N.S. to see more diversity at the ballot box this election
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotians will elect their next provincial government in just 20 days and this year there will be more diversity at the ballot box.
"Diversity is important because we live in a democracy that's based on representation and so if we only see the same people being represented usually white, middle class men at this point, then we're really losing out on perspectives and policy," said Meredith Ralston, a professor of both women's and political studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax.
There are 55 electoral districts in Nova Scotia.
There are a total 230 candidates nominated this election. A complete list of nominated candidates is available on the Elections Nova Scotia website.
Here is a breakdown of registered candidates by party:
- Atlantica: 16 candidates
- Green Party: 43 candidates
- Liberal: 55 candidates
- NDP: 55 candidates
- PC Party: 55 candidates
- Independent: 6 candidates
There are a number of women vying for a seat in the provincial legislature this election.
Of the three major parties, the Liberals have 23 women running and 19 women are running under the PC banner. Meantime, the NDP will have 31 women and four people who are gender diverse on the ballot.
"I'm very optimistic that the province has moved forward in the fact that several of the parties do have a lot more women running and hopefully that will translate into seats in the legislature," said Ralston.
Between the Liberals, PC's and NDP there are three candidates who identify as Indigenous and at least 17 visible minority candidates this election.
"I'm not surprised at all to see more representation, more diversity on the ballots," said Lori Turnbull, director of the Dalhousie School of Public Administration.
"It will be interesting to see whether that translates into more diversity and representation in the house. I certainly hope it does."
Turnbull says it's important to have a lot of voices at the table.
"Political equality is a real thing," said Turnbull.
"I think the more people see legislative assemblies as not being inclusive you know we run the risk of people thinking they're not relevant and if you don't see yourself in that assembly you don't feel represented, you don't want to be involved, you think that it's not inclusive and representative and respectful of you and that's wrong."