Albertans Court Seniors in April Election

Seniors have become a heavily courted demographic in the US Republican primary and in other elections. Maturing adults represent a large population group, tend to be well-educated, and show up at the ballot box on voting day.

This growing trend is on the upswing in Alberta, Canada, where a provincial election will take place on April 23, 2012. Progressive Conservative leader Alison Redford is feeling the heat from Wildrose's Danielle Smith. Wildrose, a right-wing party, has pulled in front of the PCs in polls by a substantial margin. Redford hopes to make up ground among seniors.

Wildrose has pledged a platform focused on seniors that would direct funding to home care and initiate a “Kinship Palliative Care” program to compensate people who give end-of-life care for relatives.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith was quoted by the Globe and Mail: “The Wildrose plan is better for seniors because we developed a framework for how we’d deal with future surpluses to allow for all Albertans, including Alberta seniors, to be able to share in a part of it.”

Other major parties have targeted the senior crowd.

The New Democrats have promised 1,500 long-term care beds and  $100-million into home care as reported by the Globe. “These changes could start today, and make a big difference in the every day lives of seniors and their families,” NDP leader Brian Mason said in a statement while campaigning in Edmonton, and quoted in the Globe.

The Globe reports Liberal leader Raj Sherman, is pitching the creation of an Independent Seniors’ Advocate, the doubling of funding for home care, increasing funding of long-term care, and lowering health wait times.

In Alberta polling stations will be set up in Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences.