Phony Election Promises
Election Promises will be the death of us
I write my articles in advance so by the time this appears in my newsletter,the election will be over and none of the promises of course will ever be kept. The problem is they are all the wrong promises.
From Emergency Room waiting times, pharmacare for all, gun control and climate change, all the promises are in the wrong direction.
Emergency Room waiting and Hospital Beds
All of them, even the Green party promise to reduce waiting times and provide more hospital beds. Of course this requires more money, better management, more staff and greater efficiency. In my opinion, this is the wrong approach. If there was a hairpin turn that caused numerous accidents and deaths, should we add more doctors, nurses, splints, bandages and drugs to the nearest hospital? Of course not. We would fix the cause. The road would be re-engineered and made safer to avoid the crashes.
Our food is killing us. The North American diet is the cause of most of our diseases; Heart Disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric reflux etc., etc. etc. We eat processed food, which is then processed again until it is so processed it only tastes good and satisfies our taste buds. Not only does it give us little nutrition but it causes severe diseases in the long term.
But it’s not our fault that we eat these foods. It is the fault of our government that allows the food manufacturers to obfuscate their labels in such a way we think we are eating healthy food when in fact we are eating mostly processed chemicals high in sugars and fats.
A real election promise would be to reign in these food manufacturers and force them to remove their ultra-processed foods and supply us with some real healthy nutrient food. But that will never happen because in our democracy, these food manufacturers are allowed to employ lobbyists who spend millions of dollars influencing our elected representatives. Did you know that Loblaw’s owns Fortino’s, Zehrs, No frills and even Shoppers Drug Mart.? How much influence do you think they have over what we eat?
Prevention is the only true way to stop our hospitals from overcrowding. Not only do we need a government that severely penalizes food manufacturers that are killing us but we need to start teaching our children starting in primary grades the importance of nutrition and the art of preparing food. These courses should be mandatory right up until grade 12 so by the time these children graduate from high school they should all be consummate chefs. That is the election promise I want to hear.
Fast food restaurants should not be allowed to advertise anywhere in the same way we stopped smoking advertising. If you think ultra-processed food is killing you, then fast food restaurants are likely the serial killers of our society. Of course in today’s world it is very difficult to come home from a hard day’s work and prepare a meal from scratch but until we create a society that will do this, we will just keep filling up our hospitals.
Did you know that as far back as 2014, the most current year for statistics, they were 70,000 adverse reactions and 24,000 deaths in Canada caused by medical error, mostly due to prescription drugs? How can this happen? Most of the fault lies with the pharmaceutical companies that lie about the adverse effects of their drugs and physicians who are just plain negligent.
About 30 years ago, one of the few ethical drug companies at the time came out with a novel idea to replace drug samples to physicians. Your doctor would get a three part prescription pad for a 7 day supply of a new drug. The pharmacist would then discuss the new drug with the patient, side-effects, and contraindications with other drugs and how to take it properly, and then was reimbursed by the drug company. But this took away some of the influence and selling power of the drug companies and so they went back to samples. The physician reaches into his drawer, finds the sample box of the new drug and says “here, try this; maybe this will work. “For some maybe it did work but for others they would up in emergency. The amount of family physicians and overworked interns at hospitals that accounts for hospital admissions is enormous.
Once again all of this would be preventable if drug companies had to tell the truth about their prescription drugs. Recently we found out that Purdue Frederick lied about how addicting their OxyContin actually was. They lied about the dose. In cases where a 5 mg dose would be sufficient, they actually made doses up to 80 and 100mg; almost lethal. All the drug companies obfuscate the side-effects of their drugs and deceive physicians in order to maximize sales. Did you hear any politician promise to crack down on these activities that are filling up our hospitals and killing us? Of course not. Because just like the food companies they have millions to spend on lobbyists to influence the government to make decisions in their favour. If the food doesn’t kill us, the drugs will.
To me this is a no-brainer and yet not one politician from any party has the ability to see the most obvious way of getting guns off the street. The answer is to decriminalize all drugs. Yes, make every drug legal so that addicts who need cocaine, heroin, OxyContin, Percodan and so on can get them free every day at the pharmacy. With all of these drugs being distributed by large pharmaceutical companies and dispensed under the scrutiny of pharmacists, the illegal drug trade would dry up. No more shooting your competitor because he moved in on your territory. No more business for the Jamaican gangs, the Asian gangs and the Hell’s Angels. Their guns would become dirty and rusty from lack of use. The police force would be reduced by 70 per cent and the jails would be almost empty. All this money saved on law enforcement and incarceration would be spent on rehab facilities for those who want to kick their habit.
Pharmacare for All
This is a very nice promise and one that we should have. However, as long as Doug Ford is the premier of Ontario it will not happen. In our constitution, once the Federal government passes a law, it must then be passed by each province. Ever since the crying baby Quebec province got away with the “notwithstanding clause”, every province has the right to accept or reject the federal law or even amend it. Once again, no politician would ever think of nationalizing our whole healthcare system so that is the same in every province because this wold upset the Quebec voters. Once Doug Ford has left office we may see some improvements in health care here but not until then.
We cannot ignore this any longer. Our weather is becoming too dynamic. Our planet is going through turmoil and there are many things we could do but once again we have short-sighted politicians with their hands out from all the major oil companies and natural gas producers. It takes a 16 year activist, Greta Thunberg who shames us by telling the United Nations that they are more concerned about world economic growth than they are about saving the planet. Once again, it is all about money and its influence and as long as we allow the huge corporations to control our destiny and this planet, things will only get worse. Is there a politician or a political-+ party out there that is really ready to make a drastic change for the better? I hope so. [print_link]