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Here’s why I’m not voting for Darrell Dexter 

His folksy charm isn't cutting it any longer.

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Darrell Dexter, we need to have a talk. Things aren't going so well between us these days. We started off so great. You won me over with your optimism and your folksy charm. I voted for your party as I always have, and you won an impressive majority and made lots of dandy sounding promises. Being young and naive, I believed you and looked forward to long, happy years of me voting for you, and you in return representing my interests as fiercely and ably as you always promised you would.

Where did we go wrong?

It started, as these problems often do, with a broken promise. You know me Darrell: I'm a young, educated, socially liberal guy who doesn't make much of a paycheque. I'm exactly the kind of voter who always supports the NDP. Last election, I told my friends to support you too because you wouldn't make life harder for us. When you promised not to increase my taxes I thought, "Well of course not, why would you? You know I can't afford that. You know how hard it is for me to stay in Nova Scotia when I'm barely making enough to get by and Alberta is waving ever-increasing paycheques in my face."

I was wrong. You ended up raising a tax that hit everyone, even the poorest folks in our province. I might have been able to get past this, and past my own embarrassment at having been proven wrong so publicly, but that's when we started to drift apart. I started to wonder if we had any of the same priorities anymore.

When I worried about ever earning a living wage or ever owning a home, you were talking about health care and cheap drugs for seniors. When my friends started moving west en masse in search of better work, you were talking about raising the minimum wage, as if that would reverse the outward flow of youth and talent. The connection I felt to you long before the last election was gone, Darrell. You just didn't seem to get me anymore.

The thing that truly broke us, though, is that at some point you stopped respecting me. You killed the Yarmouth ferry because it made no fiscal sense to keep it, and then you threw buckets of cash at a paper mill to keep it open when that made arguably less fiscal sense than keeping the ferry. When another mill in Queens County threatened to close, suddenly the math that worked in Cape Breton was no longer useful. Instead, you let the Queens mill close and then waited for an election to announce that, of all things, the ferry was making a comeback.

Because suddenly that made sense again.

I fell for you once because I thought you respected my intelligence.

What convinced you that I was a sucker, Darrell—the fact that I voted for you the first time?

I've been thinking of leaving you for awhile now, but your behaviour lately has made it impossible for me to stay.

First you toyed with me for months, teasing me with talk of an election and never coming through. By the time you finally called for a vote I was exhausted and, frankly, no longer that interested. But then you and your friends started to get sleazy. Your party bullied U-Vints to the brink of bankruptcy, then opened a campaign office in one U-Vint's abandoned storefront.

You ran advertisements disguised as cover stories on the front page of the Metro, hoping the tiny "paid advertisement." barely noticeable at the top. would make it seem less like dirty pool. When Anonymous accused your party of using shady tactics to flood Twitter with NDP shill accounts, you barely paused to refute them before running straight to the police.

Now that I'm leaving you and telling all our friends, will you call the cops on me too?

I don't want to hurt you, Darrell, but I just can't stand by you any longer. It's important to me that you know that I'm not leaving you for someone else. Yes, the other suitors are back and calling to me, but you've made me cynical and I won't succumb so easily to anyone's advances this time.

I suppose I should thank you for curing me of my naivete, and the best way I can think of to express my gratitude is to man up and tell you the plain truth.

It's over Darrell. We're through.


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Blake Hunsley is a freelance writer and amateur soapbox enthusiast. You can disagree with him about all kinds of things on Twitter@MaritimeState.

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