Tuesday, January 24, 2006

O (No) Canada!

You'll not be surprised to hear that I'm disappointed in Canada's swing to the right, Bush. I imagine that you've been on the horn already to congratulate your fellow conservative, Stephen Harper, on his election victory. But I'd be careful about gloating over it too much. From what I understand, it has to do with Canadian voters' disenchantment with the scandals that have recently been tainting the Liberal Party (shades of Washington, Bush!) rather than with the liberal policies that have defined the direction of the country over the past dozen years.

For myself, though I don't much follow the domestic--nor for that matter the international--affairs of our neighbor to the north, I confess to having taken comfort in the knowledge that liberalism was not yet completely dead on the North American continent. And having lived in Canada myself for two years in the early 1960s, and having a son who was born there and still takes pride in his Canadian nationality (though he lives in England now), I do feel some small tug of kinship with those liberal Canucks.

I'm assuming, then, that it will be hard for the new guy to start dismantling the established social programs there--especially what is referred to here, with such distaste, as "socialized medicine". My impression is that, for all its deficiencies--and there are surely many of them, as with the British National Health system--people really do value the availability of universal health care, even for the disadvantaged. I gather that our lack of any kind of single source insurance plan is beginning to bear disastrous fruit even for the corporations you so heartily embrace. Did you hear Bill Ford, of the Ford Motor Company, announcing the decision to make devastating cuts in plants and personnel just yesterday, Bush? He attributed the comany's financial woes in part to the crippling costs of health care insurance for its workers. Something, he said--and here I paraphrase--will have to be done to address this problem.

I found that interesting, Bush. It may turn out to be the country's business excutives, ironically, who lead the demand for change on this front. But back, as the French say, to our sheep. The new guy in charge up there in Canada is said to favor forging better relations with the United States as a part of his program. Good luck, I say. Take a look at what has happened to Tony Blair in Britain for his good intentions in this regard! What I myself would hope for is that Harper manages to find a willing listener in you, Bush, on this side of the border. It seems that it has been hard for you to understand that productive relationships work two ways. In the case of Canada, perhaps--who knows?--you'll find a man who can persuade you that he deserves your listening ear.

You could maybe talk about the price of drugs. Who knows?


PK said...

I don't know what is going to happen up north if Bush gets his foot in the door. I feel for them if he can get his administration in league with theirs. Everyone else has balked at his interference in their countries. I'm waiting to see what India does this week to his demands. I hope they don't fold over. There may be a revolt in that country if the government does that. Hope your son is doing well across the big pond.

PK said...

By the by, If you get truthout.com, you will find that Abramoff had something to do with our Medicare mess.