Political teamwork translates into speaking up privately

 By MARK COFFIN with LOUISE COCKRAM “Close the door.” Depending on who says those words, they can invoke feelings of fear or excitement. If it’s the supervisor you...

It’s tough to break political parties’ stranglehold on democracy in Nova Scotia

By MARK COFFIN The reasons an MLA ends up as an independent are generally not the same as the reasons we romanticize independence. The career...

Maverick MLAs walk tightrope between party loyalty, conscience

By MARK COFFIN Howard Epstein has never been known as someone who keeps his cards close to his chest. The former MLA served the district...

In din of politics, constituency concerns are loudest cry

 By MARK COFFIN with LOUISE COCKRAM The period just after first being elected is one of the most important times in an MLA’s career. It’s when MLAs decide...

Mentors make stage fright less daunting

By MARK COFFIN with LOUISE COCKRAM George Moody served in the Nova Scotia legislature for over two decades. He represented the Kings-West riding in the Annapolis...

The call to public office in Nova Scotia — ‘If not me, who?’

A lawyer, a nurse, and a farmer walk into Province House. Some people might think that what happens inside the Nova Scotia legislature is a...

Picking a political banner often depends on prevailing winds

By MARK COFFIN “I was inspired by (Pierre) Trudeau. He captured the youth of my generation,” recalls Alexa McDonough. “But then I was really appalled by...

And the nomination goes… according to political script, usually

By MARK COFFIN There is a provincial election just around the corner. In Nova Scotia, there are no fixed election dates, so the premier and the rare...

Tug of party leash is strong for MLAs learning the ropes

By MARK COFFIN Most people know what it feels like to start a job when you’re not quite ready. To make it, you need a...

First MLAs are marginalized, then they get marching orders

By MARK COFFIN and LOUISE COCKRAM As we pointed out in our introduction to this series, exit interviews with former MLAs are a valuable tool. After they...