The young lady's amateur video above is really cute and honest. I love when young people become engaged, and she obviously felt that the notion of our health care system being some kind of socialist conspiracy is laughable.
If you do a search on YouTube for 'Shona Holmes', the woman who is featured in attack ads by the 'Tea Baggers' (honest there really is such a group), you will catch her many interviews on U.S. television stations, but you will also find many people who claim the whole thing was a hoax. (she refuses to be interviewed by the Canadian media).
I'm doing a series of postings on our health care system and how the Harper Government is poised to scrap it. Previously I showed the link between Conservative MP John Weston and Ms. Holmes, but I want to go back to the Social Credit Party and Ernest Manning, the Reform Party and Preston Manning and of course the National Citizens Coalition and Stephen Harper.
When did all this nonsense begin and how have we reached the point where our public health care system may be on it's last legs? All it will take is a Harper Majority. I'd suggest getting in all you medical appointments before the next election.
1. The Social Credit Party and Conspiracy Theories
I've already mentioned in another post, the origin of the Social Credit Party and Ernest Manning's long career as Social Credit Premier of Alberta. His son Preston became active in the Party, but wouldn't rise to prominence until he became leader of the Reform Party of Canada, a kind of off shoot from Social Credit.
According to Janine Stingel in her book; Social Discredit: Anti-Semitism, Social Credit and the Jewish Response (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press ISBN 0-7735-2010-4), "Social Credit was wholly dependent on an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory" (p. 13).
Ernest Manning would eventually weed out the anti-Semitics, but not the notion of a conspiracy. The threats were no longer the Jewish bankers, however, but the Communists and of course, the dreaded 'Socialists'.
From Preston Manning and the Reform Party of Canada:
"Throughout his political career, Ernest Manning was motivated by religion, and more specifically, by anti-Socialism: 'Socialism, to Manning, is a system which largely prevents the individual from attaining the state of grace and hence salvation ... Giving to the individual societal benefits such as free medical care ... breeds idleness... causing a break down in his relationship with God'.
"Manning argued that 'where the state imposed a monopoly on a service ... the sinful philosophy of state collectivism scored a victory'.
"This evangelical view of humans as essentially alone in the struggle for salvation leads to a gospel of the individual and also, naturally enough, 'in the world' to the gospel of free enterprise and capitalism. It compels many of its adherents to elevate capitalism to the level of Biblical command. Richard Neuhass, an American evangelist, says it is "imperative for Christians to support capitalism. It is an amazing thing ... It comes from the grace of God.'
"According to Reverend Ben Smillie, using Ernest Manning as an example, these evangelical sects 'have religiously sanctified the privileges of the economically powerful.' The multi-millionaire Ernest Manning could denounce the 'Godless materialism' of the communist system, while materialism sanctioned by God allowed him to 'equate (his) wealth with the Blessing of God.'" (Preston Manning and the Reform Party. Author: Murray Dobbin Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing 1992 ISBN: 0-88780-161-7, pg. 9)
When Conservative MP David Sweet was lecturing for his anti-feminist Promise Keepers, he toured with a man named Lee A. Jenkins, who also discusses the Bible and the goal of personal wealth. - (From his website) "Our Mission: At Lee Jenkins Financial Ministries our mission is to equip people to handle money from a biblical perspective in order to advance the Kingdom of God. Traditionally, Christians had been indoctrinated into what Lee calls "Poverty Theology" meaning that, if you love the Lord, you should not be concerned with earthly things, because only the spiritual counts. In today’s materialistic society, many churches have begun to preach a "Prosperity Theology" – one that bases spirituality on the kind of car you drive, the size of your house and how lavish your lifestyle is. ... As an ordained minister, he has the strong biblical foundation to make the connection between faith and finances."
Somehow they have equated public health care with Socialism, which is a threat to their personal wealth and eternal salvation.
2. Preston Manning and the Welfare State
Like his father, Preston Manning also firmly believed in the concept of a Socialist conspiracy, and part of that conspiracy was public health care. However, much of Manning's rhetoric centred around the concept of the 'Welfare State', and his belief that the government has no business providing social services.
Even in university as a member of the young Social Credit Party, he stated: "We believe that Canada is drifting towards socialism even though the majority of Canadians are opposed to collectivism and the welfare state" (Dobbins, 1992, pg. 25)
When Preston Manning was leader of the Reform Party, and Stephen Harper writing it's policy, they called for an end to national standards on medicare. And their policy entitled "Alternatives to the Welfare State: The Reform Party opposes the view that universal social programs run by bureaucrats are the best and only way to care for the poor, the sick, the old and the young." (Dobbin, 1992, Pg. 163)
The 1997 speech of Stephen Harper's that got him into hot water, and may have saved our country because he lost his possible majority in 2006; sounds very much the same. "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. "
Interestingly, he also says: On the surface, you can make a comparison between our political system and yours. We have an executive, we have two legislative houses, and we have a Supreme Court. However, our executive is the Queen, who doesn't live here. Her representative is the Governor General, who is an appointed buddy of the Prime Minister. Of our two legislative houses, the Senate, our upper house, is appointed, also by the Prime Minister, where he puts buddies, fundraisers and the like. So the Senate also is not very important in our political system.
3. Stephen Harper and the National Citizens Coalition.
From Wikipedia: "The National Citizens Coalition is a Canadian libertarian-conservative lobby group, founded by Colin M. Brown in 1967, originally founded in opposition to the concept of a national health care system. ... . Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada, served as President of the organization from 1998 to 2002."
I had always suspected that the ties between the Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party were deeper than they appeared, but author Trevor Harrison stated that when the group decided to form a party in the place, they went to visit Colin Brown in Toronto, "however, Colin Brown, the founder of the NCC, was seriously ill with cancer." Ernest Manning was one of the directors of the National Citizens Coalition, so the party was hoping they could work together on common goals, including the privatization of health care.
However, I learned from author Murray Dobbin, that the relationship went back to the days of the Social Credit Party. In fact, Brown originally just purchased a full page ad in the Globe and Mail opposing Tommy Douglas' Medicare, but after reading a book that Ernest and Preston Manning had written, called Political Realignment, he decided to expand on his original initiative.
"Ernest was one of the moving forces behind the creation of the NCC and a founding member when the organization was incorporated in 1975. He remained on the advisory board for many years." (Dobbin, 1992, Pg. 97)
It would appear that Stephen Harper is now working for the NCC from the inside. If he ever got a majority during an economic crisis, we could kiss our health care goodbye.
Stephen Harper and the Manning men would have realized their dream, and Canadians can only hope they never get sick.
More Postings on Harper's War Against our Health Care System: