I have been travelling throughout Europe in last month so not much chance to blog, but here are updates on major issues of the day. I will sometime in next week try to do a separate one on upcoming Conservative races in Canada, Alberta, and UK.
Roe vs. Wade
While no surprise, Roe vs. Wade has been overturned meaning abortion likely to be banned in several states. I blogged on this earlier based on leaked draft and no doubt this will devastating for women in states where banned especially those that cannot afford to travel to others. Ideally it would be nice if feds would codify it, but with that seeming unlikely, it is now up to voters in each state to either vote pro-choice politicians or even better in states where initiatives are allowed, get it on ballot and codified that way so it cannot be overturned by some future state government. At the moment it will only impact certain states and will remain legal in many. However, if GOP wins a trifecta in 2024, its possible they will try to ban it nationally.
As for Canada, we cannot change US law but we can ensure that American women needing an abortion can come to Canada although with most of the border states likely to keep it legal, we probably won’t see a flood although possible it gets banned in Michigan which could lead to a flood in Southwestern Ontario. Also its time for all parties to be unequivocally pro-choice and make all votes on abortion whipped votes and any who votes anti-abortion will face disciplinary action. Some may say this is anti-democratic, but rights should not by subject to the whim of public opinion. Nothing says one cannot morally oppose abortion, just have no right to impose it on others. And nothing stops one from creating an anti-abortion party or running as an independent on an anti-abortion platform. Just saying all mainstream parties need to be 100% pro-choice. Some say, this may split Tories and maybe it will, but sometimes parties need to do what is right not politically expedient. In the mean time too many women have to travel too far to get an abortion. Obviously with Canada’s massive land mass and small population, access will be a challenge in more remote communities so feds should work with provinces and territories to pay costs of travel in communities where population too small to provide abortion services so women who need one can get one irrespective of income.
Cambie Surgery Centre decision
While no surprise as winning this case was always a long shot, I still do hope this doesn’t lead to continued status quo but sadly I fear it will. Fact is our health care system is not working and it is time to make bold reforms. I think principle that health care should be provided based on need not ability to pay is fine, but that should be goal, not carved in stone. At the end of day, goal should be best health care system and ensuring everyone irrespective of income has access. I do not believe allowing those with money to pay limits access to those who cannot afford it. In fact, Saskatchewan’s two for one MRI is a good system that should be encouraged not shut down by feds. Most of the best systems in world have elements that would violate the Canada Health Act so I believe CHA is outdated and should be either radically reformed or scrapped outright. Scrapping it won’t lead to end of universal health care. Doing such would be political suicide. At same time would allow provinces more flexibility and we can learn what works and what doesn’t. And yes, maybe a mixed system fails or maybe works better, but at least let provinces experiment so we can see what does and doesn’t work instead of taking a dogmatically ideological position. Some say more funding, but Canada already spends more per capita than most, so money is not issue. At same time any provinces allowing more private should have rules to ensure it does not undermine public system. Doctors that wish to go private should be required to do minimum hours in public system so that way we are shortening wait times for all, not shorter for those with money, but longer for those without.
John Horgan resigns
John Horgan surprised many when he announced he is resigning as premier. I understand cancer treatment takes its toll and fully understand that he doesn’t have same energy level so think it was a wise decision and wish him best of luck in his future endeavours. While didn’t agree with all his policies, I must say he was probably the best someone who is centre-right could realistically expect from an NDP premier. I think Horgan provides a good road map for how centre-left should govern. And while normally not an NDP fan, I must say on balance he was a reasonably good premier even if didn’t agree with everything he did. I do hope party when they chose their next leader keeps his pragmatic approach going forward. BC is well served by having two parties who can provide good governance.
Boris Johnson resigns
Over here in UK, where I am right now, Boris Johnson has resigned as PM. It was clear he no longer had party support so had no choice. Reality is many in party always saw him as somewhat of a clown and buffoon but supported him because he could win in areas that normally voted Labour. His ability to maintain party support was predicated heavily on being a winner and it was clear that was no longer the case. Never mind all three of his wins (twice as mayor of London and once as PM) had more to do with all three times involved far left Labour leaders (Ken Livingston in London and Jeremy Corbyn for UK) so I suspect any Tory leader could have won all three cases. Now facing a more traditional centre-left leader in Keir Starmer, winning was going to be much more difficult. I will have more in next blog on leadership race. That being said I think fact next leader likely to be a woman or person of colour shows how party has evolved quite a bit. And a lot of credit for that goes to David Cameron who wanted to make party look and represent modern Britain. No doubt with inflation and Brexit woes, next leader will have lots of challenges. Still while Labour would undoubtedly win an election today, I wouldn’t count Tories out yet but next election will be a lot tougher to win than 2019 was.