Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Saturday, April 15, 2006



NEIGHBOR: I’ve got to set you right.

ME: Oh! how come?

NEIGHBOR: You’ve been praising up those Liberals.

ME: I don’t recall doing that.

N: You’ve been writing in the paper in favor of universal health care.

ME: Oh! that. Just trying to keep Ralph Klein from ruining our health care system.

N: That’s where you’re wrong; everything should just be turned over to private insurance companies.

ME: Are you saying that it’s all right with you if I have more money than you (which I doubt) and I buy an operating room space ahead of you to have my knee replaced while you wait in line like everybody else?

NEIGHBOR: Well no, I don’t mean that. What I’m saying is that everyone should have private insurance and then we’d all be equal. Everybody knows governments can’t run anything without making a mess of it. Just look at what they are doing to our city.

ME: So you really believe in equal opportunity and you think private insurance companies would make sure that everybody is treated equally?

N: Well, no, it’s not that I think insurance companies are more fair than the government it’s just that I believe in free enterprise and letting the market place set the standards. Competition always improves service and brings down costs.

ME: But we already have in Canada the least expensive insurance and the widest coverage of health care that it is possible to obtain. Are your saying you’d rather purchase health care coverage from a huge American insurance corporation?

N: Well, then I’d have a choice of which insurance company to deal with. The way it is now the government is just a great big monopoly.

ME: So you think, if everybody bought insurance from private outfits then everybody would get good healthcare services on an equal footing with everyone else? But aren’t there some conditions that no private profit-making insurance company would insure you for?

NEIGHBOR: Well then, of course, there would be the government to fall back on. Like in one of the states in the US where the government will pay for those who are so poor they simply can’t afford insurance - Massachusetts I think.

ME: Sounds to me like your mind’s really made up and you’d vote for Klein’s Third Way just because he’s a Conservative and you think anyone who disagrees with him must be a Liberal.

N: Yep that just about sums it up. Conservative is good: Liberal is bad.

ME: Well good neighbor, you and I both have a democratic right to be wrong; but I hope my belief in universal medicare, paid for by the whole of society, proves to be better grounded in reality and more humane than your faith in the good will and fair mindedness of the market place.

Blair McPherson

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