Solidarity Halifax members Judy Haiven and Evan Coole write to The Coast‘s editor with their thoughts on the election. Letters originally published on October 3, 2013.
In response to Blake Hunsleys’ article on why he’s not voting for the NDP (“Here’s why I’m not voting for Derrell Dexter,” Voice of the City, September 26), I understand, but I don’t really. I am not a member of the NDP, nor do I have a sign outside my house. But what I know is this: better the devil you know than the devil you can’t remember.
Remembering back to the MacDonald and Hamm governments, and the Liberal one before those, it should warn him about the dangers of voting for a government that will do less for the poor, the elderly, the homeless and even for young professionals like Hunsley. With the Tories or Liberals in government, Halifax will be a developers’ playpen, there will be less oversight of occupational health and safety laws (remember: in NS, one worker dies in a workplace accident every 10 days) environmental laws will be abandoned, hospital beds will close, the minimum wage will stay the same. There are no easy fixes when it comes relying on the NDP, but maybe progressive people across the province have to ride the NDP harder this term to do the right things.
-Judy Haiven, Halifax
When the major parties in this provincial election have all accepted the logic of austerity and spend their time on the campaign trail arguing over who will have the lowest taxes, most balanced budget, leanest public services, and the best ways to be business friendly; how can they differentiate themselves other than petty attacks on party brands and leadership personalities?
Calls for civility and respectful dialogue sound nice but fall short of addressing the real problem of our politics. We live in a society with clear divisions between the 1% – who are rapidly growing wealth and power – and the 99% – who are being told to tighten our belts and get by on lower wages, fewer jobs and austere public services.
Partisanship in its truest sense should recognize these divides and pick whose side you’re on. All of the parties have made clear that they accept the dominance of the 1%, leaving thinking voters to figure out who will be the least harmful for the rest of us. Does it really matter whether the parties angrily or politely agree with each other? We don’t need a change of tone, we need a change of ideas.
-Evan Coole, Halifax
Note: Articles published by Solidarity Halifax members do not necessarily reflect positions held by the organization.