Fresh thinking?

My Tory friends and family will be annoyed but I am going to take a shot at Robert MacLeod and his ‘platform’ covered in the TJ today.

“We have to think of new ways of doing things,” he said Monday.”We need fresh thinking.”

Here is the fresh thinking and I quote:

For example, MacLeod said new passenger rail service – perhaps linking Saint John and Moncton – could provide cheap and environmentally friendly transportation.

Sigh. No comment.

The big-ticket items in his plan concern more twinned highways, notably from Campbellton to Shediac, and the rough stretch from Saint John to Fredericton.

Fresh thinking there. Almost all new federal/provincial infrastructure money has gone directly into the roads for the past 15 years. ED funding is down but by the jumpins’ we’re gonna get more roads for the dwindling population to ride on.

The 53-year-old also committed to:* Reducing personal income taxes;

Groan. Another tax cutter. Where oh where will the revenue come from? We had record increases in Equalization under the last Tory Premier but one would think there may be a ceiling there eventually.

* Cutting corporate income tax for small and medium-sized businesses;

There’s fresh thinking. Lord cut it to the bone and our SME sector performance worsened. When will Tories realize that the SME sector by in large feeds of local economic activity and if that activity is weak, so will the SME sector. If these guys are talking about the handful of companies (and I mean handful) that actually export products and services, why not tailor the tax cut to them?

* Reversing changes made to French immersion by the Shawn Graham Liberals;

That’s fresh meat – not fresh thinking. Bottom line here is that there is a serious problem with our primary/secondary education. Gutting French Immersion may not be the answer but bringing back the old system will get you the same old results.

* Trimming property taxes for seniors in need so that more seniors can stay in their homes, instead of moving to nursing facilities.

No comment here. Don’t shaft the Seniors.

Look, I like what Jacques Poitras has to say on this. The Tories are not going through an existential exercise here. They are tweaking. They don’t really want to have a serious discussion as to why the former Premier Lord’s popularity was a mile wide and an inch deep. They want to get back to that.

I am looking for a new Toryism – for the 21st century that is smarter than this.