Home > Uncategorized > Martha Hall Findlay Goes Where Liberal’s Fear to Tread.

Martha Hall Findlay Goes Where Liberal’s Fear to Tread.

August 21st, 2006

Over the past six months, occasionally I read someone on the Liberal side of the Blogosphere mention they are impressed with Martha Hall Findlay. She is smart, has a solid platform, knows her stuff &tc. However, she has little hope of emerging as the new Liberal leader, so I have not spent any time looking into her. This may have been a mistake.

In today’s Post, she has an article entitled Honest Talk about Health Care that is excellent. I agree with almost every word she has written. She mocks the Conservatives for their wait time guarantee, a paragraph I disagree with, mostly because a wait time guarantee, while not a great solution, is probably the most radical change the Conservatives could get away with within the confines of a minority government and their constitutional role in Provincial programs.

Everything else she writes, however, is bang on.

Wait times are unacceptable. Period. Solving them… has to start with an honest discussion of the issues. To do anything else is a failure of leadership and Canadians deserve better.

We must start by re-framing the discussion. We must get away from terminology, rhetoric and labels that promote fear and distort the truth. For too long, the word “private” has been used as a blunt instrument by political leaders to score political points, and as a scare tactic equated with trying to destroy our health care system. [emphasis mine]

Of course, she fails to mention that it would be Liberal leaders who use the word “private” as a “blunt instrument to score political points.” Can we assume if she makes Liberal leader, and wins a minority Parliament, that Ms. Findlay would not make agreements to keep Parliament alive with pushers of a communist health care system like Jack Layton or Buzz Hargrove?

She also takes a very cheap shot at the US, saying “we should be looking to democracies with values similar to ours and learning from them.” I understand, and agree with the point, but it is poorly made and leads one to believe that Ms. Findlay would return us to the Yankee bashing ways of her predecessors in the Liberal party.

But these are quibbles. It is, after all, a political document and, as such, can be forgiven a few minor political shots. The overall tone of the article is a very positive development in Canadian politics – a Liberal acknowledging that fully “private” health care is not the only answer, and acknowledging that any debate on this subject has been strewn with unhelpful labeling and brow beating of those with ideas outside of the status quo.

I hope that when her party gets done with this article, she doesn’t wish she had failed to take the field after tea.


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