The Liberals assumed the role of schoolmarm yesterday, releasing a harsh report card on the NDP’s first year in office.
The report card gives the “grade one” government the final mark of a D (slyly wedged between an N and P).
Dragging down the average was the Promises section, where the NDP received an F from the Liberals for broken pledges to not increase taxes or introduce a deficit. It got a D in Fairness and D- in Accountability.
The attached notes were not favourable.
A grade of D is still technically a passing one, but Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil downplayed that.
“I don’t know what your report card looked like, but I can certainly tell you coming home to my mother, it wouldn’t have been a good day,” he said.
When asked how he would grade his own party over the last year, McNeil, presumably smiling (it was a phone interview), recalled the approval rating he received from his own members last month.
“I’d say 83 per cent sounds pretty good.”
McNeil insisted the report card should not be taken lightly because it represents real disappointment Nova Scotians feel with the government.
“This is serious business,” he urged.
Disappointingly, the New Democrats refused requests to give a counter-grade to themselves, the Liberals or even the Progressive Conservatives.
“It takes me back to grade school,” said NDP MLA Vicki Conrad. “And I’m thinking, ‘Hey, we’re not in grade school.’”
Conrad said she’s proud of the work of her government has done, despite having to make tough choices.
She took issue with the Liberal grading system, saying the HST increase did not break the promise of no tax hikes because it was necessary.
“We needed to make that hard decision,” she said. “Is that a broken promise? Absolutely not.”
The Tories also declined to grade their political opponents, though they did pass along a graphic of a shattered vinyl record with the caption “Broken Promises. Broken Record.”