October 22, 2010 – Official advocacy business has brought CARP to Ottawa on many occasions, but an event co-hosted this week by CARP Advocacy, Community, Zoomer Media, and the Ottawa Chapter formally introduced CARP to The Hill.
Numerous MPs, Senators, and media attended the event, hosted on Centre Block, as Moses Znaimer, President of Zoomer Media and CARP, Susan Eng, VP of Advocacy, and Ross Mayot, VP of Community, brought together parliamentarians and senators of all political stripes to talk about the issues that matter to older Canadians.
With participation from the different departments that comprise CARP and Zoomer Media, and with the local participation of the Ottawa Chapter, parliamentarians witnessed first hand the mobilization of the many resources at CARP’s disposal. In addition to Zoomer Media, which includes a growing network of television and radio stations and internet sites, CARP is increasingly able to count on the organization of its members at the local level, many of whom attended the event.
The combination of resources allowed CARP to bring home the message that older voters will exercise their franchise strategically. Indeed, its one thing to say that CARP has over 300,000 members spanning Canada, but its another to be able to show the politicians first hand how directly CARP can communicate to each of those members, whether its through our media or in person.
Older Voters Dominate the Ballot Box
Older voters are informed, engaged, and politically active, and CARP used the event on The Hill to remind legislators just how important our demographic is. Political wisdom dictates that politicians pay special attention to the issues that resonate with this growing demographic and this has already started to happen. Whether it was pension income splitting, a reduction in mandated RRIF withdrawals, increasing the amount of earnings permitted to GIS recipients or 180 degree turn on pension reform, and proposals for caregiver support, the issues that CARP has pursued on behalf of its members and the demographic they represent have gained traction in the corridors of power.
Lyndon Johnson held that “an important talent for any politician is the ability to count”. At the Parliament Hill Event, CARP reminded Parliamentarians of that adage first hand.