You may remember back in May we saw the results from the provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador, a result that was historic and a surprise. The governing Liberals of Dwight Ball lost their majority government, falling a single seat shy of the majority mark. It was quite the dramatic finish, especially considering just how close the Liberals came to that last seat. That seat was in Labrador West and it was something:
Yep, fives votes, a total of five votes for the New Democrat Jordan Brown was enough to unseat Liberal cabinet minister Graham Letto and deny the Ball Liberals a majority. But folks, the drama here wasn’t done yet, oh no, no, no. Because of the close result, under electoral law there was an automatic recount that took place. That recount finished this morning and the high drama got even higher:
Two votes people. Two whole votes. That’s amazing and quite a story all onto itself. When you add to that the story about the final 64 contested votes being decided by a judge, and the arguments made in that, it’s quite a memorable story in the end. Congrats Jordan Brown, you’ve surely earned your seat.
But for everyone going into the Fall election, let this story serve as a lesson for all candidates and parties out there. In the last Federal election, we saw many close races and it was those results that had a lot to do with the final standing in the House. The upcoming Federal election promises to be even more close and intense, meaning that the old adage that “every votes counts” will be especially true. Many times we are made to feel that our votes simple won’t count in the grand scheme of things, and that feeling keeps many people from voting at all. But look at what just happened in Labrador West; how many people who might have preferred a Liberal MHA to a New Democrat didn’t show up that day? If only three of them had shown up, Graham Letto would still be elected and there would still be a majority government.
In a while you’ll see a by-election in Prince Edward Island too, where the Green candidate from that campaign passed away before election day, forcing the vote to be put off. In that case, you have a Conservative government just two seats shy of a majority. What if that seat comes down to a similarly close vote, and again those who didn’t vote because they thought their voices wouldn’t matter decide the ultimate result? Elections of all sorts matter, and it’s those who turn out and cast their votes that make that decision; those who stay home effect that decision too, but usually don’t get what they want.
So if you want to draw up an ad for why it’s so important to vote, put this example right out there front and centre. In the Fall, every vote will count and you’ll never know by how much until after the ballots are counted. So get out there and vote when you get the chance because you never know what might come of it on that day.