Change will take a little longer

“It looks like change will take a little longer,” said Alberta Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith on election night. Earlier in the election campaign, some had predicted a Wildrose victory but it was not to be, not yet. Wildrose only elected about one-third of the number of seats of the 41 year reigning PC Party of Alberta.
The PC Party of Alberta campaigned on change, Wildrose on more change and the people opted to go for less change rather than bigger changes.
The rest of Canada will have to follow Alberta’s lead in years to come. Alberta balances their budgets. They should actually be building up huge reserves but at least they balance their budgets. It’s something most provinces, including ours, can only dream about. Manitoba not only doesn’t balance the budget, it has to get 40 per cent of its budget from the federal government. Manitoba has so far to go to catch up to Alberta on that front that it may never come.
Change in Manitoba may come, some day. Hopefully it will come before the province goes belly up. 
There are some lessons we could take from Alberta. The largest part of Manitoba’s budget is taken up with health care. Again, it’s about 40 per cent of the budget. In other words, if the federal government funding was pulled out of Manitoba, we would have no publicly funded health care or other programs would be cut back accordingly.
In Alberta, health care is much different than in Manitoba. Both operate under the auspices, supposedly, of the Canada Health Act. But, in Alberta, you can buy an MRI or a CATSCAN. Not in Manitoba. Why?
It seems it is based on the NDP premise that health care can only be funded by the public coffers. They feel that if they let any private funding into the mix, all the “good” doctors will work in the private sector. They have said those exact words.
The problem is, depending on what you include  in the formula, 40 per cent of health care is privately funded already. Funny how that 40 per cent figure keeps popping up. What do we mean by private health care? Much of the drug costs are privately paid for, so is massage therapy, chiropractic care, alternative medicine, eye care, dental care and many other areas. 
Albertans feel a lot more strongly about things like property rights, individual freedoms and being independent thinkers. That independent thinking took a bit of a hit in Alberta if I understand the campaign reports. Seems like unless you are a Wildrose supporter, you aren’t allowed to have so-called cosncience rights. The two cases cited were that a person practicing medicine couldn’t refuse to perform an abortion and a marriage commissioner couldn’t refuse to perform a wedding ceremony. That seems pretty restrictive. If a doctor says no to any procedure, shouldn’t they have the right to say no? And, should a marriage commissioner feel a marriage isn’t the right thing for a couple, shouldn’t they have the right to refuse? I would have thought so but I guess not. That whole process needs to be talked out a bit more. I thought a person had the right in this country to refuse work based on beliefs but maybe  we don’t.
The underlying problem in government today is that too few people want to fund their own way in life. We have become overly dependent on government. Recently, there was a conservative politician speaking to a group in a very conservative town. When the time came for questions, there were only three. All three related to how the town could somehow get more govrnment funding. That’s pretty sad when you think about it.
Yes, change will take a little longer than we thought.

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