E. Canada socialists win historic election

June 10, 2009 at 9:30 AM

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 10 (UPI) -- The eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia elected its first socialist government, abandoning the Liberals and Conservatives for the first time since 1867.

The New Democratic Party won 31 of the provincial legislature's 52 seats, while the Liberals took 11 and the Conservatives 10, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday. Tuesday's vote ousted the government of Conservative Premier Rodney MacDonald, and nine cabinet ministers were voted out.

At the dissolution of the legislature last month, the Conservatives held 21 seats, the NDP 20 and the Liberals nine, with one independent and one vacancy, the Chronicle-Herald newspaper in Halifax reported.

The vote marked the first time in Canadian history an NDP government has been elected east of Ontario, although the Globe quoted analysts as saying the party in Nova Scotia under Premier-elect Darrell Dexter was not as far-left as some of its western proponents.

"The reason that the NDP is becoming electable is they have shed so much of the hard-line policies," said Cape Breton University political science professor David Johnson. "I don't see a real social policy vision coming out of the Dexter NDP."

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