By John McClaughry
Most Vermonters live within an hour’s drive of Quebec, Canada, yet it’s astonishing how little we know about events taking place in our northern neighbor.
There have been elections in the provinces throughout the year, and in almost every case provincial voters have chosen more conservative parties and candidates.
In Quebec there was a huge conservative win on Oct. 1. Francois Legault and the Coalition Avenir Québec — Coalition for the Future of Quebec — won a huge parliamentary majority. This seven-year-old party has elements of conservatism and populism. It will form the first right-of-center government in Quebec since 1970.
As one Quebec pundit observed, “It remains to be seen how the CAQ will perform. The party seems intent on fiscal prudence and deregulation. But M. Legault was once a cabinet minister for the separatist Parti Quebecois, and the CAQ has expressed interest in Quebec nationalism.”
The CAQ doesn’t promise to undo Quebec’s single payer health care system, but it promises to attack its failures. Its website asks “What good is having a family doctor if it’s impossible to see him or her when you’re sick? The CAQ will ensure Quebecers not only have a family doctor but can benefit from a real team engagement within a reasonable timeframe. Better access to care without appointment, better access to healthcare in the evening and during the weekend … reduced waiting time in hospital emergency rooms and clinics”.
What he CAQ does to counter the unavoidable defects in Quebec’s single payer system could be worth watching.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.