Sunday, November 05, 2006

A McFaded shade of green

Today we see that Baby Huey thinks he can gain political margin on Gary Doer with an anaemic nod to environmental policy -- a tax cut for owners of fuel-efficient cars. Oh, maybe they would do that, he says.

Wow, with ideas and conviction like this, how can he lose?

Where is the big thinking, outside-the-box stuff we were promised when the Great Policy Wonk became leader of the Toba Tories? This green announcement makes Stephen Harper look like Al Gore on the environment.

It's pretty thin gruel if he feels he's going to compete with Doer, who is recognized internationally as fighting climate change alongside the likes of Tony Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Other nuggets coming out of the Tory convention of pre-canned resolutions (that is, the party membership can no longer bring forth their own resolutions), include:

- proportional representation ... maybe
- fewer MLAs ... maybe
- cutting taxes, but not getting rid of education property taxes as they previously promised ... maybe

This goes along with other recent pronouncements by the Boy Wonder like:

- compensating Crocus investors ... maybe
- keeping the tuition freeze ... maybe
- supporting the Wheat Board ... maybe

No wonder Black Rod recently tore Huey a new a--hole.

At some point, you'd think the guy would realize he should actually stand for something, no? But so far, he's a mushy set of uncertainties.

Perhaps he thinks he's going to coast on second-term ennui with Gary Doer, just show up and capitalize on his youthful countenance.

That'll work. Maybe ... not.


Now we have the great honour of awarding our first ever "King of Editorial Flip-Floppers" to our pal in the ranting pages of the Peg Sun, Tom Brodbeck.

We can't help but notice Bunkbeck's long, tortured defence today of the federal Tories' flip-flop on income trusts.

This, just a couple of days after he went on a front-page tear about Pat Martin's and Ray Simard's apparent "flip-flops" on the Tories' conditional sentences bill. Today flip-flops are OK. On Friday, not OK.

That's a flip and a flop.

"Ottawa had no choice but to close the income trust loophole or face losing billions in tax revenue every year as more and more companies took advantage of it," Tom now writes.

Tom supporting a "tax grab"? We nearly lost consciousness in disbelief reading this line. We doubt very strongly he has EVER supported tax increases for anyone in his incarnation as a right-wing Sun columnist.

A flip and a flop.

His defence of the move centres not on denying the Tories did indeed pledge to protect income trusts -- after all, the promise was as big as a Sun girl's surgical enhancements. But rather it relies on his assessment that it was simply a stupid promise in the first place.

Wow, we seem to recall him attacking many other political promises as stupid. Promising to end hallway medicine comes to mind, not just because the pledge had an optimistic price tag of $12 million in the 1999 election.

You may think that Tom would not join in the Tory idiocy of labelling an 80% reduction in hallway medicine the largest broken promise in human history. You would of course be wrong in thinking this, as Tom takes every opportunity to turn a significant success in health care as a failure.

What's good for the Tory goose is not so good for the NDP gander at the tip of Tom's pen.

A flip and a flop.

And though the income trust may have been stupid, we don't recall Tom ever commenting on the income trust issue a year ago when the Liberals were poised to do the identical move. Nor do we recall him flailing the Tories who assailed the plan just a dozen months ago.

A flip and a flop.

And this nugget was also a major eye-popper: "...if you're a senior living off pension income and the majority of your portfolio is made up of income trusts, you'd better get a new financial planner."

Um, Tom, that's an interesting statement. One that would be well applied to any risk investment product, like a venture capital fund. Let's say ... Crocus, maybe. Has that argument ever come pouring out of our erstwhile columnist's keyboard among the buckets of ink he has allotted to the former labour-sponsored fund?

A flip and a flop.

The award is in the mail, Tom.