NEW GLASGOW – Clarrie MacKinnon said he thought the race would have been tight in Pictou East, but he didn’t expect to lose.
The former Pictou East MLA said his loss was part of the routing of the NDP party across the province.
“There will have to be a total rebuilding of the party,” he said Tuesday evening. “I don’t think anyone expected this situation to be as badly as it is.”
The 39th annual provincial election saw a Liberal majority across the province with 33 elected seats and 11 went to the Progressive Conservative Party while the NDP came out with 7.
In Pictou County, all three seats went to the Progressive Conservatives.
MacKinnon said he is disappointed that the NDP will not be able to carry on its work and allow so many good people in the party a chance to help the province.
“We had so many good back benchers that could have performed well in the legislature and now we won’t have the opportunity to do so,” he said.
MacKinnon said the NDP governed in one of the worst economic times for the province since the Depression and it was unable to make a difference in rural Nova Scotia.
“Rural Nova Scotia never turned a corner and so many people are living out west,” he said. “Political people have to look inward and feel the pain of the populous. The more and more I knocked on doors throughout the campaign, the more I felt the pain of the people.”
MacKinnon said he doesn’t know what’s in store for the province for the next four years, but he plans to spend some time with family.
“I am 67 years old and I love, love politics, but I also love my wife and family,” he said. “Mary K had a close call with cancer so maybe retirement and spending time with my children isn’t so bad.”
Meanwhile, Liberal candidate François Rochon said he is pleased that his party swept the province to form a majority government and he looks forward to change.
“We formed the government and the Liberals are going to take Nova Scotia in the right direction,” he said. “We had a good platform.”
He said he is not concerned that there are no Liberals from Pictou County sitting in legislature and he believes Pictou County will be treated fairly.
On a more personal level, Rochon said he is pleased he doubled the amount of votes he collected during the 2009 election.
“The NDP and PCs had a good machine out,” he said.