We're out of the gates – and for anyone politically engaged this will be the most highly anticipated provincial election in ages.
The NDP's slow striptease leading up to Saturday's announcement culminated in what was designed as the showstopper with the release of the party's platform the day before. Pledges were rolled out that left little doubt the writ would be dropped soon.
As one would expect, opposition politicians started their line of offence with an attack on the government's record. They'd do well to remember the old saying about people and stones and glass houses. Before the NDP win four years ago, Nova Scotia alternated between Conservative and Liberal governments. It would be very easy to mount an attack on the record of any of the three.
Those who do vote find an election a good time to vent their frustrations. There's also the overly optimistic feeling that a new government will mean a quick fix – as the NDP well knows, they were heralded in with high expectations. That deflated in short time as the economy tanked.
Thus, it would pay voters to maintain healthy skepticism about promises from any of the parties in the weeks leading up to the Oct. 8 vote.
Many have noted the scant difference in ideology among the three parties. In one way that's been a disadvantage to the NDP, who disappointed any of those expecting a socialist firebrand approach.
On the other hand it helped them sway voters who would traditionally stick with one of the other parties.
So the talk will be all about jobs, the economy, taxation – the usual bread and butter issues. As one political analyst told The News last week, it comes down to who you have confidence can do the job. And we can only hope the low blows will be few and far between. They just muddy the waters and can often backfire.
At just over four weeks the campaign will be mercifully short, but long enough to confirm opinions for some or possibly change minds for others.