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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 22, 2006

SENSIBLE HEALTH CARE # 12 

IT’S TIME FOR QUIET SATISFACTION
BUT NOT FOR RELAXATION FROM VIGILANCE

“Tories bury third way” Edmonton Journal April 21/06

Understandably, no citizens in Canada today are more entitled to a victory celebration than the people who have given so much of themselves to opposing Ralph Klein’s ‘third way.’

Thousands of pamphlets, skillfully written and distributed. Hundreds and hundreds of hours spent outdoors demonstrating in all kinds of weather. Probably half a million dollars, or more, raised for media advertising.

Even though Stephen Harper and his PR people will claim to have saved the Canada Health Act something far more important has taken place at the intellectual, emotional and social levels within Alberta itself.

For the first time since Ralph Klein became the mouth piece for a cold, calculating, money-driven conservatism a significant number of Alberta’s people have made it clear that conservative values are both dehumanizing and dishonest.

More citizens than ever before mentally dispute the bombastic claims of an irresponsible premier and challenge him with more accurate numbers. For 13 years he has gotten away with frightening the public into submission.

Many who identified emotionally with the illusion of a man of the people who performed on the media stage as a strict but well intentioned father who controlled his children through the power of money, no longer fear his power.

Others, who once allowed themselves to believe the dishonest claim that our province faced bankruptcy because we had selfishly indulged ourselves in education for our children, benefits for seniors, help for the downtrodden and medicine for the sick can now see the social evil in that claim.

Yet there are at least two dangers in rejoicing too loudly or celebrating too noisily.

One of them simply has to do with appearing to be as punitive and revengeful as the government against whom we have been contending. Among the social values we dare to hope are coming through in this battle against corporatization is that people generally are against unfairly pitting the weak against the strong.

While the premier and his supporters on health care are temporally down it is unwise to think they are more than slightly weakened.

The second danger follows from the fact that it is almost certainly a mistake to think that, because Klein is going, the drive by commercial interests to take over health care has been stopped.

To put it rather grossly: conservatism in it’s desire to undermine all social programs by turning them into sources of income for massive corporations is like the proverbial snake.

This non-biblical snake is said to be self rejuvenating. If you cut it in half, it will simply become two snakes each of whom are going to bite you.

As Ralph Klein faces defeat on this ‘third way’ he snarls “It’s being postponed but someone is going to have to deal with it . . . Good luck” (Globe and Mail April 21/06)

The real challenge, for those who hold social values, is to propose and support those now in political leadership who hold progressively positive rather than conservatively negative human and social values.

Blair McPherson

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