Nova Scotia

Parties iron out platforms as election looms

With an imminent election Nova Scotia's three main political parties say they are working overtime to come up with plans they can sell to voters.

Nova Scotians will likely go to the polls this year

Province House in Halifax. With an imminent election Nova Scotia's politicians are working out their platforms. (CBC)

As Nova Scotia inches closer to an election, the province's three main political parties say they are working overtime to come up with plans they can sell to voters.

Part of that work is coming up with a platforms voters will be ready to buy.

The Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and the governing New Democrats all claim their election platforms are almost ready.

"You have to relevant. If you're not relevant people will tune you out," said PC strategist Rob Batherson.

He's one of the people working on the conservative platform, a campaign he says is designed to be different.

"Freezing power rates. We're going to be the only party that will provide a guarantee that power rates will stay the same over a certain number of years."

Liberal Party President John Gillis said the party is refining their plan and Leader Stephen McNeil is putting a personal stamp on it .

"Because if the leader does not believe in a particular concept that is not going to sell well on the doorstep or in the media," said Gillis.

The two opposition parties said they have used polls to determine which issues resonate. The NDP says it has not.

NDP President David Wallbridge said his party gets some of its ideas every time an MLA picks up the phone or strikes up a conversation.

"It's really a broad brain-storming process and then gets narrowed as we go along and leading right up to when the platform is released," he said.

"The contact with voters and with Nova Scotians really comes through the MLAs and what they've been hearing in their constituency offices. You know when you call your MLA and you complain about, ‘hey, how come this isn't being done?’ Or ‘hey this should be done.’ This is a really great idea. I mean that's really the best tool."

The platforms will be released when Premier Darrell Dexter drops the writ, likely some time this year.