Stephen Harper has been known to say one thing and do another.
He's also tried to dance like Toller Cranston around the intentions of his actions and words of the past.
While I think Canadians are eager to have a new debate on how their health care system has to adapt to meet the changing demands and rising costs, Harper is happy to skirt the issue and just pledge what the other guys are pledging (not to let the other leaders off on a technicality, however they are in opposition and not the current government).
Just in case you've forgotten, here is what so-called leader Stephen Harper has said about Canada's health care system in the past:
"We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."
- Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, October 2002.
"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
- Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.
"What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.
"I know this is a dangerous subject. My advisors say don't talk about it, but the fact is sometimes provinces have allowed in the past few years, they've brought in private services covered by public health insurance... Why do I care and why do we care as a federal government how they're managed? What we care about is whether people can access them. This is just an ideological agenda."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper at the leadership debate, June 15th 2004, conceding that he shouldn't talk about his positive view of privatization of health care.