BC Election Post Mortem Off Base

By May 19, 2013Letters

By George Evens. The BC Election Post Mortem is such a malaise of misinformation, wrong information, personal anecdotal & subjective comment, rationalization of incorrect statements and beliefs, by Politicians, Media, Political Pundits, pollsters and many other perceived misinformed people, justifying and rationalizing subjective conclusions, that one must discount most as statistically unfounded, not representative of mass public opinion.

For example, Claiming “Attack Ads” are successful is folly and seeks to perpetuate a down-side of politics best abandoned but in part, desperation via attack ads does garner some weak-minded people who fall prey and supports such abuse (our point, Canadians mostly desire to restore saneness and respectability to Politics and would favour return to mutual respect, ethics, integrity and performance, to perpetuating “attack ads”, some dating back countless years, that this repugnant behavior (often) later manifests in how Parliament conducts (itself) and sadly, desperate, ideologists, dictatorial traits prevailing, drag the reputation of Parliament into sully bodies & welcome disrespectful (political) climates that neither attract high-calibre Candidates nor bode Canada well in the World).

The current Senate debacle is symptomatic of such governance generally and symptoms are witnessed, at times Provincially, as scandals become more the order of the day per se. The NDP lost this election, (winning 33 seats) but by default, at the outset, lost 12 seats to split-voting by GREEN PARTY, that had not GREEN Candidates ruined numbers, would most assuredly gone NDP {for a total of 45 seats) to form Government. So, having identified this FACT, all the rest is superfluous folly, at best, in this reality context and perspective. Thus, to like or dislike Dix style, overbearing nature of Clark, flip flop of Kinder Morgan pipeline by Dix, while all garnered some support, none sufficient factual statistically.

It obviously makes for Media fodder and seemingly endless talk show rhetoric. Polls paint a current picture but this time exceeded the pale of commonsense and facts off into the oblivion of redundant rhetoric. Thus, if the GREEN PARTY was objective and sane, to select winnable Ridings and not knowingly play (spoiler) in a clearly obvious polarized Province, it is academic NDP would have won.

Therefore, all the rest of our comment is from the perspective of reality but like most (public) commentary we are hearing, mostly irrelevant. For example, in large part, if more people at the polling station changed their vote, “held their nose and voted Liberal as we heard”, for the most part it is irrelevant as, in such instances, it just added to total, made more (Liberal) votes, as the decision was already a given. Cristy Clark rightfully lost her seat, a strong message overlooked by Media more preoccupied with the story about “which successful elected MLA will need to give up their seat” (MLA, R. Sultan answer is right on), such folly and affront to ethical & democratic politics, to protect an undeserving Leader. Literally, much of the subjective dialogue emanating from Media is an insult to one’s intelligence and sensibilities.

Regardless, Voters can only hope for sound impartial & inclusive Government but sadly, history has a way of repeating itself and in a forum of ineptness to date, not much encouragement or optimism prevails. In an apparent environment created by the Liberal Party and/or Advisors, a will to win at any cost or means, one of the unknown factors is, will Citizens receive just representation, as apparently less than 25% of eligible voters elected Government (52.0% total turnout) and this is shameful with no checks or balances in place to demand effective and impartial representation, at best.

* Ombudsperson Kim Carter will commence Seniors’ Week by talking to Seniors’ & others at 1:00pm, Friday May 31, 2013 at the Seniors’ Activity Centre, 10th & Talbutt – Plan early to attend, limited space.

* http://www.theprovince.com/life/going+look+after/8320206/story.html
Province article “Who’s going to look after Mom and Dad”?

* Special Thanks to Senior Colleague Gord Dainard for taking the initiative to get “Mission Seniors’ Living 55 Plus” Section started, plus, organizing the contributors “Founders Member Committee”. The Inaugural edition appeared in The RECORD Thursday March 25, 2013 & in future, the last Thursday monthly thereafter. Gord worked closely with Crystal Orchison & Carol Aun of the RECORD to bring Readers the section today, to my knowledge, the first local paper to do so, which is a wonderful testament to Seniors’. Thanks to all who had any part developing this great idea into reality.

· Here is a link to the first edition. The e-edition is available at http://www.missioncityrecord.com/eeditions/ To view click on the April 25 edition and then on the page view on the left side to view the pages. If you click on the specific page it may open up in a magnified view.

· ECAC extend a ‘challenge to all Investigative Journalists, Publishers & Editors of all local Community papers to follow the lead of the Mission RECORD and capitalize on this major source of advertiser revenue and offer deserved attention to the silver tsunami (Seniors’) in your Community who now hold the power to elect Federal, Provincial & Municipal Governments. As well, what local Advertiser is going to deny support for Seniors’ – indeed a win win situation is at your door and an opportunity to revitalize your paper, in part, focusing upon needs, issues, care & health of your largest population. Whether a 2-4-6 or-8 page insert (RECORD started with 7 pages), you can contribute to improving Seniors’ lives, partake in creating an informed and caring Society, influence Government to needed actions, your opportunities are limitless if you care and combine with a keen business sense to sniff out additional revenue. Keep content to varied/major Seniors’ issues, local issues, some controversy, local articles, avoid the generic, if possible and generally foster and publicize the Seniors’ needs. The Sun & Province have done some good articles, thus, each Community paper can augment and help bring information & solutions to the many dilemma’s facing Seniors but caring is the first obstacle or challenge to be met.

EDITORIALLY SPEAKING OF COURSE BUT- Keep in mind, this is not your typical Newsletter, read carefully, keep an open-mind, broaden your ‘attention span’ and you will learn something….. Remember these simple rules

1. Open discussion of ideas, values and priorities together with the expression of opinion is the basis for shaping effective and meaningful action

2. The phony prominence derived from elected office (Council, Chamber or Association) status neither promises omniscience nor protection from criticism from fellow citizens. The apparent fact that local (papers) will not criticize does not imply that others won’t or shouldn’t.

3. Anyone daring to contradict the power structure, has been rudely dismissed and belittled by those whom they have dared to criticize.

§ Often a case of “the same people, successive & frequently partisan reappointments/re-elections, doing the same things, resistance to change, encountered at many similar (bodies), expecting a different outcome”. (Often) wondering at lack of progress or why Volunteers are not interested. Attracting new & retaining current Volunteers is crucial. As well, measuring progress, to avoid pitfalls of “longevity breeding familiarity and fostering complacency that stifles new people & ideas”, a fine line indeed.

§ adage often espoused, “we need different people & ideas to change the direction/outcome of where we are at and how we got here – in order to progress”.

§ Increases in Membership are crucial, to sustain volunteer aspects of operating an effective Association, to achieving community presence and relationship fulfillment of volunteer plans and goals, to broader community interests and results of any undertaking by an Association, Membership growth & sustained numbers is the most crucial goal to achieve.

v Informed & empathetic Leadership is needed to make an inclusive community, an Age-Friendly Community, an environmentally sensitive community.

The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) provides unsolicited, frank & sometimes “in your face”, sage advice in a constructive and objective manner, facts and wisdom exuding empathy but equally public opinion about public interests being observed and met or not, with proposed solutions. The “News to You Newsletter” offers a potpourri of issues & spectrums related to politics & living in Canada, BC or a Municipality but a new feature is our focus upon “Seniors’ issues, under The Elder Citizen Action Coalition. We seek to identify the most common symptoms, traits & problems and to offer some solutions or ideas that (Politicians) or (Organizations) may try to improve circumstances. If you recognize any of the indicators we allude to, you may wish to investigate, ask questions or get more involved, before it is too late.


THE LEARNING PAGE – offers sage advice and counsel to all Humans, with some focus upon Seniors’ but seeks to explore and thus, provide you with proven successful “Management skills & techniques” to improve your productivity, informed decision making & stimulate your creativity, innovation and contribution to Society. It is “look in the mirror time”.

· “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs” still prevails as the strongest foundation and prescribed guideline/path to achieving each person’s collective goals, culminating in self-actualization.

1) First and foremost, humans must achieve “Basic life needs of air, food, drink, warmth, sleep, health care and shelter”. Thus, it is crucial that Homelessness be eliminated, that employment opportunities are created (to stop free trade initiatives that result in higher unemployment, reduction of middle-class jobs & vast wealth to a minority & inferior products that do not meet health & safety standards). Moving up the hierarchy of needs,

2) Safety Needs – protection, security, order, rule of law, stability, limits, etc.

3) Belongingness and Love needs – Family, affection, relationships, work group, etc.

4) Esteem Needs – Achievement, status, responsibility, reputation

5) Self-Actualization – personal growth and fullfilment

· Possibly the single greatest demand upon VOTERS everywhere, whether to elect “Boards at Associations” or “Politicians” the more pronounced qualities desired in Candidates include their exuding “empathy”, just as being wary of persons to avoid, the “passive bystanders”, thus the qualities of sound ethics and values that set true “Leaders” apart from the pack – take the time to research Candidates carefully, set high standards and vote for people who meet needs. “We are only limited by the imagination of our Leaders”.

· Have you observed what a pleasant surprise it is to deal with the “classy” individual (Management, Boss, Politician, Association Board or President, etc.) those who exude adept style, some charisma, a genuine caring and strong sense of integrity, ethics, empathy and sound principles. Have you recognized any with the traits associated with Psychopaths or Narcissism, often, we are told (such people) are hiding in professions of Politician, Media, Senior Management and others where their need for power is achieved. Sadly, many, otherwise ordinary average people when placed in a role of power, often a successful Company, adopt the Company prestige as being (their own) to the chagrin of most that come in contact with them. This false sense of power & popularity the (Company) deserves is too often misused under the pretense the individual abuses power. Indignant when challenged. Their sense of entitlement can erode the reputation of the (Company, Political Party, Association, etc.) and is manifested in a failure to demonstrate responsiveness, fairness, poor communication, failure to RSVP or respond to inquiries, which in itself is unproductive and creates alienation. Just some initial thoughts to ponder and grist for a future issue. What role will our new elected MLA’S take?

· We are informed less than 25.0% of eligible VOTERS elected the new Liberal Government. No, can’t be is the first reaction but if true, surely there is no legal mandate from the Citizens, only a small minority supporting? Sadly, if the (elected) Government decides to do something, they legally can, as Government. But while not morally justifiable or perceived popular or even statistically (51%) legal, to any sane individual, being legal does not make it right but be assured, “Government can do what they want because they can”. Granted, it may take an egotistic or arrogant individual, possibly retaining some narcissistic or psychological behavior traits but that may describe many in office, doesn’t it? To paraphrase William E. Simon, “Bad politicians are sent to Government by good people who don’t VOTE”. Can the 75% who did not vote Liberal expect impartial and just representation, time will soon tell. Sadly, it has not happened Federally, why be naïve & expect different in BC?

“DELIBERATELY STUPID AWARD” – This ‘infamous’ increasingly popular, recognized authority is awarded to the most deserving, the misguided, arrogant, self-centered & truly ignorant among us but the “deliberately stupid” category is a truly heartfelt distinction not that many, fortunately, can aspire to & attain..

v Fraser Health Authority decision to impose pay parking at Mission Memorial Hospital in 5 years, prompting expansion of ongoing (current) protest to eliminate pay parking at Hospitals, by adding a protest to prohibit FHA & Mission Council from proceeding with an agreement to add MMH to the list of Hospital charging (unacceptable) parking fees.

v Provincial Government failure to adequately fund the Therapeutics Initiative $1 million grant.

v Federal Government failure to take initiative to grant an exemption under Controlled Drugs & Substances Act, S.56, to study impact of cannabis, equally to respond to massive majority of public opinion to “repeal laws criminalizing cannabis possession”.

v Government again condones immense cruelty to Ducks, some people actually perform the act of cruelty and inhumane practice but like mass slaughter of Seal pups, people without conscience routinely kill helpless Seals and undoubtedly rationalize force feeding Ducks but equally repugnant, some people actually buy the proceeds of such ill-begotten product, now in the form of Foie Gras (refer to attachment to view video and read about the process). I often wonder how any civilized human can continue to buy products & overlook the cruel treatment of Pigs, as depicted on recent W-5 documentary, permit our Government to inhumanely kill Seals and now perpetuate the practice of Foie Gras, makes one ashamed doesn’t?

v Federal Government obsession to “download legislation & programs, etc.,” and similarly a similar “downloading of some services”, by Provincial Governments have created a malaise and a race to creating confusion and abuse to the system. Thus, a prompt renewal and comprehensive review & understanding, of every aspect of “assault & bullying in nature”, thus, creation of a renewed federal approach that will embrace all important issues & people affected. For example, the Criminal Code must create an effective approach to identification, prevention and penalty, dealing with every form of bullying, from School, spousal relationships, Senior abuse, workplace bullies, including ineffective prison guard abuses, that embrace the whistleblower approach and simply establish a tiered level and all encompassing approach to assault, abuse, physical & mental in nature.

v Polling organizations who provided inaccurate results and in part, led many Voters astray, resulting in a massive, now with several Elections resulting in flawed statistics, Pollsters generally have no credibility. It would be a prudent step for Government to prohibit polling and public publication, to thus permit the democratic process to unfold and Voters, as they eventually do, use the polling booth to vote unencumbered by redundant/unreliable wrong statistics.

v GREEN PARTY notably and to a much lesser degree, at this time, CONSERVATIVE PARTY, who in each instance had no chance to win a Riding, knowingly presumably, intentionally played the “split the vote role” to no democratic or visible benefit. TWELVE Ridings were published clearly indicating ridings where the NDP lost due to GREEN votes. By the next election, the CONSERVATIVES may well garner sufficient strength to similarly threaten the ruling Liberals. Certainly any Party is entitled to run candidates or express an ideology but sadly, when so closely identified to each other, a more sane avenue would be to collaborate. In time, VOTING reforms may provide better proportional representation but for now, polarized politics prevail in BC

The “Political” future is unfolding with optimistic opportunities

We need to “rebuild” the ‘Political system” and reinvigorate the Voters confidence in ‘creating and managing political change needed to restore Voter trust & confidence, including wise & thoughtful realignments of revenue streams to augment “Government coffers”, to eliminate a culture of crass, partisan evasion and lack of sincerity, some paths include.

· Next major public movement, most likely Seniors’ & expansion of the “Silver Tsunami” (a major growing Seniors’ movement, lacking co-ordination/organization of the whole but significant organization among throngs of Seniors’ groups across North America) – The common denominator of public protests, “long-standing issues not being effectively addressed”…..currently the “yell for attention” – next COMMON GOALS/ACTION by any astute Government!

· Canada & Provinces need “Democratic Reforms”, free votes, independent Committees and more powerful ‘Back Benchers”.

· The days of prorogued Government, Omnibus Bills and Autocratic Style, with “no dissent” MUST GO; a need to shake-up things if you want to change the dominant consensus or you’re never going to get progressive & fair change”.

· Simple & fundamental change is needed, abandoning “Leader dictatorship” and “creating effective Recall”, reinstating the Constituent as the primary beneficiary.

· MISSION “ELECTION 2014” – Are Mission & Abbotsford Councils performing, who is/who is not? It is time to start planning our ‘election campaign’ to attract, if needed, a (New Mayor & Council). CRMG (Mission) identified the successful process, a needed (SLATE) approach & typical campaign to achieve a renewal of Council, so let’s make more wise Candidate choices but the campaign process is before us. Will CRMG (Abbotsford)be fielding Candidates? Are any incumbents at Mission or Abbotsfgord not running for re-election? Seniors’ hold the balance of (votes) to elect a new Council.

Some Important dates to remember

· Thursday June 6, 2013, 10:30am, meeting at Mission Community Activity Centre ALL SENIORS’ are encouraged to attend this meeting, JOIN or RENEW MSCA ($10 Annual dues – help plan activities – YOUR SENIOR VOICE, LEADERSHIP, SUPPORT & WISDOM is needed more than ever NOW!

· Wednesday June 12, 2013, 3:00pm Seniors Centre Task Force, Conference Room at City Hall

· Thursday June 13, 1:30pm. Mission Seniors’ Advisory Committee, monthly meeting at Mission Seniors’ Centre (venue change) – What is MSAC doing? Is MSAC attracting “the BEST” Senior Leaders? Does MISSION need one STRONG (Umbrella) organization to (represent) Seniors’ & secure an Activity Centre? An “Age Friendly” community needs a “steering Committee” – who?

Some Important web.sites to become aware of & informed about Seniors’ issues

Ø The Elder Citizen Action Coalition – www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click’ CONTENTS. The “cutting-edge Leadership for Seniors’ in Canada – Seniors’ unite & organize; NOW on ECAC site, 23 pictures of the impressive “New” Pitt Meadows Seniors’ Activity Centre (adjoining “The Wesbrooke Seniors’Living Community”

Ø District of Mission – www.mission.ca – watch Council meetings in progress LIVE VIA WEB CAST or check back anytime to view any topic or issues

Ø COSCO “Council of Seniors Citizens’ Organizations” www.coscobc.ca – 80 affiliated organizations; 85,000 senior members – The “Joys & Tears Conference” notes now posted

Ø OMBUDSPERSON – www.bcombudsperson.ca – A Roadmap To Better Seniors’ Care In B.C., A Summary of BC Ombudsperson Report – 176 detailed recommendations. Subscribe to receive email updates at http://www.ombudsman.bc.ca/subscribe Simply, “The Ministry of Health has, in many cases, failed to fulfill its leadership role for Seniors’ care in B.C.”.

Ø NEW! Mission Seniors’ Activity Centre new web.site www.missionseniorscentre.com

Ø The Province series Boomerangst gives a good overview of Seniors’ needs, refer to http://www.theprovince.com/news/boomerangst/our-aging-society.html

Ø We are “The Elder Citizen Action Coalition” (ECAC) – “Representing & speaking for Seniors’ who share our values”. The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) is a private owned, operated, non-profit, apolitical and pro-active Seniors’ organization. On the ‘cutting edge’ of the silver tsunami with the potential to represent millions of like-minded Seniors’ who share our values, thus our sphere of influence is massive. ECAC always represent the majority of public interests & public opinion & convey “responsible communication on all matters of public interest. The rallying call, “Unity In Challenging Times” *** Passion *** Persistence *** Power *** Progress

· Demanding “Respect for Seniors’” & improved lifestyle for ALL Seniors’. We are often irreverent, occasionally may portray a “devil’s advocate” persona, seek to address controversy, be provocative and normally “not suffering fools gladly”, we simply desire to “place ideas & issues on the table, & stimulate thought & inspire principled leadership”.

· ECAC, home of the “ELDER CITIZEN ROUND TABLE”, a visionary, innovative, knowledgeable & progressive thinking discussion group selected from the most informed progressive Seniors’ leaders and invited GUESTS; we will attend some Conferences and report back to Seniors Organizations locally. Refer www.thecouncilclaw.ca click ‘CONTENTS’ Elder Citizen Action Coalition – A “Champion of Seniors’ Causes, Needs & Issues”.

SENIORS’ MATTER – “It is time for all to shake hands”

….. Some retrospection will identify a road to follow …..BUT, First, (our focus) Seniors’ and a (story) that needs to be told “DEMENTIA”, part two of a sad and ongoing story: ECAC will talk to Citizens about various issues & try to focus Societal attention on Seniors’ important needs in the desire to be part of catalysts to spawn immediate informed attention and needed action to improve Seniors’ lives:

DEMENTIA – Roughly 14.9% of Canadians, approximately 747,000 family members, 65 years and older suffer with cognitive impairment, including Dementia. Globally, that translates into 35.6 million people which is greater than the total population of Canada. Rather frightening statistics but sadly unless some cure is found experts estimate dementia stands to double every 20 years which would be beyond catastrophic.

Dementia is not selective and anyone (reading this article, for example) can be stricken, regardless of walks of life or economic status. Therefore, Canada needs a strong informed body, adequately funded and an organized focus nationally, with Provincial representation, possibly under the auspices of an Adult Guardian Act to deal with Dementia. As well, under Federal leadership, all Governments must adopt a way to invest in ‘Home Care’, to keep Seniors’ independent and healthier longer, ultimately saving the health care system money.

Family, Friends & Colleagues are important bell ringers to identify certain behavior traits and signs, as they become apparent, to be able to understand and seek early diagnosis.

Some of the early signs include but are not limited to “Memory Loss that disrupts daily life, such as recently learned information, asking for the same information; Challenges in planning and solving problems, difficulty concentrating and taking longer to do things; Confusion with time or place, losing track of dates and passage of time; Difficulty completing tasks, driving to a familiar location, remembering rules of a favourite game; Trouble understanding visual images, difficulty judging distance, determining colour or contrast; New problems with words in speaking or writing, difficulty following a conversation, trouble finding the right word, stopping in middle of sentence with no idea how to continue; Misplacing things and unable to retrace their steps to find; Decreased or poor judgment, less attention to grooming and poor judgment dealing with money; Withdrawl from work or social activities, ceasing hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports, fealing weary of work, family & social obligations; Changes in mood and personality, becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful & anxious, easily upset and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted”.

Some behavioural changes include but are not limited to Wandering, walking away from home with risk of becoming lost; Restlessness, pacing, drumming fingers for long period of time (try to distract, calm with music or touch); Repeated actions, repeating words or actions over and over); Suspicion, thinks others are trying to harm, accuses others of stealing (provide comfort, don’t argue or reason, distract with another activity); Sexual behavior, may remove clothes, make physical or verbal advances towards others (don’t judge or scold, provide affection, distract with other activities, stay calm); Aggression, may exhibit physical and emotional outbursts, such as shouting & hitting (be calm & reassuring, look for immediate cause, give space to cool down, try to distract, leave if safety is threatened).

Diagnosis starts when you or someone close to you feel confused, agitated or forgetful, it is time to visit a Doctor. Early diagnosis means that you can get support and information, treatments that may slow progression of the disease and let you have time to make key financial and care decisions for the future. Once you have a diagnosis, the next step is to tell your family and friends so they may support you in living the best life possible.

There is no single test that can determine Alzheimer’s disease. Diagnosis is made through a series of tests. Doctors making the diagnosis are accurate up to 90% of the time. It can take time, in part, due to waiting lists. As well, the Doctor may require additional consults from a psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, geriatrician, nurse, social worker and/or occupational therapist to identify how problems affect daily functions. Some people with dementia may respond to a cholinesterase inhibitor, so discuss with your Doctor.

Some hope is extended to possible sufferer’s knowing moderate to vigorous exercise can assist, even done in shorter 15 minute segments 10 times per week or 150 minutes total. Exercise can show a significant reduction in risk. As well, exercise can improve depressive symptoms normally associated with the disease and similarly to Care Givers.

Finally, while Society is dealing daily with the apathetic citizen or voter, often out of indifference or laziness but the person with dementia can experience an absence or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life. They may become depressed or withdrawn and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. A person with dementia may develop this apathy and feel unmotivated to do anything but does not understand what is happening. One cause is medical, such as the frontal lobe becomes damaged.

This important story was compiled and submitted by The Elder Citizen Action Coalition (ECAC) but barely scratches the surface of Dementia, so it is merely an attempt to awaken readers to this massive dilemma facing Seniors and their Care Givers. ECAC will continue to search for and discuss early signs & detection, diagnosis & understanding some behavior, as results become available. Some information was resourced from and any additional detail can be obtained from Alzheimer Society of Canada 2011 http://www.alzheimer.ca or contact webmaster@alzheimer.ca

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