Don Martin, in "Liberals show they're the control freaks" (National Post, Oct.28, 2010), wrote of Michael 'Big-Red-Tent' Ignatieff's brusque brush-off of Liberal MP Keith Martin's health care reform ideas:
"... For a guy pledging to spread a Big Red Tent across the political landscape, this has the look of a leader swinging tent poles at the skull of anyone who dares to raise an inconvenient idea.
What's worse, Ruby Dhalla's experience is not unique.
The flip side of her example is Mr. Ignatieff's curious positioning on another private member's bill designed to hold Canadian mining companies in foreign countries to higher human rights or health standards that, if complaints are upheld, cost them government financial support.
While he didn't officially crack the whip to order his caucus behind the Liberal MP's bill, which the government warns will cost thousands of jobs in the mining sector, they were told to "visit the water cooler" if they couldn't stand in united support of the legislation.
It wouldn't be so bad if it was a worthy policy hill to die on, but this is seriously lousy policy. What's worse for their MPs, it now appears just floating interesting ideas is too much for lofty Liberals to tolerate without rebuttal.
Liberal MP Keith Martin, a medical doctor, declared the obvious when he wrote about the need to pick the handcuffs on the Canada Health Act to allow patients to "pay for care if they wish, in entirely separate facilities funded solely by the private sector."
The screech from inside the Liberal bunker was loud and immediate. Health critic Ujjal Dosanjh didn't just shrug it off as a rogue idea, he went on the attack. "That's bunk. That is absolutely not a solution to any of the problems that we're facing today," he fumed. "It really is irrelevant what Keith Martin thinks. He doesn't speak for the Liberal Party of Canada on health care."
Incredibly, the iron-fisted discipline of the Conservatives is starting to look like a form of freedom compared to the bound-and-gagged Liberals.
While we keep expecting Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stuff a sock in Maxime Bernier's loose lips, it hasn't happened. And MPs confide Mr. Harper seems increasingly open to their ideas at the caucus-meeting microphone.
So move over Conservatives and meet Canada's newest control freaks. They're the ones hiding inside the Big Red Tent."
So Michael Den Tandt has his answer (again - see here, here) on why Iggy's Liberals have no solutions to health care beyond upholding the failing status-quo. Iggy will propagate his theological devotion to single-payer health care, continuing his stale rehash of health care despotism; maintaining the same old single-payer trap.
Like Ontario's Liberals - such as McGuinty, Jim Bradley, and Deb Matthews - Iggy also will not carry out an adult conversation regarding their Liberal health care duplicity, preferring to demonize any dissenters to their single-payer monopolist orthodoxy. Even those who are already in Iggy's leaky "big red tent" are then conveniently ignored!
It is festering Liberal monopolist-pushing hacks such as Dosanjh who carry the disease, not the cure.