A minus Q

Elling Lien won’t tell if you aren’t there to ask.

How can a question be asked if there is no one there to ask it? If a tree falls in the forest, and it hits a mime, does anyone care? The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. How much did Ottenheimer or the government know?

Ah, sweet mysteries of life.

The cancer inquiry. John Ottenheimer, the former provincial minister of health on the stand:

“I went to the house each day fully briefed, in a position to respond to questions, [and] participate in debate if necessary,” Ottenheimer said. “And on not one occasion—not one occasion—was I questioned by the opposition on the very serious issue of [hormone receptor] testing.”

I’m not interested in the knee-jerk accusation that the opposition were fools (maybe they were). I’m not even necessarily interested here in what or how much the government truly knew about the faulty lab tests. What I’m most concerned about is the ‘well I didn’t tell because nobody asked’ bit.

Our political system is built around the idea that argument in the legislature—competition—is the best way to make informed decisions. The apple is picked up and examined from all angles before its chopped up and made into apple pie. Or applesauce. Or road apples.

But when a single force dominates, and the same strategy is used, what happens?

When Ottenheimer was health minister, the Tories only had about 70 per cent of the seats in the provincial legislature. These days, they have more than 90 per cent of the seats.

How does a political organism—used to having to fight its way through absolutely everything—react to an imbalance of power in its favour?

My thought is that it keeps its guard up, prepares for a fight, and waits. Like a person who was once starved hoardes food, people who are trained to act a certain way are very slow to readapt.

Is that what happened here?

How the heck should I know?

Just seems fishy, is all…

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