In Johnny Bluenose at the Polls, first published in 1994, historian Brian Cuthbertson describes some of Nova Scotia's grittiest and hardest-fought election campaigns.
He describes an era when there were no secret ballots and voting was a spectator sport. Property owners voted by declaring their choice on a hastily erected platform before a sheriff and assembled crowd. Political supporters were often bribed with rum to intimidate those voting for other candidates. Merchants jostled for power by forcing their debtors to vote for them. Lawyers fiercely competed wih other lawyers to get elected, often carying their rivalries into the courtroom.
Johnny Bluenose at the Polls revives the furious election battles of yesteryear, showing the issues at stake to be more familiar than we might like to think.