Hey, all. I haven't posted much in the past few weeks because I've been very, very, very busy. This is a follow up to my diary of May 14, when I told you I was nominated as the candidate for the New Democratic Party in the current general election here in Nova Scotia.
I've been on the campaign trail full time since the 15th. I've knocked on thousands of doors, talked to thousands of people, got a great suntan on my face and arms at least, and dropped 10 lbs. from all the exercise. Win or lose, I'm coming out ahead.
As to the winning and losing, we won't know until voting day on June 9, but the signs are very encouraging. More over the fold...
Briefly, I'm running against a Conservative incumbent, Richard Hurlburt, who has been a member of cabinet for most of the 10 years since he was first elected (narrowly defeating the NDP incumbent). In the last election in 2006, Hurlburt got 64.3% of the vote, so unseating him is a significant challenge. In US politics, an incumbent with that sort of advantage often goes unchallenged by the other party, something I really don't understand about your system. In any case, I'm challenging him, along with representatives of the Liberal Party and the Green Party.
So what have I been doing? First of all, I'm trying to knock on every door in the district. There are about 18,000 voters, or about 8,000 households. It's a big job, and it explains the 10 lb. weight loss, but with 11 days left to go I'm not going to be far off the mark, weather permitting.
Second, we are running the best-funded campaign we've ever waged in this district. We have more advertising, more printed material, more signs, and generally more presence than we've ever had before, including the one time we won this seat, in 1998.
Third, I have an outstanding team of volunteers backing me up, taking care of all the important details so I can dedicate my time to canvassing and public appearances. And they are geared to win.
And winning is looking more and more possible every day. The reception I've had on the doorstep has been very positive, although I'm enough of a political veteran to know not to read too much into that. Also, we're getting so many sign requests we've had to get a second printing.
There is a mood for change in the air in Yarmouth. In October municipal elections were held in the Town of Yarmouth and the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth (which make up the provincial district of Yarmouth). The incumbent mayor of Yarmouth was defeated after 20 years. Half the incumbent councilors were also defeated. That's a scenario almost unthinkable just a few years ago.
Finally, there are the polls. There have only been two province-wide polls done since the start of the campaign (none locally), and the sample sizes are fairly small. However, the results are all pro-NDP.
First, there was the CRA Poll on May 19, which showed the NDP on track to form at least a minority government, with significant growth in support in the rural mainland of the province, of which Yarmouth is part.
Then on Wednesday, another poll, this one actually predicting an NDP majority. Given the small sample size, and the fact it was conducted by internet, instead of by phone, this is likely an outlier, but still very encouraging.
That, my friends, is my update. I'm running to help create a more progressive government in my corner of North America. Wish me luck!