Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why does health care turn politicians who are merely shifty into shameful liars?

Inkless has elaborated a bit on why appointing Ujjal Dosanjh as Health Minister qualifies as canny electoral politics.  It requires that you perceive Harper’s health care position as not pinned to a point on an ideological or policy spectrum, but rather on a political spectrum (i.e. the latest federal-provincial consensus).   It follows, then, that the Liberals can move the “centre” of the health debate leftward, because they’re an integral part of the equation.  Wells may be right, although it requires that you ignore Harper’s “why should I care how the provinces deliver health care…” comment during the debate – probably reasonable, since he was pretty muffled about the whole thing for most of the rest of the campaign.
I get it – but the situation, to me, just screams opportunity.  Here’s a theory for you:  Paul Martin, along with every last premier and opposition leader in Canada, are desperate for someone amongst them to rip the electrodes off their balls and yell, “This is insane!”  (I’m looking at you, Ralph, although it would be much more productive if someone without regional baggage did it, i.e. one of the other nine premiers.)
I have a lot to rant about on health care, but my key request to the politicians comes down to this:  STOP EFFING LYING!!!  Stop lying about what the Canada Health Act says, and stop lying that we have a single-tier health care system right now.

I’m not naïve – I understand spin, misdirection, non-denial denials, and the various obfuscations all politicians use to cover their asses and pretend they’re never wrong.  But the health care debate is littered with dozens of tiny lies and several big whoppers that make reform impossible.  Politicians of every stripe promote bald-faced lies, that they know are lies, every time they open their mouths about health care.  The only way to start the process is to tell the truth about what we have now, why it is so, and what are the real restrictions on reform.


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