why do you vote?
Date: Saturday, January 07 2006
Why do you vote?
In Canadian Politics a great many people are wrapped up in a heads or tails contests, Blue against Red and a big cheer we won, after an election. Who is running, what they plan on doing, how they plan on doing it and their experience is neither weighed nor considered. A national sport! A frustrated joke!
Others, vote for a specific party because of simplistic views. One party is for business and the other is against business. They know this because their parents told them so.
Now, we are into possibly the most important election of our time and these simplistic views or one liner drawn from cocktail conversations are about the shape the future of our country.
I offer simple truths and examples:
No party is against business. Each will do what ever it takes to keep business alive and bring on new business. Ralph’s plan in Alberta has driven off business, few survived his utility rates.
Social programs are in the balance. We have a public health care system that has been put in jeopardy by Alberta’s Ralph Klein and with the support of the well connected Fraser Institute. Ralph and Stephen Harper share the same view. “Privatize everything and the world will be a better place.” Many people subscribe to this view not having thought it through.
In the Alberta whole departments of Government have been turned into private agencies. The Government can say they reduced cost and increased efficiency by doing so. In truth, the system is deteriorated and the success rate is picked from select samples of users that will show a positive picture. Prices for the service have been increased and come out of your pocket. The cost of Government remains the same.
These privatized departments, now agencies have their board members and chair appointed by the minister. Yet when you as a tax payer have a problem the minister will tell you that is a private arms length company which the minister cannot influence. ‘not a crown corporation but operating with funding confused between taxpayers and insurance companies and the latter never looses.
In Alberta, huge amounts of money were paid to rebuild and retrofit a hip replacement hospital. It was then sold to insider interests at the formula of 1 cent on a dollar of value. After title was transferred still more millions went into the hip replacement facility for more upgrades even though the tax payer didn’t own the facility any more!
Meanwhile hip replacements were curtailed by limiting through budget the amount of beds that were available. This served to extend the waiting lists causing unnecessary discomfort to many and when the pain was sufficient people were directed to the new private facility. 20 millions of health care dollars went into this place on top of the as paid fees. Ralph says go his way or loose the system?
Customers replace patients on the Third way in Alberta. Customers are given a choice of “you are covered” for lower quality hip and knee replacement or, you can pay them a couple thousand dollars more and they will provide you with “better quality” parts and surgery. Mr. Harper’s agenda is identical to this. Do you really want to turn Canada over to him?
MRI machines are paid for, multi millions of dollars, by the tax payers. These are not staffed so only operate 50% of the time creating a waiting list of six months. Albertan’s are told wait six months or pay 600.00 to the private door and wait 2 days. Pain doesn’t matter. Some court influence is need here.
Makes one wonder why we need ministers and what the Honorable means on the titles.
In Alberta the public parks set aside for camping underwent major improvements funded by the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments. These had new houses for staff; showers and toilets for the public; boat docking facilities were some of the improvements.
All were sold on “closed bids” with Government favorites picking up the properties on a 1 cent per dollar of value ratio. Long term staff laid off not compensated. Huge losses to the tax payers who now have to pay for services they have already paid for.
Mr. Harper thinks Mr. Klein’s plan this is perfect. Take a look at the mess in Alberta with the whole province sold off to insiders and think of what Mr. Harper and the Fraser Institute have planned for Canada. Of interest Mr. Manning is also a member of the Fraser institute.
NAFTA included rain water, snow melt etc. in the agreement. Mr. Klein is working on a system where he will get a private company in install water meters on farms so that farmers will have to pay for the water they take from the aquifer (well and run off).
Calgary has only about 10 years of water left in the Bow and Elbow rivers and no aquifer rights! 75% of Alberta’s potable water is under ground as in aquifers; wells. Private industry owns the water rights to the aquifers! Soon enough Calgary will be buying its water from Coca-Cola!
Mr. Harper thinks this is a good path for Canada to take and will support Ralph and other like minded premiers in this adventure. Soon enough bulk water will become a commodity under Harper. His idea of sovereignty seems warped when put up against trade and commerce.
Mr. Harper’s song about cleaning up Government is a familiar one. Tried and true by Mr. Mulroney. Mr. Mulroney’s cure was to put personal friends in as ADM and put the ADM directly in charge of the department so that no function could take place unless it went past Mr. Mulroney’s chosen. Better control of the Graft and less leaks I think and, you better believe there were funds channeled by this ridged control. Politics is all about favors and who pays and who owes the favor.
Mr. Harper has said he is not interested in how health care is delivered. Like Alberta he is quite prepared to turn the health care industry over to the Insurance Companies. When he does, your automobile insurance is going to go sky high as he will encourage private insurance to cut costs. Now bodily injury will become a profit and loss centre for the insurance as it will fall to them to provide sufficient coverage for hospital stays.
Even worse, the bad losses will be covered by taxpayers while the items which promise profit will be turned over to the private sector. You will be on hooks either as a taxpayer or as a consumer for increased costs.
In Alberta the Capital Health authority in Calgary in anticipation of the Conservative win is writing up a list of items that will be struck from public health care. If you want to see the Doctor on anything on this yet to be published list, you will need your own private insurance or cash, possibly sign away your house.
This additional charge for basic and upscale health care will need to be paid in part by business who cannot afford it. How many Billions of dollars are spent in health care that private industry is missing out on? What a treasure if one can elect a Harper! Driving these changes is the World Trade Organization who finds any government program problematic.
In Alberta the Mazankowski report on health was the “cornerstone” Mr. Klein requested and claimed to have no insights to. Mr. Mazankowski holds a chair on Great West Life and the “Power Corporation” His plan was to integrate Power Corp in to the shepherd for Alberta’s Health care.
In “privatizing” electricity the generation was sold by a financial vehicle called the Power Purchase Agreement. There was profitable generation as in coal generation and expensive generation as in gas generation. Closed door selection brought insiders into the buy and many of these resold or “flipped” their PPAs taking the profit from the resale, driving up utility costs. This operated like a bad mortgage scheme. Klein owns the courts. Accurate estimates indicate Alberta taxpayer lost 60 billions of dollars on this offer! Is this organized crime or politics?
The expensive, low profit centers through Klein’s magic ended up in the “Balancing Pool” with PPAs held by the insurance company “Power Corp” Now we all know insurance companies won’t invest in holding bad stock for some one; we are still trying to find out how they are going to be paid perhaps a trade for Health Care? Do you really trust Harper?
Mr. Klein has so much cash on his table he sees no reason to plan or guide beyond directing an ideal. The Prime Minister of Canada has no such luxury!
It’s time to consider why you are voting for whom you vote!
I am a card carrying Conservative and I will not be voting Conservative this election!
The thought of a Conservative Government frightens me and should concern you!
cyberclark at shaw.ca