Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An obvious choice

Embassy reports that a U.S. investor is looking to use NAFTA to launch an all-out attack on Canada's health care system - but is waiting to see how the federal election plays out before taking any more steps. Which would seem to offer an ideal opportunity for Canadians to decide what kind of government they want dealing with the threat.

On the one hand, there's the Harper strategy of happily negotiating away legal victories, excluding Canadian (and Canadian-friendly) interests from discussions, paying off U.S. interests for their nuisance complaints, and then strongarming Canadians into putting up with their capitulation by promising to make matters even worse if anybody dares to resist.

On the other hand, there's the Layton strategy of sticking up for Canada's victories, and rallying allies to fend off any attempts by a hostile party to force a bad deal.

It would seem clear enough that Canada would have been better off with Layton at the table on softwood lumber to begin with. But now that our health care system is the latest target, it's all the more important to have a leader who'll fight to defend Canada's interests rather than being willing to give away anything for the sake of making a deal. And fortunately, now is exactly the time when Canadians get to decide who they want on their side.

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