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Now that's an interesting take...

The Globe and Mail opens their article on the results of last night's Nova Scotia provincial elections thusly:

The fiddler from Cape Breton pulled it off — barely. Rodney MacDonald won a minority government in Nova Scotia Tuesday, proving his party was right to pick a rookie cabinet minister to lead the Progressive Conservatives and the province.

This is an interesting reading of the results, particularly considering the Tory minority is thinner, and in order to win it he had to promise over $1 billion in new spending in a province that has already run up $12 billion in debt, much of which was accrued in electioneering promises exactly such as these.

Whether the party was right in picking him as leader remains to be seen, but the decision to call an election in retrospect looks more like a rookie mistake than a victory. It might be that he simply wanted a mandate of his own, but it now looks like calling the election in the early summer just after releasing a budget that the opposition already said it would support looks like politicking and was probably be understood as cynical in some eyes. That the budget reads more like a campaign plaftorm or wish list than prudent fiscal governing probably turned off conservative voters and the liberal electorate didn't seem to take it seriously.

Still, they polled 40% of the popular vote, which in places less extremely divided would have guaranteed an easy majority. Unfortunately for them that vote was distributed among the rural ridings, many of which they won handily, and they managed only 2 seats in Metro where they polled 30% compared to the NDP's 47%.

Whether the party was right in electing him leader will have to be decided later. For now, he has to handle a much thinner minority than he previously had and any further rookie mistakes will be that much more costly. And judging from his performance this month, mistakes can be expected.

Yeah, I noticed that take in the G&M as well. I'm wondering just how badly MacDonald would have had to f*** up before the G&M would have said he was a bad choice.

I can see Rodney trying to peddle fiddle music CDs for a living in the not too distant future.

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