Sunday, January 22, 2006

I love my country... Canada. I can say this without irony because I really do love Canada. It's peaceful, big, beautiful, with an amazing standard of public education, healthcare and support for culture. Canada is quite prosperous right now while still remaining a fairly socialist country. It is a model immigration nation and one of the easiest places to live. Unemployment is down, and cultural exports, in music and literature, are up. The average Canadian is a moderate and the average young Canadian is pretty damn cultured. Much to be proud of...

But wait! The election is tomorrow! OMG! And the Conservatives are in the lead. In fact, the Conservatives are all but guaranteed to win the election. The only question is whether it will be a minority or majority government. And, there are two issues that bother me regarding Conservative policy... Quebec and healthcare.

The Conservatives are proposing that people vote for the Bloc Quebecois, over the Liberals, because the Conservatives are prepared to join forces with the Bloc in protecting Quebec's interests. The Conservatives can hardly have Quebec's interests at heart while detailing that they set aside unrenewable-resources revenue to pay for implementing Kyoto measures. This singles out Quebec to pay for the bill. However, the issue of separation is heating up again and another referendum may be called in the coming years. It might be useful to have a federal party close to the Bloc, sharing in policy, to disarm the Bloc as a separation force. Tricky.

The Conservatives are also seriously considering privatising healthcare. This is one of the hallmarks, the holy grails, of the Canadian way of life. Free healthcare for everyone. With the new policy, money would be saved by the government with basic healthcare privatised. This new policy can be understood if we take into account the aging population. The population over 65 is growing and the government fears that the economy will not be able to support growing healthcare costs. However much I understand this economic reality, I think economic logic rarely rarely equates to humane policy. Old people, people who have given their taxes to this country their whole life, should not be gipped as this late stage. With the lower value of their pensions (the marked inflation in the late 90s being a huge culprit), the aging population needs protection now more than ever. In such a rich country, how can resources be so inefficiently allocated that we need to penalize the old and the poor?

But, there's not much to do about it now but vote. Perhaps they'll be a minority govt, with the NDP and the Conservatives in cahoots. That would be the best case scenario, even if it's they make strange bedfellows.


addendum: HOLY CRAP! Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservatives, has also said that he's in favour of Canada going into Iraq! Is he a lobotomy patient? Anti-Christ!