Thursday, June 09, 2005

This is the land of opportunity

If I understand correctly, today's Supreme Court decision on the allowability of private care would seem to claim that government currently has no right to forbid it on the basis of protecting the public system. Ergo: Here's an opportunity. It seems to have become generally understood that Canadians are now too complacent to merely vote a party out; there have to be compelling reasons to vote one in, rather than just being less scandal-ridden. Stephen Harper can go before the cameras (and bring it up in QP, too, for preference) and very reasonably point out that the Supreme Court has found that a partially privatized healthcare system is not the unconstitutional monstrosity Liberals have claimed as their favourite boogeyman for years; in fact, this premise has just been made in precisely the same fashion that opened the door for officially legislating same-sex marriage, as a means of better fulfilling the guarantees of the Charter. If the Tories fail to bring out a draft policy overview to take advantage of this blessing by the highest court in the land immediately, and make a solid case for the place of private care in a mostly public system, I'll be disappointed. This is perfect: an opportunity to have Big Ideas that aren't just Liberal-lite rehashes, but authentically conservative, and that can't be logically tarred as un-Canadian. If it has to be done in the language of entitlement and rights under the Charter, then so be it. Incompetence at cloak-and-dagger shenanigans is one thing, but not grabbing this and riding it for all it's worth...that would be inexcusable.

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