The Senior Vote

Just what we need, more seniors holding more voting power…

In at least some key B.C. ridings, seniors may well decide the outcome of this election. Their electoral firepower, where it’s concentrated, deserves respect. In Victoria, for example, residents 65 and older numbered over 62,000 in 2007. That’s roughly one-third of the Capital District’s total voting-age population.

In Greater Vancouver, last year’s population over 65 years old was about 392,000 — again, roughly one-third of the 1.2 million voters in the region.

‘Zoomer’ Voters Wield Clout :: News ::

I’m sorry to sound age-ist, but hasn’t the older generation done enough to screw things up? This age group is looking for pension funds to stay afloat and aged care facilities to be built to incorporate the aging demographic. For many of the older voters, making decisions that could be beneficial for the sustainability of society is not desirable, even if the need is obvious. This is the generation of luxury and convenience never before seen outside of palaces, estates and castles – and they’re not going to give it up easily.

Sustainability Redux

All of this is probably a moot point anyway, as the political parties don’t have the will to make changes that will improve the sustainability, but impacting convenience of the everyday constituent. Recycling, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and installing water saving showerheads have a minimal effect on perceived convenience, but allow people to feel like they are part of the solution rather than the problem.

But the problem, and I think the recent financial events reverberating around the world bear testament to this, is that this could get a whole lot worse in a hurry. It feels like we are in a cartoon car precariously balanced on the edge of a precipice, waiting for the one wrong move that will send us tumbling down. Neither the average voter, nor the seniors have an appreciation for this, and most of them would rather be blissfully ignorant of most troubles, I’d imagine.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.