Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Democrats pull another one out of the hat

A big surprise in last night's by-election in New York 26 -- the north and eastern suburbs of Buffalo, most of the "southern tier" and the western edge of Rochester.   If you live in the Hamilton - Toronto area and therefore get the Buffalo affiliates of the US nets, you couldn't avoid the overly negative commercials.   The surprise -- a district traditionally held by the GOP largely due to the huge rural tract it covers (it was once the base of popular Republican the late Jack Kemp), fell to the Democrats.

Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk, easily trounced Jane Corwin,  best known for running a very competitive -- um, "other book" -- 48 to 42.  The preferred candidate of the Tea Party didn't even factor with less than 10 percent while the Greens got one.

The issue that put Ms Hochul over the top?   Medicare.   Ms Corwin came out in favour of a proposal pending before Congress to largely privatize health care for seniors, and that is of course a very touchy issue.   Naturally Hochul pounced and it worked.

Certainly, any entitlement program that is over four decades old is going to need a major refresh, just as our Medicare for All in Canada does.   But even dare to do away with the general principle that there should be care for all, and you're playing with fire.

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