• Thomas Trappenberg

Insurrection at Province House

The Nova Scotia Legislature met only 13 days in 2020. With no sitting government, the Liberals have committed an insurrection of our democracy.

I know that many Canadians are watching the events to our south. I have to admit that the downfall of Trump is grotesquely entertaining, but we need to remind ourselves that there are lives at stake. There have been, by now, 6 deaths related to the storming of the Capitol last week, and Trump's COVID response has come at a catastrophic cost. So, let's not play down the seriousness of the situation.

“...the downfall of Trump is grotesquely entertaining...”

However, I can’t get this fictional movie out of my brain. I imagine a crowd of Nova Scotian’s storming our province house. There are lots of flags, like the old Canadian flag with the Union Jack, and they even dragged the Corwallis statue out of storage. The mob finally crosses the tape stating “Please, do not enter if you would be so kind” and run up the stairs into the great hall.

They open the door and …

Where is everyone? Not only is it nice and quiet, but there is even a bit of dust on the chairs. Now I remember that our legislature has sat for only 15 minutes since last spring, and that 15 minutes were only there to face compliance with the law. It then pops to my mind how thankful we should be. We don't have to defend our democracy, we simply put it on hold and replace it with a secret chamber where Premiere McNeil does his deals.

How come, people ask, that our kids can go to school, but MLAs are not even allowed to have committee meetings online. I do understand that many MLA's old-way of thinking might have weakened their bodies, so, we have to be considerate of them too. They are working hard, hiding from the press and not answering questions.

The good thing is that we Nova Scotians are polite. We will forgive this government for not doing their work while getting paid. We are thankful that we can still clearcut and burn our forests, that we will have lots of polluting fish farms in our bays now that tourism is dead, and we might open the paper Mill again as the residents in the surrounding are missing their stench.

But sarcasm aside, I actually notice a lot of people thinking deeper and see that we are entering a new age. I am glad to know many people that are looking forward to finally putting this old-style of politics to bed and demand a modern open discussion. Back room deals; the lifelong elected officials; the public regulator-to industry lobbyist pipeline... most of the public is sick of it and aware that we have a historic opportunity to renovate our democracy.

An insurrection by voting in needed. Only 51% of eligible Nova Scotians voted in the last provincial election, but I believe that many of them have woken up. We will only get our government back, working as it should with transparency and accountability if we all get involved and vote.

Otherwise, we shouldn't look down our noses at the disaster south of the border.

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