Understanding the Vote

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  • There are many, many very successful small business owners/ managers in Nova Scotia. However governing the Nova Scotia Government / bureaucracy is no small business. What makes the average small business owner/ manager successful——they are a knowledge expert regarding their business and can institute change very quickly because they manage the small details on a day to day basis.
    In government these small business owners are at a tremendous disadvantage. They are no longer the knowledge expert and they must now rely on others who generally regard them as outsiders who will be there for 4 years max, and then they will be turfed. The NS civil service has an engrained sense that they can wait out any Premier/ Minister. They are not going to willingly embrace the kind of change that is required and in all probability they are not going to help formulate that change.
    The vast majority of these small business owners will be overwhelmed because their hands on experience is no longer applicable. They need new skills to challenge the roadblocks that will be put in front of them. Unfortunately there is no time to learn and implement those new skills.
    In an earlier comment someone quite appropriately categorized this as: ” beware of the enemy within” .
    I respect the successful small business owners of this province. And I respect the fact they are willing to try to make a difference. However the task is daunting and I strongly suspect the voters of NS will be once again disappointed— not because the Premier/ ministers didn’t try hard, but because they are ill equipped to deal with the size and complexity of governing NS and its powerful bureaucracy.
    If we are ever going to get back to being a strong, growing province we need the “parties” to find us better qualified candidates.

    Barry H | October 16, 2013 | Reply

  • Managing a small business in Nova Scotia is a tricky balancing act these days. I cannot recall when Nova Scotia ever had an elected Premier or so many members of his caucus with a small business background.

    Allan Rodger | October 14, 2013 | Reply

  • Bill, I think your article does a good job summarizing the lead up to the election. So often we do not vote for a candidate, we vote to make sure we get rid of someone. In my view, that was the case for the Conservatives 4 years ago and that was the case in this election. We cast our vote with the objective to punish not because we think another party is capable of creating substantial change.
    You write: “none of his MLAs have any cabinet experience, nor do any of them have any experience running a large enterprise. ” Unfortunately that is a true but sad commentary on our new government. The logical extension of that thought is that therefore Nova Scotians should expect to be disappointed by this government and in 4 years we will vote to punish the Liberals. I fear that will, in fact, be what transpires.
    In the business world, which is the only comparable world that applies in this case, if there was a serious skill deficiency that was keeping the organization from achieving its goals, the organization would set forward a specific plan to acquire those skill levels. Unfortunately, our political parties do not bring forward candidates that address the skill levels required to govern our province. Our Political Parties bring forward “loyalists”, who may be great people serving their communities in many tremendous ways, BUT often do not have the ability to manage complex situations, complex organizations, and do not have the ability to force through change agendas. Even more shameful has been the inept leadership that the parties have put forward to the electorate.
    The NS political party system is the evil empire and until we change the power structure that governs those organizations we are doomed to mediocrity, or worse.

    Barry H | October 14, 2013 | Reply

  • Bill,
    Thanks for this article on the election.
    Now retired and living in St.Andrews,NB
    was shocked at the outcome.

    keith altimas | October 14, 2013 | Reply

  • Why does Mr Black question Stephen McNeil’s sincerity in his election night comments, but has no doubt Mr. Baillie absolutely meant his remarks?
    No wonder the electorate questions what the truth is, and is suspicious of deception, when a former corporate leader and tory leadership candidate immediately questions the decision made by a majority of Nova Scotians.

    Clyde Nunn | October 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Clyde thank you for your comment. It was not my intention to suggest that Mr. McNeil was less sincere than Mr. Baillie. Perhaps I could have phrased it differently.

      Bill B

      Bill | October 13, 2013 | Reply

  • I will be watching with interest how McNeil handles the senior civil service.
    Personally I would rather know that my senior management shares my philosophies rather than hope they do. I would immediately demand from all Deputy Ministers a signed letter of resignation i to take effect on any deviation of my government policy. They are not hired to set policy, but to enforce compliance with policy.
    Refusal to sign would be met with dismissal and let the courts determine liability and quantum of damages, if any.
    Beware the enemy within–their agenda may not be compatible with yours–and you were ELECTED to lead.

    Bill F | October 12, 2013 | Reply

  • For me it started when I learned that Dexter bought an expensive briefcase and camera on his expense account and had us taxpayers pay for his bar dues.

    Then he discovered the provincial chequebook and wrote cheques to just about every sunset industry in the province. Was your business about to go down the tubes? Have some money and try to stay in business – or at least pretend to try.

    Finally, he thought the Muskrat Falls was a great deal for Nova Scotians. But he couldn’t tell us how much the ordinary rate payer would have to pay on his electricity bill and toed the line on every move Emera made. This included speeding up the implementation of green energy projects which caused an immediate price increase. Last but not least, he allowed Emera to make 9.7% return on their investment in the fixed link. Since that loan was guaranteed by the federal government, there was no risk which justified a 9.7% return on investment.

    For a man who was supposed to be looking out for the interests of the little guy, he did a really bad job. When Graham Steele announced that he wasn’t going to run again, my decision to vote for a different candidate was an easy decision – because I would get a chance to vote against Dexter too.

    Jon Coates | October 11, 2013 | Reply

  • Me thinks that the ‘voters are only fooling themselves’ as they hope for improvement in their standard of living by “putting Nova Scotia first” , unless government do something that improves the economic ‘climate’.

    gordon a... | October 11, 2013 | Reply