William Mandel wrote:
So I believe I have a basis for opinion on Canada, and I agree with you.
It is, for want of a better single word, a sensible country. Its people
are quite right in thinking we are primitive in not understanding the
benefits of what we call single-payer health care. The remarkable thing
is that Canadians are conservative in culture but highly progressive,
relative to us in the U.S., in socio-economic and political matters.
After all, we don't have anything like the New Democratic Party, for all
Canada's single payer health care is quite popular, but under attack.
The Alberta government is moving toward a two tier system which some
fear will lead to Americanization and open the door through NAFTA for
the multi-national medi-corps to move in and colonize us.
We have reactionary governments in Alberta and Ontario and a reactionary
opposition in BC that well may win the next election, turfing the NDP in
the province after 10 years.
The federal liberals are akin to the republicrats, our by Jean is
buddies with Slick Willie and Tony Blair and all three are Third Wayers
looking for a way to sell capitalism and corporate dominated
globalization to the masses.
A new right-wing populist party has just been formed from traditional
conservatives and western yahoos who have been winning elections for
seven years now, and we are heading into a federal election sometime in
the next year.
The NDP, of which I am an activist member, is a socialist party founded
by Tommy Douglas (Keifer Sutherland's grandfather). It was Tommy that
took on the doctors in a fierce battle and brought about our public
health care system in Saskatchewan and forced the Liberals to adopt it
Canada wide or face losing elections over it. Today the NDP is
undergoing some serious naval gazing with many of the grass roots
members calling for a return to more fundamental socialist values. It
is the feeling among these members that a drift to the right and Third
Way policies by party leadership and governments (BC, Saskatchewan and
Manitoba now, Yukon and Ontario in the last decade have or had NDP
governments) is the result of declining membership and popularity. In
BC the NDP traditionally gets about 40% of the popular vote which can be
enough to translate into a majority of seats in the house.
Party leadership is mainly from the sixties crowd. The current BC
leader is in that group, he grew up in the Punjab. His main contender
for party leadership last winter is also in the group. He grew up in
Oakland, CA. The federal leader is a woman in the same age bracket.
-- Jerry West Editor/publisher/janitor ---------------------------------------------------- THE RECORD On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast An independent, progressive regional publication http://www.island.net/~record/
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