Friday, November 11, 2011

The Canadians

Passengers from Windsor, Ontario:

The middle-aged couple gave a stern warning to us Americans regarding ObamaCare ... "Don't do it!" They stated that the Canadian system of single-payer is a disaster. Whenever people of their family need some kind of medical surgery, they'd have to wait for months within the Canadian system. So instead, they'd choose to cross the border, pay out-of-pocket, and go to a U.S. hospital in Michigan.

The husband stated that Stephen Harper is the best prime minister Canada has ever had ... and that "he is the best in the world." Harper is a true conservative and is pro-capitalism.

I asked about automobile plants in Canada. The man responded that Canadian workers are more productive than American workers. Manufacturing is thriving in Windsor. While the labor unions are strong in Canada, the workers also know they must work hard if they want the companies to stay in Canada. If they become lazy or spoiled like their American counterparts, then the plants would have to shut down (with the jobs to be outsourced elsewhere).

Passengers from Edmonton, Calgary:

I've had them as passengers more than once. They are an easygoing pair, with a relaxed, Western Provinces demeanor.

Both the man and wife are very happy with Stephen Harper as prime minister. But they also like President Obama. Their attitude toward Canadian HealthCare is not as negative as the folks from Ontario. But they do admit that for elective surgeries, they'd have to wait for several months.

The Edmonton man criticizes the United States government as drifting too much toward "corporate socialism." Whereas he feels that Canada is becoming a friendlier country for free market capitalism.

The Edmonton couple is a bit puzzled about American HealthCare reform, emanating from Washington D.C. In Canada, the provinces are in charge of their own single-payer HealthCare fiefdoms. The man stated that the population of the entire country of Canada is less than the population of California. (Canada's population is 35 million; California's population is 37 million.) So it doesn't make sense for the federal government to be dictating HealthCare reform when it should be more at the state level.

I asked the Edmonton folk about illegal aliens in Canada, "Is it a problem?" They responded that it is nothing like that in the United States. The Canadian government is very strict. If an illegal alien shows up for free HealthCare at a hospital, they'd still get treated ... but will then be immediately deported out of the country. Whereas in U.S. hospitals, the illegals give birth to babies (in maternity wards) without fear of deportation. (The baby is then granted U.S. citizenship, whereas the parents retain illegal status.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Passenger from Wasilla

As an airport shuttle driver, I had an interesting passenger from Wasilla, Alaska. She knows Sarah Palin as a casual acquaintance, as do many people in Wasilla. The lady was of similar age. She considered Palin as a regular person of the common folk, a fellow Wasillan.

While Sarah was governor, she was down-to-earth and easily accessible. They'd meet at the local supermarket and chit chat. But when she became running mate of John McCain, things changed. All of a sudden, she became surrounded by security people and hounded by the media.

My passenger identified herself as a centrist. Yet she loved Sarah Palin as a governor because "she is a fighter" who fought "for the people of Alaska" ... whereas the "special interests" were of no match to her. Sarah has moxie.

But when Sarah Palin resigned as governor, the native Wasillans were hugely disappointed. The successor Sean Parnell is "terrible" as governor. I asked my passenger ... why? She replied, it doesn't have much to do with his actual political positions ... it's that Gov. Parnell has no backbone. He is not a fighter like Sarah Palin. Special interests walk all over him. And Parnell caves in to Washington bureaucrats, not fighting to open up Anwar for oil. [This was my passenger's opinion.]

Meanwhile, the writer/publicist who moved next door to the Palins "to spy on her" is considered somewhat as a joke by the Wasillans. And so Sarah Palin no longer has any privacy. At the grocery store, people would know right away if Sarah happened to be shopping there. The half-dozen security cars parked in the lot would be the hint. (Presumably, they are scanning the premises for bad guys.) So when my passenger sees Sarah at the market, she still says hello ... but now seems more rushed. No time for casual conversation.