Clever politics and good government are not one and the same thing. Mr. Harper, has sprinkled various tax cuts and tax credits to seniors, transit riders, families with children under six years , and other groups.
If you find yourself in one of these favoured groups, you might want to start putting that money in the bank and save up for your private medical insurance. Harper cannot say openly that he is fundamentally opposed to the very idea of Medicare. That would be political suicide and he is too clever for that. However, even a quick glance at his public record of writings and speeches shows that Medicare goes against everything that he believes in.
Mr. Harper served two terms as leader of the National Citizens Coalition.
Few Canadians are aware that the National Citizens Coalition was founded by a wealthy Ontario businessman (Colin M. Brown) in the early sixties specifically to protest the introduction of Medicare.
If Mr. Harper remains Prime Minister after the election, especially with a majority, can he be trusted to enforce the Canada Health Act? Will he resist the pressures from the private, for-profit sector to allow the introduction of private medical health services, funded by private insurance companies? Not likely, as he is a free market zealot and favours the private sector as opposed to any public sector involvement.
Can he be trusted to assert the federal power to discourage any province from allowing private health care to gain a foothold? Again, not likely. In his short time in power, he has profoundly weakened the federal government?s ability to act for all Canadians and has ceded huge chunks of power to the provinces.
Mr. Harper?s ideology would put Medicare at risk, the publicly-funded program most valued by Canadians. He has shown us clearly that he will tolerate no opposition to his aims. As he said of supporters of the Wheat Board, who are resisting his questionable tactics to destroy that institution, ?they will get walked over?.
If you value Medicare, think carefully before casting your vote.