The World According to Linda McQuaig

"The most important thing is making sure rich people don't cut in line—except to kill a fetus"

By: Rachel Marsden

The day after the Supreme Court of Canada declared timely health care to be a fundamental Charter right, the Toronto Star responded right on cue.

Out came the martyr—a retiree propped up on a park bench for his close-up—in constant pain from “waiting more than 18 months before his dilapidated right hip is replaced in November”. There he was on the pages of Canada’s Pravda, sucking it up for the cause du jour, saying he’d rather wait in line for public health care rather than take a gamble with “an unknown risk” in a private clinic.

But if gramps needed, say, an abortion, instead of a hip replacement, I’m sure the lefties at The Star would be happy to refer him to one of eight private medical clinics in Canada operated by their hero, abortion provider Dr. Henry Morgentaler. Now that’s an “unknown risk” that merits a dice roll! But cancer? A brain tumour? Crippling agony? Sorry: In the world of lefty thinking, the most important thing is making sure rich people don’t get to cut in line—except to kill a fetus.

Star writer Linda McQuaig explains the logic: “Once the rich start buying their services outside the public system, they resent paying taxes to support it. They press for, and usually win, tax reductions, leaving inadequate funds for the public system. As the public system deteriorates, it ends up serving only the poor — who have little clout with governments. Politicians don't mind letting the poor sleep on the street, so they aren't likely to mind if the poor lack timely access to hip replacements.”

Of course, the left has always been suspect of “rich” folks. That is, unless they make buckets of money hocking books designed to let the world know how evil rich people are. Then they’re considered icons.

But McQuaig takes the class warfare to a new level of absurdity: Even when the "rich" are kind enough to step out of the regular public-health lineup to make it shorter for everyone else, even when they offer to pay for two health systems -- the one they use and the one they don't -- they're still somehow a threat to the welfare state.

Another Star column last week pontificated that “Ontario should override [the Supreme Court’s] decision”, and quoted Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton as saying, “this is exactly the circumstance when the notwithstanding clause should be used.”

A few months ago, a group of Canadian activists and their pet law profs warned that all hell would break loose if Stephen Harper even thought about using the notwithstanding clause to prevent the largest ever social science experiment in Canadian history—same-sex marriage—from being implemented nationwide. Yet now it’s apparently perfectly acceptable to use the same Charter provision to keep people in pain from having access to medical assistance.

True humanitarianism always takes a backseat to leftist ideology. Human rights abuses by dictators like Fidel Castro in Cuba and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe get pushed aside by left-leaning groups like Amnesty International in favour of the greater cause of telling off the United States for the umpteen millionth time. That’s because on the international stage, America occupies roughly the same demonized spot that "rich" people do here at home.

In conjunction with the release of its annual report last month, Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director, Dr. William F. Schulz, issued a statement calling on foreign governments that are party to the Geneva Convention to arrest and prosecute Bush administration officials—including the U.S. President himself, former CIA director George Tenet, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—or to extradite them to a country that will prosecute them for the “torture” of suspected jihadists at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

No doubt he’ll take this week’s entire underwhelming Time Magazine revelations of using Christina Aguilera music to torture detainees as further proof of U.S. cruelty—rather than praising them for not unleashing any Kathy Lee Gifford CDs.

In its efforts to spread democracy and stop serious human rights abuses around the world, America is treated by the left like an A-plus student who gets grounded for coming home with a B while the all the lefty dictator D students are allowed to scribble all over the walls, eat the crayons, and are given gold stars just for spelling their names right.

Whether it comes to health care or human rights, the point isn't to protect the little guy. It's to make sure the rich and powerful get screwed.