Voting is the core of our democracy. And one of our most important jobs as legislators is to encourage voter engagement- and turn out.
Yesterday the PC government introduced legislation that will establish fixed election dates in our province, securing July 2025 as the next general election.
We as the Liberal Party have no issue with fixed election dates going forward, but with voter turnout dropping for decades, all Parties need to work together to reverse this unsettling trend.
“It’s concerning that the Houston government didn’t consult publicly on this matter, and didn’t reach out across Party lines,” says Opposition Leader Iain Rankin. “The PCs have four years until the next general election – they can afford to consult with voters.”
But without consultation, Nova Scotians will now be heading to the polls in another summertime election, despite this past election resulting in the second-lowest voter turnout in our province’s history.
The pandemic presented extenuating circumstances, where this past summer was the only reliable time our Liberal government could hold a general election while COVID-19 case numbers were still low. Despite not being an optimal time, keeping voters safe was our biggest priority.
“There’s no question – a summertime election isn’t ideal. It never has been,” continues Rankin. “And this bill introduced by the Conservatives does very little, if anything, to address the ongoing issue of voter apathy.”
Without consulting Nova Scotians, and with the next election slated for a time when many are away on holiday and students out of the province, the question needs to be asked: what’s the real reason Premier Houston wants to lock in another summertime election?