Friday, December 23, 2005

Revealing answers

The Toronto Sun asked the federal leaders several questions from their readers...and a couple of the answers are particularly interesting. First, Stephen Harper apparently refuses to acknowledge that other parties could possibly have any good ideas to offer:
4. What's one of your opponents' proposals that you agree with?

-- Gary Wilcox, Crystal Beach

MARTIN: The Conservatives have proposed a Canadian Strategy on Cancer Control, and the Liberal government absolutely agrees that Canada needs to do more to address chronic diseases, including cancer.

LAYTON: The Conservative democratic reform plan has some good aspects -- like stopping parties from imposing "parachute" candidates on ridings. That shows some respect for local democracy, something that still eludes the Liberal Party.

HARPER: We are focusing on our own proposals and plans and have spent the first three weeks of the campaign presenting these to Canadians. We did agree with Prime Minister Martin and the Liberals on UNESCO until the prime minister changed his position.
Much has been made of the Cons' supposedly positive campaign. But it's telling that Harper's focus is on his own party's views to the point where he refuses to find a single policy worth complimenting in any other party's current platform. One has to wonder how Harper could possibly function as a minority PM if he's not even willing to consider whether the other parties have good ideas to offer...and it's probably beyond wondering whether a potential Con majority would give so much as a second thought to anything but pandering to its base.

Meanwhile, PMPM continues to show his lack of willingness to put himself on the same level as most Canadians when it comes to health care by refusing to answer a simple question about making use of the system:
10. When was the last time you or a member of your family had to spend hours waiting for medical care in a hospital emergency room?

-- Roger Goldson, Hamilton

MARTIN: Did not respond.
Both Layton and Harper were able to cite recent examples of trips to the emergency room - Layton noting that the health professionals did a good job, Harper merely sounding unimpressed with the system generally. But the man who's trying to claim to be a defender of public health care apparently can't even be bothered to remember the last time he made use of the system.

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