Now that the Emergencies Act has been invoked, I find myself filled with sudden awe at our glorious prime minister’s handling of the fascist convoy crisis and want to Peng Shuai any previous comments that might be misunderstood in this context. However, something COVID-connected is still bothering me: namely, why we haven’t taken obvious, readily available steps to increase our health-care “capacity” over the last three decades. What if we’re not able to open up the system instead of taxpayers’ wallets because we’re not able to open up our minds?
In another publication, somebody who looks and sounds oddly like me recently cited somebody who looks and sounds like this publication’s Matt Gurney claiming that for all their meddlesome pretensions, governments in Canada are less tyrannical than feeble. Which called to mind, mine at least, Richard Nixon’s warning about the United States becoming a “pitiful, helpless giant,” if its government lost the will to act in ways it clearly could.
Including when it comes to “hospital capacity.” If you listen to the CBC or the Globe and Mail you know Canadian socialized medicine has been in a crisis for at least three decades and can be fixed by insisting that there is no crisis and that it can be fixed by doing more of what already failed. Which by remarkable coincidence, the powers-that-be have been saying ever since the waiting lists that didn’t exist became things that soon would not exist around 1991.
In any unfortunate country whose leaders were not world-historic, a skeptical press would question this blather. Luckily, as Trudeau stated on Tuesday, “Wherever the Maple Leaf flies, it is a symbol of the shared values that unite us as Canadians — freedom, peace, justice, equality, openness, diversity and generosity.” Uh, except on the New Zealand legislature grounds. But again I digress, dizzy at having Chairman Trudeau continuing to “keep working to make Canada more inclusive.”
Still, in my weak moments, I am haunted by this thought: What if Canadian governments have at their disposal, right now, all the tools they need to fix health care but are mentally and morally paralyzed? What if, as in so many policy areas, they were paralyzed by having long since adopted the habit of mistaking words for deeds and wishes for horses? What if all that talk of truth being relative had entered our politicians’ souls, so they saw all problems as merely public relations or, as the deconstructionists put it, “competing narratives,” all in the mind, not actual situations existing in reality?
Aaaaaagh! I confess! My thoughtcrime is much worse. I still believe incentives matter. I believe our health-care system serves patients and practitioners alike so badly because our politicians are wrong to think they can repeal the law of supply and demand as easily as the law requiring a court order before seizing assets. I even dispute their conviction that free market principles are a choice, and a malevolent one, not an accurate observation of how the world and its inhabitants actually function.
Again, I realize we are in the process of creating the New Canadian Human, and when the transition from socialism to sexy-sockunism is complete, we shall be done with such shabby considerations as consumer satisfaction, “voice” and the hideous “exit option.” But, and may Trudeau forgive me (no, really), what if we’re not there yet? What if our whole health-care system is built on a fantasy we can’t fix because so is our whole system of government?
I know it sounds absurd. But what if, to take an entirely hypothetical example, we thought we could turn a mostly peaceful, mostly cheerful protest under the Canadian flag into a tiny Confederate-Nazi national insurrection just by calling it one? Or banish foreign aggression just by calling ourselves a “moral superpower”? Or “fix health care for a generation” by throwing money we don’t have down a rathole we do? Obviously it would be as silly as trying to think Justin the Great out of the prime ministership with a “Memorandum of Understanding.” But the disquieting reality is it would explain a lot.
Including why, with so many obvious options for ensuring universal affordable medical coverage in place in other civilized countries, we instead worship five magical “pillars” in an undisclosed Ottawa location.