Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Anniversary of Jack Layton's Death
I have talked about it before but the health of our leaders is important. Some people told me it is completely private. We still don't know what killed Jack Layton. His family and the NDP thinks it is no one's business.
The feeling as Olivia Chow stated that if the public knows the health of the leader, it will affect the ability of that person to run for office. I wonder if she only means of NDP leaders because it hard to imagine the NDP sitting on their hands of Stephen Harper was in and out of doctor's offices or looking gaunt.
I don't say this to be mean but transparency is important and we are not getting it.
If political parties are going to make leaders the most important asset of their party, they should expect more focus on their personal lives. Divorce records, tax records and health records are newsworthy if the leaders have authority over Canadian lives.
The fury of Vic Toews over his public divorce records being revealed was an important contrast to the legislation he proposed which might have put a lot of Canadians under surveillance. Both Liberals and NDP were interested in those records which they had a right to see under present legislation.
The media had divorce records of Vic Toews and felt they were not newsworthy. That is hard to imagine why not since Toews has had important roles on law as it pertains to marriage and divorce.
There is a lot of pussyfooting in the media about talking about leaders and their personal lives because of the backlash. It is okay to be soft and fawning but ask a leader revealing questions about their taxes, health and other things. Ask a leader such as a mayor how much time he is away from town in a year and who is in informed and ready to lead when he is away and what we get is evasiveness. Not good.
The Canadian Press asks impertinently on the anniversary of Jack Layton's death why he died. They won't get an answer.
What they should be asking is if the new NDP leader will release his health records. If Tom Mulcair says no and other leaders say they will, the NDP policy on not commenting on the health of the leaders will disappear.
At present, we don't know anything about the health of Tom Mulcair. I don't know that I will be satisfied he is going to be around just by watching him do one arm push-ups. That won't cut it.
The NDP policy on not revealing what happened in the last election was not transparent. It shouldn't happen again.
Public health record of our leaders are important. If the U.S. can do it, we should be able to do it as well.