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Atlantica Party leader carries on campaign

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There’s no time like the present when you’re the leader of a fledgling political party and there’s probably five years between you and the next election.

Jonathan Dean, 2005 founder and current leader of the Atlantica Party, isn’t sitting idle after gaining ground in the May 2017 election. He didn’t have a candidate in every riding, but he did find 14 people to carry the Atlantica banner. He didn’t get to participate in the leaders debates, but neither did the provincial Green Party – and their federal counterpart has a seat and voice in Ottawa.

But 1,632 Nova Scotians voted for the new party promising to eliminate government interference in the private sector, privatize beer, wine and liquor sales in the province, lower income tax and introduce policies to recall MLAs – a.k.a. let constituents petition and vote out MLAs before their term is up.

That’s 1,632 Nova Scotians who either tuned in to or turned over to the Atlantica Party’s way of thinking. According to Dean, he can build on that and is willing to work now to position his party later.

“Between elections it can be hard to get political news out…we have a strong IT structure and social media program but it’s a matter of going to, say, downtown Springhill and meeting people on the street or having a local group and local community meeting and saying this is who we are, this is what we see for the province.”

Dean was in Springhill doing just that, meeting with 2017 party candidate Michael ‘Thor’ Lengies before touring the Cumberland South riding. Dean hopes by doing the legwork now the Atlantica Party will be difficult to dismiss later. The goal, he says, is to have a candidate in every riding and for the public to understand the party means business when the next election is called.

“Elections are the best time because people wake up and they start paying attention – the dragon wakes up. It’s about having god , credible policies, which we have, and getting more and more people to know the Atlantica Party has a candidate in their riding.”

Politics is a fickle game, Dean says. People want to become politicians because they want to help the people. Political party’s, however, call on their politicians to vote according to the party’s interest. Dean says the Atlantica Party is different because their making internal policies now to promote a short life span later.

“All votes are going to be free votes and if we don’t do that you can take us to task . The idea is for us to come along, make a bunch of changes and then once things are working well, go back to the status quo. Fix the political decision-making mechanisms. [Make sure] there is proper democratic support for things… break the back of party discipline and put in place economic policies that have been shown to work and then we’re safe to step back.”

His long-term goal, Dean says, is for the Atlantica Party to not be a long-term party.

“I don’t want to be a career politician. I have other things to do with my life. This is a project for most of us to do for a certain amount of time, then we’re going to go off and do other things.”

 

Founded in Nova Scotia

Liberal Party of Nova Scotia – 1883

Progressive Conservatives – 1867

New Democratic Party – 1961

Atlantic Party – 2005

Green Party – 2006

 

Gone, but not forgotten

Anti-Confederation Party, dissolved 1870

Cape Breton Labour Party, d. 1984

Nova Scotia Party, d. 2005

Marijuana Party, status unknown

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