require_once( $_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"] . "/master.config.php"); require_once ("config/config.php"); require("includes/story_header.php"); ?>
|Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, convalescing in Calgary from his gratuitous liver transplant, pays homage to Tommy Douglas.|
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has had a completely unnecessary liver transplant in a Calgary hospital, apparently in an effort to demonstrate his confidence in the public health care system.
The complex surgery is all the more baffling considering Harper's former liver was perfectly healthy, according to the doctor who performed the surgery over the weekend.
"I advised against him going through with this, seeing that his old liver was in impeccable condition, but that Steve-O's such a charmer, I just couldn't say no," said Dr. Herman Garby, chief of organ surgery at Calgary's Preston Manning Memorial Hospital.
From his hospital bed, Harper explained that he went through with the surgery to prove to Canadians that he and his party truly believe in public health care. "Contrary to how the Liberals are trying to portray me, as someone who will usher in unfettered two-tier health care, in fact, I have the utmost confidence in the public system. That's why I had my liver removed and replaced, in the public, not-for-profit system. Can't you see my commitment? Can't you see my devotion? Look at these scars!" exclaimed a teary-eyed Harper, displaying a passion rarely seen from him.
But is the timing of this truly elective surgery so wise, so close to election day?
Conservative spokesperson Veronica Free-Market said Harper can afford a break, even at this stage of the campaign. "It's all right if Stephen takes a couple of days off the campaign trail-it's not like he was ever leaving his plane anyway. And we promised him we wouldn't issue any press releases while he recovered."
However, those who legitimately need new livers seemed perturbed with Harper's queue jumping.
"Gee, I really could have used that liver," said 73-year-old Elwin Bubashenko of Red Deer, who has been on a waiting list for a new liver for seven months. "I don't know why he got dibs on it. I know he's the leader of the Conservatives, and we are in Alberta, but jeepers."
Yet despite his displeasure with Harper's liver hogging, the retired lounge pianist still plans to vote Conservative on June 28. "I can't wait till the Conservatives are in power-then I'll be able to buy all the livers I want on E-Bay!
"Make mine a triple!"