Friday, April 03, 2009

StealthGord I - George Abbott



With another election season knocking at the door, the StealthGords are not home.

And the first to runaway is BC Liberal Health Minister George Abbott, as chronicled in today's Province by Michael Smyth:

Health Minister George Abbott has never been afraid of a good, spirited political debate -- at least not in the legislature, where he regularly battles his NDP adversaries.

But in the early days of this election tussle, it hasn't exactly been a royal rumble on the campaign trail.

"He's ducked me -- but, more importantly, he's ducked people interested in health care -- three times so far," NDP health critic Adrian Dix complained yesterday.

"Three debates, three no-shows. I think it will be part of the Liberal election strategy: Don't debate." Abbott denies that, of course. He said he couldn't attend a March 13 faceoff with Dix -- sponsored by the association representing B.C. health-care managers -- for a good reason.

"A scheduling conflict -- simple as that," he told me.

But where Abbott sees a full daytimer, Dix sees a pattern.

"I can understand one scheduling conflict, but three? And the invites went out months earl- ier." Abbott was invited last November to the health managers' event. He was invited in mid-January to a B.C. Health Coalition debate scheduled for March 16. And he was invited in mid-March to this Saturday's panel discussion at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue put on by the Canadian Diabetes Association......

Gee. How democratic of the BigRed(Con)Machine.

Who, we wonder will be the next StealthGord?

Of course, this run-and-hide-from-the-electorate strategy, especially when matters that actually matter are being discussed and/or debated, is an old 'StealthCon' dodge that we chronicled extensively in the last federal election.


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