Last month, the NDP helped bring down the Liberal government because of Mr. Martin’s refusal to put a stop to the privatization of our health care system. Mr. Layton had demanded that the government table legislation to protect the failing public system, and in fact stated that continued propping up of the corrupt government depended upon it.
Now Jack has done a complete about-face. It seems that the NDP are now willing to accept the fact that privatization is here, and is in fact helping Canadians. Our health care has benefited greatly from private clinics and has done so for a very long time. From blood work to diagnostic imaging, private firms have played a part in our health system for years.
I do find Mr. Layton’s new stance on private health care as incredible. In the last parliament, Jack was on a mission to save our health care system from the likes of Mr. Harper and Mr. Martin, who he vilified for not doing more to save our failing health care system.
While the media has not yet analyzed the statements by the NDP enough to come up with some positive spin, I think it is important to point out that all three parties are now on an equal footing on the health care issue. It isn’t that any one party doesn’t care, it is that some parties just do not see that a public only system simply does not work, nor is it economically feasible. (For those of you in college, that means we can’t afford it.)
That fact has not stopped the media from exploiting this issue and flaming the emotions that are attached to it. When reporting on the health system, the mainstream press constantly uses words such as sacred, enshrined, and Canadian values. It then tries to paint as evil any leader who talks about alternatives and a joint public/private system. We are the only member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, of which there are 27 member nations, that doesn’t have a parallel public. To continue to pretend that our health system is our savior and not willing to discuss or consider any other alternatives because of the scorn that the media will heap onto us does Canadians a great disservice. It is, in fact, costing people their lives.
On November 7, 2005, in a speech to the Empire Club in Toronto, Mr. Layton said that “the NDP, the New Democratic Party, can not express their confidence in a government that cannot protect our public system of health.” I can’t help but watch in amusement when, in less than a month, he has stated that his party cannot protect our public system of health. To be honest, I don’t believe any party can, nor do I think they should.