Party faces work to restore faith

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Nova Scotia voters may have taken care of the Conservatives last spring when they elected this province's first ever NDP government, but eight months later the news isn't getting better for the party that governed Nova Scotians for over 10 years.
Recent revelations over MLA expense claims have rattled public opinion of the political system in this province and have given an already cynical populace more reason to thumb their noses at those we elect to make the best use of our tax dollars.
More than this, though, the recent revelations will do nothing to endear Nova Scotians to the party they gave a majority to in 1999 and continued to return to power until turfing them last June. And while interim Conservative leader Karen Casey has attempted to clear the air, the spending of some of her former cabinet and caucus mates has to be extremely embarrassing to a party that will in a few short years try to win back our trust.
Yarmouth MLA Richard Hurlburt may have resigned his seat in the legislature, but questions continue to be asked about his spending habits such as the generator hooked up at his home and the large $2,500 television.
At the same time, various other MLAs - many since retired or defeated - purchased computers and electronics like kids in a candy store and took advantage of a system that served to bolster their sense of entitlement.
This spending scandal has touched all three parties, but no one more than the Conservatives and the way Casey handled the mess in the beginning wasn't all that laudable. She has since recovered in opening her caucus up to public question and has been up front as the story developed. Unfortunately, the damage may have already been done.
Casey has also pledged to work with Premier Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil to fix the expense rules and create a system that's more open. Still, it's awfully hard to overcome first impressions and while she is only the interim leader she has her work cut out for her in restoring confidence in the party and its caucus.

Organizations: Conservatives

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • scott
    April 05, 2010 - 16:11

    its a terrible thing , when we put our trust into a party , just to steal from us . hopefully they can turn themselves around ( i doubt it and not that i care anymore )