Perhaps the most shocking thing about the death of Edward Kennedy is not the end of a dynasty but the fact that his vacancy in the US Senate will leave the Obama Health reforms one vote short.
These reforms which aim at trying to provide universal health coverage for everyone seem, perhaps, pedestrian to Australians. Though our system is no doubt deeply flawed, by and large we cover the ground...and though there are obvious gaps (in indigenous health delivery for example) we would hope that the system improves as time goes on. And all sides of politics agree that no one should be denied health care because they can't afford it.
It is bizarre that the richest country in the world has not only a system which denies many of the poorest of the poor basic healthcare.
It is bizarre that the voices of conservative Christianity are often the ones that are adding their number to the chorus of those who say that universal healthcare at government expense is in fact "socialist"...and therefore repugnant (in their eyes) [see this for example which is repeated many times o'er].
Kennedy, though in reality a New World prince, has spent his politcial career arguing many a cause of the underprivileged...and I guess he didn't need to... his forthright advocacy will be missed