By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 9 (May 2, 2019)
Steve Thorne of New Harbour said that on May 16, he wants you to vote.
“If people get out and vote, and drive the turn out rate up, the politicians will listen more, and then people will get the problems addressed,” he told the Irish Loop Post.
More specifically, Thorne, who is running as an Independent candidate in Placentia— St. Mary’s, wants you to vote for him.
“If they’re a regular voter, I say I’m running as an independent. I’m hoping to change your mind about who you’re going to vote for. You know what’s going on here. Getting rid of the red ones for the blues is not serving us,” he said.
“If I get in, I’m not government. I’m opposition. I don’t have to toe the party line either. If something is bad for this district, I don’t have to vote for it. If something is bad for the province overall, I don’t have to vote for it.”
Thorne grew up in New Harbour and has been a potter for 25 years.
He tried his hand at living on the main land, and returned to New Harbour after three years living away.
“I wanted to live and work in this area. That has become more difficult due to poor governance. Like everyone, I complained about it. Now I want to do something about it,” he explained.
He told the Irish Loop Post that he’s running because he wants to see change at a provincial level.
“I’ve pretty much done everything in the past to make a difference— strategic voting, protest voting, spoiling your ballot so you just turn up on the turn out percentage— and this was the only thing left,” he said.
“I got to try something because everything is going pretty bad,” he continued, saying that he gave the decision a great deal of consideration and is confident about his ability going forward.
He said that while he has encountered some party loyalists, others seem more fluid with their vote.
“I was not expecting the support that came. I figured most people were tied into parties and would not vote outside of that, but I’m hearing from people that haven’t voted in years who will vote now.”
He thinks that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are ready for change— but they need to get out to the polls.
“Things have gotten so bad, they don’t want to choose any of them, and I’m afraid they’re gonna stay home,” he said, adding that those with party allegiances are likely to be the ones showing up at the polls.
“The crowd that just votes for their party, they show up to the polls.”
Thorne said that as an Independent he also wouldn’t be beholden to attend party events and functions, and could spend his time meeting people where they are.
He also said he wouldn’t be a typical shirt-and-tie politician.
“They don’t want to see the politician all shined up with the suit on, smiling and coming at em. They’re tired of that. How can they not be tired of it?”
Thorne also noted that he is not accepting donations for his campaign and estimates he has turned down about $1,000 in support thus far.
He said rather than pledge money, get out to the polls on May 16.