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A public check-up


 

Joanna Smith wonders how much we need to know about the health of politicians.

The president of the United States gets to have his business made public every couple of years when he gets a full physical by the White House doctor. The White House publishes the reports online, so Americans learned in February 2010 that President Barack Obama is not only “fit for duty,” but underwent screening for colorectal cancer, got the swine-flu shot and was urged to quit smoking.

Micheal Vonn, policy director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said that would be going too far. “That would probably have a very profound chill on people running for office,” said Vonn, adding that personal health information receives the highest form of privacy protection under the law. “We cannot be cavalier with that kind of privacy promise in suggesting there are entire classes of people who should be required — either normatively or in law — to waive their rights.”


 

A public check-up

  1. It's not in our nature to pry. If Layton feels he is fit enough for the job then we ought to respect his judgement.

    Any one of us could be hit by a bus tomorrow.

  2. "If Layton feels he is fit enough for the job then we ought to respect his judgement." I agree

    Media questions should be geared towards the health of our nation.

    For instance,

    Would it be healthy for Canada to give the balance of power to the Bloc Quebecois?

    Canadians have choices to make.

    Mr.Ignatieff, what's your choice of plan for securing the health of this nation?

  3. Aaron, Im wondering what your take is on the latest Ipsos poll?

    Did your head explode all over your laptop (tip: with an iPad its an easier cleanup)?

    Or did you just start to sob uncontrollably?

  4. "It's not in our nature to pry."

    Who is 'our' because I would say it is human nature to pry into other people's business. As long as you are not an anti-social loner, people pry into other people's business every day of their lives. What msm does not talk about is how much they keep secret from public to protect pols. Many in msm seem to think it is their job to protect pols instead of providing info to public.

    "If Layton feels he is fit enough for the job then we ought to respect his judgement."

    You think Layton can have any number of physical or mental illnesses and it is none of our business if he thinks he's fit enough? What a load of twaddle.

    Electorate has a right to know who they are voting for and how they might react in situations. Pharmaceuticals affect they way a person thinks, we should be informed if a person is full of drugs that are altering them mentally. If pols don't like being asked private questions, they should not have public jobs. Stick with private sector if you think your health issues are personal and no one's business.

  5. You think Layton can have any number of physical or mental illnesses and it is none of our business if he thinks he's fit enough? What a load of twaddle.

    If you think that Layton has any number of physical or mental illnesses then your path is clear; don't vote for him.

  6. Wouldn't get too excited…everytime those polls numbers hit majority level…the electorate gets worried and pulls back or the Tories manage an 'own goal' to deflate their support.

    BTW…what do you think of the recent Nanos poll that states 41% of Canadians trust Harper less than last year?

  7. i dont care. those 41% of Canadians probably never intended to vote for harper. you harper-haters have made yourselves irrelevant. it doesnt matter if you switch from disliking Harper to having a hysterical raging hate-on for the man.

    what i do care about and what is relevant is that 43% of Canadians now want to vote for Harper. that's majority territory.

    you can pray for the 'own goal' or whatnot, the Liberals are still pathetic losers and voters know it.

  8. LOL…easily goaded aren't you!

    Take a deep breath….Harper's going nowhere…but I predict another minority.

  9. you're right, Harper's staying put, as PM. and Iggy, he's going to Harvard Im afraid.

  10. In the United States, because they elect one person to be President, it is important to know whether that person is healthy and fit for duty.

    In Canada, theoretically or ideally, we elect a party and its platform, and the Prime Minister only becomes such because he or she is the head of that party. Using this logic, it isn't as important whether the Prime Minister is in good shape – if he or she falls, someone else can take over and continue to implement the platform that the party was elected to implement.

    In practice, of course, it doesn't work that way, with the so-called "Harper Government" being the most extreme example of this.

  11. Our personal health information is personal for a very important reason. So much that I would hold it AGAINST any politician who chooses to release his or her own health information as some bravado-laced expression of fitness. May it NEVER come to pass that our leaders have absolutely zero expectation of privacy.

    Jack Layton has a lifetime of political service and political smarts going for him. If, in consultation with his doctors, HE decides he's good to go, that's good enough for me. I will not be voting NDP because of their policies; their leader's health status (over which I have nothing but genuine hopes for positive outcomes) has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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