The governments (at all levels) are beyond self-reform. It is going to take a revolution to change the present state of affairs and I do not see Canadians as being up to it. I could never figure out Canadian complacency to big, expensive, inefficient and corrupt government. Now I think the answer may be quite simple. Let me digress. Catholics used to be loyal to the Church for many reasons but one key element was the personal pragmatic benefits they gained from it (schooling, hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes). As long as they needed the Church for these things they were loyal, even if anti-clerical. Many pagan Romans converted to Catholicism for the same reason. As the state failed them, they went to the Church for support (there has always been “rice Christians”).
The same is true with the government. As the state has taken over the running of virtually the entire medical, educational and welfare establishment Canadians have become completely dependent on it. (Individuals also liked the freedom it [initially] gave them from the morally more invasive and demanding tripartite of family, church and community). They now resent government mismanagement and the heavily taxes but with no other seemingly viable alternative (private sector appears too risky for them and – on top of taxes – too expensive, especially for the aged boomers) they put up with it and continue to grudgingly endorse it. Now the Ontario government is moving into increasing its grip on childcare (with full-time “school” at 4 years old) even though it cannot even meet current expenses. Why? Ideology yes, but also self-preservation. Dependency maintains the status quo.
I now think I realize why the government continues to tenaciously hang onto universal health care in spite of its inability to maintain standards due to rising costs. I used to think it was largely ideological and nationalistic – Canadian’s primary symbol of themselves as a kinder more compassionate people than Americans. Now I think governments just want no competition, for competition creates alternatives. And alternatives create freedom and threaten the governments’ stranglehold on loyalty and power. I guess I am just figuring out some other ramifications of the socialist “Nanny State.”