Well, that was, well, un-historic. Don't get me wrong: more money for health care is a good thing. Far, far better than pumping it into the military or tax cuts. And it's too early to judge until the full details on what conditions Martin managed to get become public. Mind you, there was nary a word spoken about pharmacare last night. Just about how the provinces need to report on how they're coming along on waiting lists ("Coming along nicely Paul. Thanks for asking! I'll give you another update next year."). Basically, this deal is slightly bellow the 2003 Health Accord in terms on content and importance - it's not transformative change and it's not making history. The summit itself was a nightmare with the Premiers calling it one of the worst organized summits in recent history. And the real work was done behind closed doors, showing how ridiculous it was to televise the entire process.
And did we fix health care for a generation? Uh, no. First of all, my guess is we'll hear Premiers bickering over health funding within a year. Even if this deal lasts for 10 years as intended (ha ha ha! yeah, right!), it raises an interesting definition of a generation. For example, Paul had to make due with Jean Chretien as Prime Minister for a full generation, perhaps explaining why he was so anxious to kick the guy out. Just two generations ago, Paul Martin himself was running CSL. And it was a full seven generations ago that Mr. Martin's father was first elected to the house of common. Paul Jr himself has seen six or seven generations of Canadians come or go during his lifetime. I think the "fix for a generation" will go right up there with "most important Canadian election ever" in the growing list of overblown rhetoric which never really comes to pass.