Thursday, January 12, 2006

Joe Fontana plays the ad hominem game at the televised candidate debate

Although the editors of the London Fog planned to show up at local debates with well planned questions to embarrass the candidates, so far we've not bothered to attend. Personally speaking, I've nearly reached my political tolerance level, especially in light of this week's scandals and of course the leader's 'debates'. However, I am sorry that I missed the opportunity to witness Joe Fontana's face turning red with rage when faced with allegations of corruption and mismanagement. According to a reporter from LFpress, smokin' Joe was not well received by the crowd at Wednesday night's televised debate featuring the candidates of London-North Centre:
London North Centre Liberal candidate Joe Fontana faced a tough crowd last night at a televised all- candidates' debate, having to duck mudslinging from fellow candidates and an audience stacked with Conservative supporters.

[..] Accusations of corruption, incompetence and inaction flew from all sides as candidates took questions from a media panel and the audience, made up mainly of people sporting partisan t-shirts or lapel pins.

Many shouted over the candidates while they spoke, or booed and clapped when their candidate made a point.

[..] Mazzilli attacked Fontana on military spending, cuts to health care, the notwithstanding clause and Canada's relationship with the U.S.

Fontana fired back by asking Mazzilli several times if he was a friend of former Progressive Conservative premier Mike Harris, touting his own record in the riding as a 17-year MP, and saying Tory Leader Stephen Harper is "a best friend of conservatives in the U.S. -- beware."
So the audience was "stacked with Conservative supporters"? I've been to these debates before and in general have found that more NDP people storm the debate than other party supporters. But its about gaining control of the public pot, so we need not wonder at the number of partisan t-shirts and lapel pins in attendance.

One of the main issues, according to this same reporter writing for The People's Press, was the private health care clinics that are expected to open up in Ontario, including London.
All five candidates -- Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, and Progressive Canadian Rod Morley -- said they were concerned about the announcement that a private health clinic is set to open in London by the end of the summer.
Candidates from the London West riding were similarly confused when faced with the proposition that it is WRONG to prevent people from purchasing a service from a willing provider.
They also touched on the issue of the new private clinic coming to London, announced yesterday.

"The problem with health care right now is a problem of supply and demand," said London West Green candidate Monica Jarabek.

"There are too many sick people and not enough people to treat them. We have to stop creating sick people by preventative measures."

Tory Al Gretzky stressed that his party will respect the Canada Health Act.

"The prime minister gets his health care in a private clinic (in Quebec)," he said. "The Conservatives want to stop the bleeding."
I put forth the following question that we intended to ask the candidates, slightly revised and based on a question posed to Stephen Harper and Jack Layton by CTV radio talk show host, Peter Warren.

Would you use a private clinic if your child or aging parent was suffering and needed prompt treatment and attention? When the alternative is long wait lines, leading to increasingly greater health risks and suffering, is it worth it for you to pay a doctor who is willing to provide prompt relief? How is this mutually agreeable exchange in any way immoral or unlawful if you can afford to pay for it with money you've earned? And, it shortens the public queue, relieving taxpayers from a small portion of the burden and allowing prompter service for the poor.

I invite local candidates to enter their response in the comment section.


Ian Scott said...

Sounds pretty close to the question I asked "Princess Monkey" back in Ian 1.0. :) And a very good question, indeed.

Don't you find these "debates" to be almost as good comedy as Canadian Air Farce? I sure do.

MapMaster said...

I expect NDP candidates to say "bring those private clinics on!" just like their leader Jack Layton:

Layton had hernia surgery at the Shouldice Hospital, a private facility in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, while he was serving as a Toronto city councillor.

Ian Scott said...

mapmaster - yeah, and I find it very hard to believe that ol' Jack didn't know Shouldice was "private." I've visited two patients there - it was Quite Clear even to a visitor that Shouldice was "private."

Interesting though, Shouldice pioneered a hernia treatment that "public centres" didn't do, and had hernia patients recovered in half the time the public system had them recovering.

If you ever get a hernia, may you be blessed to be treated at Shouldice.

gm said...

Soon we may get American style health and Soviet style health care. Which will survive?
Private clinics in... Canadian cities with Doctors and nurses... in American stlye clinics. I'm not making this up!