Tim Harper: NDP looks to tap a powerful vault of votes
By Tim Harper, Toronto Star, October 29, 2012
The New Democrats under Tom Mulcair have now formally committed to rolling back the Old Age Security changes the Conservatives have set to take effect in 2023.
The opposition leader told a forum at CARP, the non-partisan organization which aims to promote the interests of Canadians as they age, that he, in his first year in government, would restore the age of eligibility for Old Age Security benefits to 65....
Mulcair told CARP that there are 300,000 Canadians over 65 now living below the poverty line with thousands more on the brink, especially unmarried senior women who have already endured a lifetime of lower earnings.
“In a country as wealthy as Canada it is absolutely inexcusable to have hundreds of thousands of seniors living below the poverty line, and an NDP government will correct that immediately in its first year,’’ he said.
Traditionally, seniors have voted for either Conservatives or Liberals, but now they are pointing to putting their trust in the NDP, a move that could wrest a chunk of traditional tory support from Harper in 2015. Mulcair, rightly sees this as a significant opportunity, in his attempt to drive Harper from office in the next election.
Is it not from physics where we learn that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? Now that we have seen the actions of the Harper government to pander to the corporates, both individually and organizationally, through their tax, environment, sentencing and prison growth policies...linked to the subtractions from the social safety net, is it time for the NDP, in the vacuum created by the Liberal malaise, to step up to the plate and provide a political voice for the demographic that votes in large numbers, and that takes the future of the country very seriously, the CARP demographic?
As a traditional Liberal supporter, and member of the Liberal party, I have switched my political membership to the NDP, for the obvious reason that the NDP are the voice of political action and confrontation that can and will counter the Harper omnibus bills, through which Harper has removed their most controversial decisions from both the debate in parliament and from public and media scrutiny.
Who knows what is really written in those hundreds of pages of those omnibus bills, when their political chicanery flies through their majority in the House, and past the media eyes, hidden from the public's real time opportunity to digest those details?