Wish list, not to-do list

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Hooray for semantics, that wonderful branch of study that seeks to debate the finer points of what words really mean.

And thank goodness for Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy, for explaining something that the electorate has probably always suspected, but has probably dreaded being told outright.

Last election’s Tory Blue Book, the party’s policy bible was, as it turns out, fiction, not non-

fiction — or, at least, as Kennedy explained it to The Telegram Tuesday, it was never meant as a set of election promises.

“You use the word ‘promise.’ I’m not sure the Blue Book can be described as a promise,” he said in an interview. “It’s a blueprint or a platform as opposed to an absolute promise.”

Well, OK then. Not only does Kennedy admit that the book’s discussion of post-secondary grants, rural broadband accessibility and paid family caregivers are basically a wish list, he doesn’t even take the commitments seriously enough to remember them all. He was the minister of health when the election promises — er,

platforms — were put forward, and has those ones in mind.

The others? Well, “I’m not aware of all the commitments that were in the Blue Book,” he said.

As finance minister, he’d have to be at the very heart of delivering the commitments. That would mean, if they were even on the most distant of drawing boards, he’d have to have an idea of the cost implications involved for the Blue Book offerings and an idea of how they were meant to fit into the province’s fiscal plan.

But not only does he not know what commitments were made, he doesn’t even know where they came from: “I’m not aware who wrote this, who put this in the Blue Book, what exactly they meant.”

To be fair, the Tories always made clear that everything included the caveat that their Blue Book commitments depended on the province having the fiscal capacity to deliver the goods.

That being said, though, one might assume that, after close to a decade in power, the Tories should have a good idea what was possible — and what was simply impossible pipe dreams.

Otherwise, why not offer everyone manned space travel to their very own moon-cottage? Why not offer — if the finances allowed — free electricity or discount gas or a job for every member of the unemployed?

Or why not rename the Blue Book the Election Wish Book?

It’s all something well worth keeping in mind the next time the Conservatives — or any other party, for that matter — trots out election offerings that are supposed to be that much more trustworthy because they’ve actually been put on paper.

If a party offers a plan, the reasonable expectation is that they at least believe that they can deliver on it.

Otherwise, it isn’t a promise or a platform.

Organizations: Conservatives

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Recent comments

  • Ron Tizzard
    July 13, 2013 - 09:27

    Too Funny, you surmised (Minister) Kennedy would not be running again, on what bsis did you say this...remember you are surmising about a NL Politician. Our politicians know full well that they can SAY/PROMISE WHAT THEY WANT, WHEN THEY WANT'...TRUTH OR LIES...and still be voted it. We cannot dump that 'lack of ethics' on our politicans...we must own that, simply because we continue to let it happen. Our politicians behave that way, because we have supported these behaviours through time, Why would they Change? When we change our sensekess political behaviours, the politicians will follow-suit....but only, because they have to! The 'unethical' behaviours of politicians are condoned by us, as we continue to vote them in...if we vote them out of a job, then , and only then, will you see a change in attitute and ethics.

  • Corporate Psycho
    July 11, 2013 - 21:08

    Just read McLeod's transcript. It speaks volumes.

  • Virginia Waters
    July 11, 2013 - 14:17

    That's good Bill, Steve or whosever flunky you are up at the dunderdale castle. Attack the reporter - or actually in this case the entire newspaper because it was an editorial - because your boss has a case of foot in mouth disease. When you write this crap, does it ever occur to you or your puppet master that all you're doing is digging a bigger hole for yourselves? Give voters an ounce of credit for knowing a promise when they hear one or read one. Of course you can't keep your promises if you've spent all the money (more money by the way than any other government in the history of this province) on other stuff like Muskrat Falls and exorbitant office space for a school board you've already shut down. Now take your fat blackberry tweeting-ass down the hall to Jerome's office to show him what a good boy you've been.

  • Bill
    July 11, 2013 - 12:36

    Another reporter trying to make a name for himself! Where did the telegram find this guy? I think his bowtie might be tied a little too tight! The blue book is like all other election platforms..you list things you want to do and do them as the money allows you to do. Simple as that! Maybe if this 'star reporter' wanted to make a name for himself he would cost out the NDP 'orange' book from the last election.

    • coco
      July 11, 2013 - 14:25

      Good Cripes man. It's not that simple. You're talking about the provincial treasury here. You can't just slice that up like it's a stick of baloney!

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    July 11, 2013 - 11:33

    How many times do we have to watch another episode of Jerome Kennedy opening his mouth to change feet? There is no doubt that the man's mouth engages before his brain does!

  • Maggy Carter
    July 11, 2013 - 10:59

    Remember those old bikes we had years ago. I think they were called 'coasters'. They didn't have any handbrakes - you had to back-pedal to get it to stop. I think Jerome must have had one of those when he was a kid. This morning he did a pretty fast job of back-pedalling on VOCM open line. The only problem is that he and the Dunderdale government have had to back-pedal so often, there's no tread left on the tires. Her government has lost all traction - and all legitimacy.

  • Craig
    July 11, 2013 - 10:36

    Cathie and Jerome and their clique had the cover of their book of promises, that are not promises, painted blue. Over recent months we have also seen the windows at the Confederation Building being replaced with blue tinted ones. For the next 50 years or so those blue windows should serve as a reminder that while the PC's were in power if it couldn't be hidden (under bill 29) it had to be painted blue to help hide reality.

  • Doug
    July 11, 2013 - 09:27

    He has to be the dumbest educated person that has ever sat as an MHA!

  • NowIsee
    July 11, 2013 - 09:22

    This is great news really. Can you put that we all get a Newfoundland pony in the next blue book Jerome? How about NFL and NHL teams? Would be nice to see a NL'er be the first person to land on Mars as well!

  • Harvey
    July 11, 2013 - 09:18

    It is becoming more apparent that too many of our idiots become lawyers.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    July 11, 2013 - 09:04

    An infamous quote - "He knows nothing, he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career."

  • Ed. Anstey
    July 11, 2013 - 08:48

    I guess you could call it the blue joke book.

  • Tony Rockel
    July 11, 2013 - 08:33

    "Here's a picture of a loaf of bread-- I'm sure you'll find it just as nourishing as the real thing!"

  • too funny
    July 11, 2013 - 07:47

    Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Coffin Nails, has come out and said what we all knew about election promises (or non-promises). What's surprising is that he admitted it. Doesn't sound like this guy plans on running in the next election.