Wednesday, February 01, 2012

More Conservative circular firing squad please

Nothing like those emails and phone calls to MPs to wake 'em up:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's musings about possible changes to Old Age Security have resulted in a public backlash -- and complaints from his own MPs.

Conservative MPs have been overwhelmed with emails and phone calls from constituents who have been concerned about their retirement pensions since Harper mused on the need to revise OAS last week in Davos.

Sources have told CTV News that MPs told Harper during a Conservative caucus meeting Wednesday that reforming pensions "is not a vote winner" and complained they were taken by surprise by the plan.
Boy, they really messed up in the way they have approached this issue. The groundwork has clearly not been laid for whatever changes they are musing about. That groundwork would be difficult enough to do, as we are seeing in such reaction as that above. But on an issue like this, in particular, it requires substantial good will supporting a political party or leader to generate buy-in.

Read on in that CTV report for reference to a paper, "Evaluation of the Old Age Security Program," commissioned in 2009 and which shows, among other things, "that without Old Age Security or the Guaranteed Income Supplement, more than a third of women and more than a quarter of men in their 60s would fall below the poverty line."