Who Represents You?

Every three or four years, Nova Scotians elect a provincial government. Elected members from the leading party form a cabinet which manages our health care, education, support for disadvantaged members of our communities, care for the environment, worker safety and training, economic development and many other functions. In fulfilling these responsibilities, our provincial government spends about $9 billion a year, or $1 million per hour.

Politicians do not tend to be held in high esteem at the best of times, and the recent disclosures of inappropriate spending by MLA’s have further hurt the image. The new NDP government looks more like its predecessors than was hoped or expected, so the whole political class is under a cloud. Two MLA`s have already resigned and been replaced.

The key political roles are premier, opposition leaders, and cabinet members. They represent between a quarter and a half of the elected members. To fulfill these roles properly requires sound judgment, skill in policy development, and strength in both written and verbal communications. These are in addition to the empathy and endurance that are required to be a successful constituency politician. In fact it is good constituency level skills that get people elected, but these skills are not necessarily those needed by leaders and cabinet members.

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