scotia’s official opposition carries the strong whiff of power, especially when Premier Rodney MacDonald’s minority Conservative government continues to fumble its way through the economic recession.

“There’s no question my friends that there’s an election in the air,” NDP leader Darrell Dexter told about 450 guests gathered in Kenneth C. Rowe Heritage Hall, the flag-festooned auditorium named in honour of an elderly business mogul. “Something else is in the air,” Dexter continued. “Change.”

Audience members who paid $52 each to attend the levee included core party supporters who have toiled for decades to elevate the NDP to its current status as Nova Scotia’s government-in-waiting. But there were also many newer recruits along with power-sniffing business suits anxious to shape NDP policies. They included agents from Nova Scotia Power, the privatized electricity company as well as reps from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an outfit that lobbies on behalf of big home and auto insurance firms. The IBC has been courting the NDP lately hoping to persuade the Dexterites to abandon any thought of a public auto insurance system. (According to the official program, IBC contributed between $2,500 and $4,999 to become a “Gold” sponsor of last night’s levee.)

It remains to be seen of course, whether the NDP will succeed in winning the provincial election expected this spring. Dexter himself seems cautiously optimistic, assuring party members four times during an earlier, afternoon speech that he wants to be premier. In a typical passage the NDP leader emphatically declared: “It’s time for a government that WILL make things better for the families of this province. That’s why I want to be premier. Because WE can do things better.” He mentioned plans to strengthen health care and education, to remove the eight per cent tax from household electricity consumption and to create more jobs by lowering business taxes on investments in new machinery and equipment.

Election promises aside, the NDP is counting on continued help from Premier MacDonald, who so far has neglected to recall the legislature and bring down a budget charting a course out of current economic troubles. An editorial in yesterday’s right-leaning Chronicle-Herald castigated MacDonald for failing to act. Perhaps the young premier should have been Darrell Dexter’s guest of honour last night savouring a thick, juicy hunk of NDP power meat.

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Great blog entry. Nice to

Great blog entry. Nice to learn something I didn't know about the IBC. Why do the lefties always say the C-H is right-wing, and the extreme right people I occasionally mingle with think it is a left-wing rag (albeit, they also think of the Liberal Party as left wing, so their judgment isn't extremely trustworthy).


Thanks for the comment. I started calling the C-H right-wing after I heard this advice several years ago from Dal economist Mike Bradfield. (He was speaking to young New Democrats.) "Read the Herald editorials faithfully," Bradfield said. "Then believe the opposite."

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