I discovered the party a bit by accident in the last provincial eletion cycle. I saw a couple banners around Halifax and visited the Atlantica website. I was a bit surprised and liked what I saw. Unfortunately they didn't have a candidate in my riding on the ballot or I might have voted for them.
A few thoughts on the Atlantica platform and website. First of all they should disable comments. Comments just attract trolls and it takes away their control of the narrative. Let the opponents expend their own time and energy to set up their own websites. Comments either undermine the message by opposing it, or even supporter comments can dilute the message without really adding value.
They should lead with the health care message. Health was the top issue in the election campaign. It is by far the largest provincial budget item. So lead with it. Their ideas for health care in Nova Scotia are quite interesting and innovative.
They make some good points about education too. So move that up to second on their website.
Everything else seems a bit w/e. Privatize the liquor commission? The LC is like meh, who cares one way or the other if it is private or crown. Maybe 30 years ago the way things were in the old days there was a case to privatize the LC. Today not so much. They have modernized, offering better hours and Sunday shopping. In-store service is good and friendly in my experience. There is also better customer experience with boutique outlets in grocery stores and rural corner stores.
I think the privatization of Nova Scotia Power was seen as a shot across the bow to the Liquor Commission. The LC got the message 25 years ago to act more like a business and less like a government department. Today I can't see a good case to make the change to private. Thus without a compelling case to privatize I'd say don't bother. Also we didn't gain anything from the NSPC privatization. A one-time $300 million of money to the province that was of course immediately spent with nothing to show for it.
MLA recall is a bad idea. In a multi-party first past the post system, riding winners will often pull less than 40% of the vote. Campaigns are often hard-fought and the margins of victory on election day thin. Recall would just be abused by sore losers trying to reopen and re-fight lost election campaigns. We already have recall, on election day.
On this site I've had some ideas about education and training and a proposal to reduce the burden of rules and restrictions which I will offer here as suggestions to Atlantica for future platform ideas.
I appreciate the discussion that only Atlantica is willing to have at this time. I guess a soft landing from the statism of the past generations, going back to the 1970s and earlier. Admit that what we have been doing the last decades is failing. Let's move forward in a sustainable way. It's better to have a controlled soft landing now than an uncontrolled sudden stop and crash later.
It takes courage to bring it up and discuss it so credit to Atlantica for that. Thanks for being the only party willing to have an honest conversation about where Nova Scotia is today and what the realistic alternatives are at this point.
Atlantica makes me think of the Ivany report [PDF]. I think Atlantica should try to seize Ivany and identify with it. Demonstrate their platform is to basically implement Ivany. That's what it feels like a bit from their site anyway.
I think Atlantica has more support than was reported. I think they ran a pretty good campaign with limited resources and exposure. I hope Atlantica continues and gains traction. It won't be easy, the status quo is deeply entrenched and will use their resources to very strongly resist any real change to the longstanding narrative of the past decades.
I think it was unfair of the media on election day to lump Atlantica and their darlings the Green party together as 0.4 % support "other". That was in my opinion basically appropriating Atlantica's votes to Green for reporting purposes which was wrong.
During the campaign the media basically tried to pretend Atlantica didn't exist, hoping Atlantica would go away if they just ignore them. Anyway that's stage 1, ignore and pretend it doesn't exist. Stage 2 which hasn't happened yet is ridicule, attack, and vilify. Stage 3, if they reach it, is when you win.