Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CBC's PC Leadership debate: Part 1

After having burned out for a week, trying to get back into the swing of writing posts, while resuming classes and working a double shift, was pretty arduous. In fact, I did not really believe I would even get one out. But then I started to watch the debate. Bless the candidate's little hearts, they have motivated me to write. They were hilarious to watch; squabbling, talking over each other, ignoring the moderator, and failing to answer the question in the best tradition of politicians everywhere. To be frank they (*wipes away tear*) taught me to believe in politics again.

In case it isn't painfully obvious I have abbreviated the candidates' names to their initials for brevity. The announcer even dipped in so far that I felt the need to give her the title AN, since she becomes rather involved. So the actors are; Doug Griffiths: DG, Doug Horner: DH, Gary Mar: GM, Rick Orman: RO, Ted Morton: TM, Allison Redford: AR, and the announcer: AN.

The phrase, "Tories at forty" feels wrong for some reason that I can't put my finger on, but we don't dwell on it long since CBC leaps right into the questions with a blisteringly pandering query, "Why should you be the next premier?" The candidates are afforded one minute each.

RO: Talks about the two levels of leadership experience he carries: business and government. He believes that people will value his experience. He also says he can identify good ideas, make discussions about them, implement them, and communicate the outcome, which could prove to be tautological; if he doesn't win, obviously running was not a good idea to implement.

GM:  He also talks about his experience as various ministers but also pledges to be a champion for Alberta and have a passion for the province.Also his family has been here for a hell of a long time, before 1905 when we were still part of the NWT, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

DG: plays on his youth by saying he understands the youth vote and will be someone the province can rally behind to leave something for the next generation. I don't want to be mean, but 38 is only a 'youth' in politics. If you attempt to claim youth outside that arena, people will look at you funny.

TM: Gets a bit off track after saying the next 40 years should be as good as the last 40, then discussing how we are leading Canada's economy, but comes to roost talking about how the north is the new frontier.

DH: He plans to shake things up by redefining the party by the existing principles, (is that really redefining?)but he wants to unify for decision-making, improve our presence on the global stage, invest for the future with energy and healthcare to make a make a province people stay in, because as we know emigration is killing us.

AR: Back to business as usual, talking about her experience, while saying she wants a good province to raise her family in.

People were invited to write in with questions. Each candidate drew a question at random, then had forty-five seconds to answer it before it was opened for panel discussion. Gary Mar picked the first question: Should Albertans be given more opportunity to pay for faster healthcare?
He responded that he is a strong supporter of our healthcare and is strongly in favor of a public system but we can find other delivery methods. He wants to restrict care locally and mentions Albertans working on Albertans, a point that only works if there is no one present to call you out on your bigotry.
AR: No, what Albertans want is care for all people equally.
GM: So you won't allow people who want to pay, and have been doing so, to continue?
DH: We should never focus on a private system without a solid public system in place first.
TM: Sure, but we can still have a private system that's publicly paid.
DG: We need to make some real substantial change.
DH: We need to explore other delivery methods - emails etc. without focusing on 'in person' treatment.
GM: We do need a strong public system, but there are other options. This could be a resource to use.
DH: There are better ways to do that (rather than private) We should open to other types of healthcare professionals, such as nurses, etc.
TM: We could keep the public system but allow more private delivery, why not?
(I was discussing this question with Victor when he wondered what a 'publically paid private system' would be. He settled on the idea that everyone would pay it but only rich people would get it.)

Doug Griffith answered the next question: How will you make sure there are enough public, long-term care beds for seniors?
He says it's a matter of priorities; 'there are other opportunities but this is long term care. It is important to do this rather than leave people in hospital beds.' which is not really an answer, but if I started to expect actual answers from politicians I'd be lying in bed clutching my wubbie after two days.
RO: Long term care facilities are expensive to build. So we would use old government lands like inner city schools to build facilities..
GM: There will be more seniors in the future. We need to commit to better senior care now like home care, etc.
AR: The practical problem is defining service and support. We need a better healthcare model. moving people less. We need to have the authority to 'rein in' Alberta healthcare (She received a second round of applause here - did she bring her own audience section?)
TM: We need to let seniors stay home by allowing a property tax deferral.

I was hoping to  include more questions, since this is scarcely a quarter of the way into the debate, but the next question revolves around the Land Stewardship act, and so I want to do some reading up before writing on it. I'll be back Wednesday, when a member of the panel gets booed.


Anonymous said...

You are a baddie.

Anonymous said...

Glad your comment section is working again!
I'll say again that I liked Doug Horner's ideas on opening up health care so that doctor's aren't the "gatekeepers" for every single thing you need. Sometimes I just need a nurse; why shouldn't I be able to just see a nurse?
lol, mapa