Sitting here in the ER for nearly ten hours now, it’s hard not to contemplate our public health system and come to the conclusion that we, as a society, have utterly failed to maintain the welfare state ideals of the 70’s. How did we get to this point?

I can’t complain too much of course. I see misery all around me that is quantifiably worse than what I have to deal with. It is misery that is shared both by the patients and the workers. Patients are asked to waste ungodly amounts of time in the hope of having 5 minutes of a doctor’s time. Nurses are completely overworked. It’s a disaster.

We could blame it on the successive governments that failed to solve the problem since the late 90’s. They certainly share a part of that blame. Certainly, it seems like every party in power since 1998 has shown a complete disregard for the welfare state, and tried to slash into services as much as was politically acceptable to do so. We can blame Bouchard, Charest, Couillard, even Marois… but that’s the easy way out.

The reality is that we live in a democratic society that has consistently reconducted bad actors to power. As of the time of this writing, there’s been seven general elections in Qu├ębec since 1998, and all but one reconducted the same parties in power that consistently failed to pay the upkeep on the health system and keep it modern. All but the last one.

Thing is, the current mandate isn’t really a good barometer for what the CAQ is really about. Would they have improved the health system if the pandemic hadn’t happened? I doubt it, but it did happen, so we can’t really blame them for it.

What’s the solution? I don’t know. All I know is that the current mode of operation here isn’t working at all, so I’m ready to vote for a real change by the end of the year.