Sunday, September 12, 2004


Its the health-care summit to end all health-care summits. Let the word go forth from this time and this place that Paul Martin shall never surrender Canadian health care. I'm so eager with anticipation I... can... hardly... ugh.

The hype and subsequent retreats prior to this conference have made the idea so ridiculous it stymies sarcasm.

Three possible outcomes of the upcoming first ministers meeting:

The Miracle: After two days of intense lively debate spurred on by the knowledge that the people of Canada are watching (in real time) the PM and premiers reach a creative and effective agreement that, while not fixing health-care for a generation, is good enough to let the country focus on something else for a while.

The Status Quo: This meeting turns out to be much like all the first-ministers meeting on health for the past decade. They haggle and squabble without really touching the few very fundamental issues and they come to a mediocre agreement that really doesn't change the health-care situation in Canada.

The Train Wreck: Martin over/under plays his hand with Klein and/or Charest and gets surprised by Doer/Lord and/or McGuinty. No deal is reached, the conference ends in acrimony and it all looks like PM's fault.

Given Paul Wells' first rule of Canadian politics, look for option no.2 to occur, although option no.3 would be a lot of fun to watch. As for option no.1, Martin has spent the last nine months proving he doesn't have the imagination and will required to pull something like this off.

Posted by Matthew @ 1:09 p.m.