Lisa Riatt's comments regarding the isotope crisis gives the "me" generation a new meaning. Riatt's comments reflect her focus on the political capital she could get out of the issue. She had no concern about the patients who might have their lives threatened by the lack of isotopes and referred to things such as the heavy water leak and cancer as "sexy" issues.
When the Conservative strategy is to use "spin doctors" to place carefully crafted masks over the real face of the individuals that make up the government, trying to hide "private" attitudes that have no place in good governance, they make the glimpses into the reality that the Raitt tape provided an important means for evaluating the hidden reality.
What Conservatives and their supporters do not seem to understand is that Raitt comments reflect an attitude that is extremely offensive to many, if not most, Canadians. Most Canadians have family and friends or even personal experience with the diagnosis of life threatening diseases. That a person in charge of handling the crisis in the testing for these diseases treats the issue as a political opportunity to get her face in the media is outrageous.
The fact that the PMO still has confidence in Ms Riatt is not surprising. She was his hand picked candidate over other Conservatives who wanted the nomination. Prime Minister Harper appointed her as his personal choice for the riding and the party strategists made it clear that if she defeated Garth Turner she would have a cabinet position.
The cold, calculating manner in which she considered the issue from a personal political slant represents the self-interested individualism that Harper admires. They share an ideology in which compassion and caring are considered weaknesses.
It is sad that people who think like the Prime Minister and Ms Riatt so often hold the lives of real people in the palm of their hands.
MacCharles, Tonda, Uproar in the Commons over Raitt's remarks, June 9, 2009, The Toronto Star
Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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