Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Harper misses opportunity to set Canadian Healthcare critics straight.

Once again, Stephen Harper refuses to correct the misconceptions being spread south of the 49th regarding Canadian Healthcare, despite being handed a prime opportunity to do so by the U.S. President.

Obama specifically referenced Canadians being dragged into the U.S. healthcare debate, opening the door for Harper to simply acknowledge that some outright falsehoods had been very publically circulated and that these things do little to advance healthcare reform in either country. Harper's excuse about not wanting to wade into the U.S. healthcare debate doesn't hold much water, as he wouldn't have needed to say anything at all about the state of healthcare affairs south of the border to simply point out that a lot of misinformation has been recieving unfortunate attention.

Instead, the PM passed. Given his previously held positions on Canadian universal healthcare, perhaps he finds the disinformation people like Shona Holmes spread to be the same kind of "useful idiocy" as many Republicans have?


Patrick said...


Once upon a time you complained if someone criticized you for not criticizing something.

Funny how that particular worm turned.

Audrey II said...

While I'm flattered by the conflation, I really must disclose that I'm not currently employed as the full-time Prime Minister of Canada.

This wasn't a case of a recreational blogger failing to blog-condemn something. This was the PM being asked explicitly by the international media about a specific issue.

Good luck on finding a worm that bridges the gap between assigning attributes to a blogging lack of post and the Canadian PM's ongoing efforts to avoid addressing healthcare misinformation.

Rick Barnes said...

Harper didn't say anything relevant because he supports the idea of a US style healthcare system and can't say that or he is toast in the next election.


Patrick Ross said...

It isn't the Prime Minister's responsibility to take sides in the American debate on health care.

Beyond that, Audrey, if it's unfair to criticize someone because they failed to criticize something, that wouldn't change just because one becomes the Prime Minister.

And being asked about it seems to mean very little to you. I'd remind you that in the course of you demonizing another blogger for not being sufficiently outraged by Greg Gutfeld's comments, you were asked about Robert Peter John Day's vicious attack on the mother of a dead Canadian soldier.

You were asked specifically about a specific issue. It also helped that it was related to the very same topic you were already talking about.

Whereas Obama injected his comments to Harper into a press conference dealing with economic policy.

You proved yourself disingenuous then, just as you're proving disingenuous now. Then again, that shouldn't surprise anyone. Should it, Audrey?

Audrey II said...

Rick, I agree. Harper has made his position on universal healthcare known on multiple occasions, and it's pretty clear why he's stopped voicing it.

Pat, the PM has a responsibility to correct the record with respect to Canadian healthcare. As I pointed out above, he was presented with a prime opportunity to do this without wading into the American healthcare debate.

It's not tenable to whine how blogging "lack of condemnation" proves a positive stance on a particular issue. Since you've yet to denounce Ghengis Khan on your blog, is it reasonable to conclude that you support the atrocities he committed?

Unlike unpaid, recreational bloggers, the PM is elected to represent Canadian interests, and is called on daily to do so. I'm not criticizing Harper for what he hasn't posted on his recreational blog. I'm criticizing him for his failure to do what he was elected to do.

If you're aiming for an audience that doesn't understand or it too partisan to acknowledge the difference, best of luck reaching it.

Patrick Ross said...

That's actually kind of ironic coming from someone who actively seeks to cultivate an audience that doesn't understand or is too partisan to acknowledge a great many things.

The Prime Minister doesn't take any kind of oath to wade into the debates raging in other countries, Audrey.

Even if it were, I don't think you would want the Prime Minister participating in an open debate about Canadian health care in a foreign country. While Harper is right to note that most Canadians are happy with the health care we receive -- and there is good cause for this -- participation in an open and honest debate about Canadian healthcare would require an admission that the record of Canada's health care system isn't nearly as sparkling as a lot of people would insist.

For example, Audrey, how would you have the Prime Minister respond to Shona Holmes? "Ms Holmes, you should have stayed in Canada and risked losing your eyesight -- even at a time when you had every reason to believe doing so might cost you your life"? "At the very least, you shouldn't talk about that in a foreign country"?

If the Prime Minister is going to wade into the health care debate, it should be in this country, where that will actually have the potential to have positive results for Canadians.

Now, all of this being said, Audrey, there are some very simple matters here that you need to address. I don't see how the Prime Minister is any less entitled to benefit from your rules of "rhetorical fairness" than you, a "recreational blogger" are.

Fair, after all, is fair. Why should anyone take you seriously when you criticize Harper for something when you insist it isn't fair when you're called out on topics related to what you're already talking about in the first place?

Audrey II said...

No one suggested that the PM wade into the American healthcare debate. In fact, I explicity said the opposite. Reading comprehension FTW!

Fair is fair, but the PM's obligations with respect to Canada's reputation (both internally and abroad) can't reasonably be compared to the responsibility I (as a recreational blogger) have for what someone else may have posted elsewhere on the internets, and for you to insist otherwise pushes the boundaries of even your own usual levels of absurdity. Glad to see you're still putting any rope that's given to you to good use!

Patrick Ross said...

And in what way, Audrey, would Harper be defending "Canada's reputation"? By waxing enthusiastically about health care and making no mention whatsoever of the numerous problems the Canadian health care system has?

Once again, Audrey, the Prime Minister isn't responsible for wading into the debates unfolding in other countries. He's responsible for doing what's best for the country.

But let's face it, Audrey. Giving into the demands of people like yourself who insist that he condemn the critics of Canadian health care isn't necessarily what's best for the country. The numerous problems with Canadian health care are being put on trial in the American debate.

Once again, Audrey, I don't think you'd want the Prime Minister to give a fully open and honest assessment of Canadian health care in the course of intervening in the American debate. That would open the health care issue to debate here in Canada, and we all know how terrified people like yourself are of that.

And, once again, Audrey, becoming the Prime Minister doesn't eliminate any entitlement one may have to rhetorical fairness. This is really just another example of you breaching the kinds of courtesies that you insist you are entitled to.

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