Posted April 21, 2017

The Liberal Record: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Discerning observers will have noticed a barrage of spending announcements from the province’s Liberal government, and concluded that an election may be called shortly after the budget is presented on April 27th.

In light of that possibility, a reflection on the government’s performance during the current mandate is warranted.
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Last week’s article identified seven leading candidates for the Conservative Party leadership. Each of them agreed to be interviewed this week, and were generous with their time. With difficulty, those interviews have been greatly condensed; nevertheless, today’s article is twice the normal length.
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The choice of the new Conservative leader will be determined by a series of preferential ballots. The results of the first ballot may not be a good indicator of where things will end up.

Useful polling data are impossible to come by. The people who matter will be the 100,000 or so party members who vote on or before May 27th. A poll of all Canadians is certainly not representative of that group. Nor is a poll of people who voted Conservative in the last election.
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This week’s Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) announcement of a big payroll rebate agreement with IBM has sparked a renewed debate on the appropriateness of the program.

That announcement increased the number of possible jobs added from 500 to 750 and the average salary from $50,000 to $73,500. The maximum achievable incentive increased by $10.4 million to $22.6 million.
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Watching the emerging debate around health care in the United States is sometimes amusing and often distressing. Canadians can learn a few things about our democracy, observing from the safety of the bleachers.
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