Politics at any level is a difficult issue to digest and discuss, because it seems to rely equally on numbers and personalities.

Here in Nova Scotia, we’ve had our share of distinct personalities at both the provincial and municipal levels. So it’s often hard to separate our personal feelings about an elected official, or group of elected officials, from the cold, hard facts that often drive their decisions.

Numbers, however, are black-and-white, and those of you who read last week’s column about federal politics probably noticed that the figures told a story that went beyond the headlines, House of Commons rants, and social-media memes.

With this in mind, let’s dig up the latest numbers regarding Nova Scotian and Strait area politics, and see if they can help us make sense of it all, beginning with…

Number of months since provincial government announced it would shut down Northside General and New Waterford Consolidated Hospitals: 10

Number of months since government introduction of specifics for remaining Cape Breton Regional Municipality health care facilities, including expansion of cancer care unit at Cape Breton Regional Hospital: 1

Number of days between this announcement and the release of provincial budget: 1

Percentage of eyebrows (left and right) raised at this timing: 100

Estimated number of months before government releases “master plan” for CBRM health care, according to Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal officials that spoke at legislature committees last week: 5-to-6

Estimated number of months featuring frequent ER closures, departures of frustrated physicians, and unceremonious dismissal of surgeons by Nova Scotia Health Authority before “master plan” is unveiled: 5-to-6

After it’s unveiled: 50-to-60

Total additional funds committed to Nova Scotia health care in 2018-19 budget: $200 million

Amount of provincial dollars committed to upgrade ferry terminal and pay salaries related to this terminal in Bar Harbour, Maine: $8.5 million

Amount committed by the province for The CAT’s basic operation of a Yarmouth-to-Maine ferry service this year: $11.5 million

Gap in percentage points between governing Liberals and opposition Progressive Conservatives in latest Corporate Research Associates quarterly poll: 3

Number of times per minute PC Leader Tim Houston and any member of his caucus will be mentioning the ferry funding over the next 30 months, in the run-up to a provincial election: 3

The extra health-care funding: 0

Number of councillors (including warden) currently serving Richmond County: 5

Number of these councillors required to achieve a majority vote on any issue, including the dismissal of a senior staff member: 3

Number of wardens (including interim or acting) that have served Richmond Municipal Council over the past seven years: 5

Number of months Jason MacLean served as warden before his April 8 resignation: 5

Number of Chief Administrative Officers (including interims) hired or appointed by Richmond Municipal Council since the retirement of Louis Digout a decade ago: 8, including Digout himself

Number of months Kent MacIntyre served as Richmond CAO before being ousted from his job on April 1: 15

Hours of notice that three of MacLean’s four fellow councillors gave him on April 4, concerning their decision to appoint Don Marchand as interim CAO: 9

Minutes of notice that the same three councillors gave MacLean on April 1 before voting to fire MacIntyre: 0

Number of times Deputy Warden Brian Marchand told public gallery members speaking at April 8 Committee of the Whole meeting that MacIntyre wasn’t “fired” but “had his contract terminated”: 2

Number of times you can expect “Chief Administrative Officer, Richmond County” to appear on job-search Web sites under the heading “Safe, Secure Long-Term Employment” in the next five years: 0

Percentage of councillors who voted for CAO’s ouster and are now refusing to speak to media about their actions, citing “litigation” each time the subject comes up: 100

Number of former senior staffers currently suing Richmond County for wrongful dismissal: 1

Percentage of likelihood that this figure will have doubled by the time you read this: 100

Number of councillors (including warden) currently serving Inverness County: 6

Number of times Inverness Municipal Council members tried to remove Betty Ann MacQuarrie as warden over the past eight months: 2

Number of hours it took for Inverness councillors to remove, and then immediately reinstate, MacQuarrie as warden this past fall: 1/2

Number of elected officials (including town councillors and mayor) currently serving Port Hawkesbury: 5

Number of Port Hawkesbury councillors that were willing to scuttle the Destination Reeves Street over the project’s road-diet pilot project in early January: 3

Percentage of councillors that voted for Destination Reeves Street – including road diet – to go ahead at packed February town council meeting, following month-long public outcry: 100

Number of times over the past week that I’ve wondered why anybody would want to run for council or apply for a staff job with a municipality: Countless