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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Did Harper give the signal to scuttle healthcare reform policy?

By far the most disappointing news to come from the 2008 Conservative Party of Canada convention is the failure of the delegates to pass resolution P-106, which would signal that the party is supportive of encouraging experimentation with private delivery of health care within a universal system.

P-106: To encourage provinces and territories to “further experiment with different means of delivering universal health care utilizing both the public and private health sectors.”

The motion was hardly ideological and I would argue was actually a very modest and pragmatic proposal that would have allowed the Conservatives to work towards ensuring Canadians actually do have universal access to health care (as opposed to universal access to waiting lists) without going so far as to controversially call for privatization of the system.

Kady O'Malley blogged at MacLeans on the policy sessions, and made an astute observation on the debate of the proposal on the floor:

[Stephen Fletcher spoke] against the resolution - and, as the former parliamentary secretary for health, I think that is the closest we’re going to get to a signal from PMO as to how the government feels about it.

I think she's right there, and I have a hard time believing that that signal wasn't meant to tell the clapping seals and party hacks which way they were to vote on this motion. ("Grassroots?" Whats that?)

There's been a lot made of Harper coming out on Thursday to urge Conservatives not to let ideology get in the way of... whatever. Power or something. (After all, you can't make sure there's blue on the government websites without power!)

I'm not masochistic enough to kid myself into expecting Harper to call for smaller government or fiscal restraint, so I wasn't surprised at all. I also wasn't surprised to see a story this morning in the Toronto Star reporting that the Conservative government isn't opposed to bailing out the failing automotive companies.

What I am surprised by is the fact that while Conservatives won't let their ideology get in the way of bailing out dying and often mismanaged industries, they also won't let it encourage them to help dying Canadians.

So much for "compassionate conservatism."

Posted by Janet Neilson on November 16, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink

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What I am surprised by is the fact that while Conservatives won't let their ideology get in the way of bailing out dying and often mismanaged industries,..............................
Posted by Janet Neilson on November 16, 2008

Which industries have been bailed out?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-11-16 8:22:57 AM


The default level of hostility the posters here have towards the Conservative Party is out of control.

We get our fill of angry women with palpable hatred towards anything Conservative in the media; why on earth do you suppose we readers want to see that kind of attitude at the Standard? Your niche is already well served.

Seriously, what utility does yet another hardline anti-Conservative have for your readers? We get it: the Standard is a virulently anti-Conservative website, despite the fact that the Conservative just ran on the most libertarian platform in modern Canadian history.

Maybe save a little criticism for the 4 other federal parties that are demonstrably and significantly less libertarian than the CPC?

Posted by: Booooooring | 2008-11-16 9:26:30 AM


The other four parties are beyond hope because they don't know any better. The Conservatives are supposed to. This blog gave the party credit for passing the motion to declaw the Human Rights Commissions, and in an earlier post, Janet said that the motion against human trafficking (which passed later) was a good idea.

The "angry women with palpable hatred towards anything Conservative in the media" to whom you refer are, for the most part, criticizing the Conservatives from the left.

At the Shotgun, criticism of the Conservative party tends to come from the right — because many of us believe Stephen Harper and his staff, ministry, caucus and die-hard supporters have flipped that part of the political spectrum the bird.

The Shotgun is a small-c conservative operation, and a small-c conservative operation should never shy away from criticizing a big-C Conservative party when it throws small-c conservative values to the wolves. And it's very telling that people who continue to stand by the party treat that criticism the same way they treat criticism from the left.

Posted by: Ker | 2008-11-16 10:00:07 AM


The present health care system is broken and will continue getting worse, and the solution is certainly not throwing more money at it. I would ask the CPC how they propose to deal with it, since they have decided to reject one option without discussion. The American model is not the only alternative. However with the exception of the UK, no other country with a national health care system is as bad as what we have.

An improvement would be to return health care to the provinces and let them run it as a provincial insurance. This is not the best but it would cut a lot of the waste going to all levels of administration.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-11-16 11:22:05 AM


Flaherty = Foolhardy

Posted by: Condor | 2008-11-16 5:26:41 PM


Which industries have been bailed out?

Posted by: The Stig | 16-Nov-08 8:22:57 AM

The line was a reference to the Toronto Star story which was the latest in a long line of reports that the government will be pumping money into the economy in some way and seem more and more likely to provide a comprehensive bailout package to the auto (or perhaps manufacturing) sector. That said, if you ignore industries already supported through subsidies and tax dollars and handouts pledged to individual plants no large scale bailouts have taken place (yet).

Posted by: Janet | 2008-11-16 6:09:32 PM


An improvement would be to return health care to the provinces and let them run it as a provincial insurance. This is not the best but it would cut a lot of the waste going to all levels of administration.

Posted by: Alain | 16-Nov-08 11:22:05 AM

Alain - that might be a suggestion for a future policy proposal. More power to the provinces is not only a good way to shrink the size and scope of federal government, it's popular in Quebec as well.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-11-16 6:53:03 PM



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