Democracy is neither scientific polling nor privatisation, and we donít need to compare apples with apples

Federal Health minister Pierre Pettigrew on April 20, 2004 got himself into some confusion over comments
about privatisation of Canada's medicare programme.


Democracy is neither scientific polling nor
privatisation, and we donít need to compare apples with apples

Nipawin - Friday - April 30, 2004 - by: Mario deSantis

abuse of

Yet another opinion poll coming out of Iraq in regard to the timed popularity of the American liberation army[1] and I wonder if any of the citizens of the city of Fallujah have taken part in this scientific effort[2]. I also wonder if any of the Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison[3], near Baghdad, have been polled by social scientists. I am being sarcastic, but what I want to say is that we must not abuse the use of opinion polls, that we must not always compare apples with apples, that we must understand that something is statistical polling and something else is freedom of expression and democracy.




On Wednesday, we found out how divisive is the opinion poll
"Which are more important, the rights of the individual or the right of society?"
Do we need to take another opinion poll to ascertain if the rights of the individual coexist with the right of society? Certainly not, otherwise we would defeat the natural coexistence of the rights of the individual and the right of society. As I was indicating above, when we deal with freedom of expression and democracy we must not fall into the pseudo scientific trap of necessarily comparing apples with apples.



ER vs.
high salary

Sometime ago I learned that the big head of the Saskatoon Health Region, Jim Fergusson, was pulling the big salary of some $265,000 per year. I also learned that doctors and nurses had been complaining for the lack of needed resources at the emergency department of the Royal University Hospital[4]. It is my understanding that maybe this is an example of comparing apples with oranges. However, it is also my understanding that we cannot allow emergency patients to die for the lack of needed emergency services while Jim Fergusson sits on his accumulating assets. Would I be that wrong in thinking that Fergusson would have the motivation to cut emergency services so that he can partially justify his $265,000 yearly salary? Further, it is my understanding that the compensation of Fergusson is more compatible with the privatisation or downsizing of health services rather than with the understanding of the universality of health coverage.




Universal health care is being undermined in Canada in very subtle but definitive ways. Recently, First Nation in Saskatchewan have been contemplating the setting of private clinics to provide MRI diagnostic services[5]. In British Colombia, the government has just passed legislation to further privatise and downsize health care services in order to save money[6]. In the meantime, the Government of Canada is privatising and downsizing its public services as it increases to $6.5 billion its consulting fees paid to their friendly experts.




Democracy is neither scientific polling nor privatisation, and we donít need to compare apples with apples.

Mario deSantis


  Pertinent articles published in Ensign


Soriano, Cesar G. and Komarow, Steven Poll: Iraqis out of patience (pdf)April 29, 2004 USA TODAY,


Shohat, Orit Remember Falluja (pdf) April 28, 2004 Haaretz,


60 MINUTES II Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed (pdf) April 29, 2004 CBSNEWS,


Canadian Press ER doctor fired over remarks (PDF) March 18, 2004


CBC Saskatchewan First Nation looking to buy MRI machine January 23, 2004


CBC Union defiant as B.C. orders end to hospital strike April 29, 2004


Travers, James Price for advice: $6.5B: Consulting costs should anger PM April 27, 2004 The Star,


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