Grey power for seniors?

Posted 05.19.15

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | We've just had a provincial election, and we are heading towards a federal vote this fall, with all parties claiming the senior vote. It's not hard to make promises, as must do the parties out of power. How realistic and affordable are their promises? That's our task to figure out. Their numbers have to balance; we look for careful fiscal management, but not destructive austerity.

It's easier for us to evaluate the promises of those in power. We can see what they've already done, just how senior-friendly have been the last four years (or in their proposed budget).

Ottawa keeps calling itself senior-supportive, but aside from this propaganda, there isn't much for us to cheer about — or to vote for once again.

As a senior, I don't look only to my bank account. We are also responsible elders. It's our grand-kids and the world we are leaving them which matters more than income-splitting or a 100 bucks extra at year's end. Here's my algebra for deciding if the current government actually deserves seniors' support (putting aside the government's fear-mongering — assuming seniors are all fools, afraid some religious fanatic from Syria will firebomb our nearby park.)

  • I refuse to pass on a degenerating, unpredictable, and destructive climate to my grandchildren. I want climate change addressed. <>
  • I refuse to accept and pass along decaying roads, streets, public transit and missing bridges.

  • I refuse to pass on a failing education system, to be further crammed and removed from all local control, to my grandchildren.

  • I refuse to accept a government run from the Prime Minister's Office, not run by the elected parliament/National Assembly and the cabinet.

  • I refuse to pass along a country deliberately divided upon itself: French/English, Native/non-native, immigrant/citizen, poor/millionaires, university educated/dead-ended youths, etc.

  • I refuse to accept a Quebec which allows unelected agencies, like the Office de la langue française, to set standards, interpretations, and rules for the functioning of our society's most important elements. I refuse to pass along the view that how one says something (language) is more important than what one says.

  • I refuse to accept the immorality of selling uranium to a nuclear pariah state (India) or pumping dirty oil into a already near-polluted world.

  • I refuse to support a government which has flattened one of our nation's finest accomplishments, a national broadcaster, the CBC, in favour of private, US-controlled media.

  • I refuse to accept a government which has given itself the mandate to dismantle public health, rather than strengthen it, or the mandate to open public education to private voucher schools run by religious and political evangelicals.

  • I refuse to support a government which has laid the groundwork for a secret police, with capacity and permission to spy on citizens, minorities and on protestors. My grandkids use Facebook; they should not be spied upon.

  • I refuse to give our grandchildren a country with its election watchdog muzzled and denied permission to encourage voting by youth, women, minorities, First Nations, and others.

  • I especially refuse to endorse any military adventurism by our once-praised peace-keeping and pro-UN government.

  • I refuse to vote for politicians of any party who decline to be interviewed by the media or who refuse to answer questions in the public interest, and who constantly attempt to manipulate the media by restricting information and explanations.
This is just the start! We seniors are not stupid. We can see clearly the difference between action and self-congratulations. Seniors are not fear-ridden, prejudiced, and selfish! We believe our children should have the best opportunities, not only the cheapest or the most small-minded.


Copyright © 2015 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/05.15