The Nova Scotia Elections Act was amended recently by Bill 162. A number of changes were put through including one which is unfair.
In the past if a MLA position became vacant, for example New Democrat Maureen MacDonald stepping down in Halifax Needham in April, an official notice issued by Elections Nova Scotia stating the seat was vacant started the bye-election.
This has been changed. Now the bye-election starts with the issuance of a writ by the government which is to say the Premier decides the timing. So now the timing of bye-elections can be ‘gamed’ by the Premier.
Just as the Atlantica Party objects to the Premier being able to game the timing of a general election we object to the Premier gaming all bye-elections.
We realize this change was made with agreement between Elections Nova Scotia and all parties (although the voting on Bill 162 is being kept hidden) to harmonize Nova Scotia's bye-election practice with the other provinces - but that does not make it right.
Under the Atlantica Party’s Democracy Revolution Nova Scotia will have true fixed election dates and proper bye-election timing to make things fair.