Saturday, October 18, 2008


Author and ex-journalist, Stevie Cameron, told a Fredericton seminar on ageing this week that the next Prime Minister of Canada may very well be a senior citizen. The point that she was making is about the impact of the "Baby Boomer" generation on North American demographics.

As part of the same argument, Ms Cameron, mentioned former New Brunswick Premier, Frank McKenna, aged 60...that's when I took notice. The much touted potential leadership candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada, Mr. McKenna, along with another front runner, Bob Rae, and I, are the same age. As much as I would want to think that Stevie Cameron's reference to "senior citizen" was in jest...I know it was not!

Thus, if I may, I shall digress to the nub of her observation. It is the same argument advanced and observation arrived at in the widely popular 1996 book by demographer, David K. Foot: "Boom, Bust & Echo." Almost 35% of Canadians were born during the baby boom period which in this country spans the period 1947 to 1966. At the height of the "boom" Canadian mothers were averaging 4 children each. Canada's was the loudest "Boom" in the industrialized world.

Besides explaining why "Viagra" overnight became one of the most famous drugs in history: Marketers; advertisers; health and leisure providers; even educators have been aroused (forgive the pun)by the potential of a market that represents one-third of everything Canadian. Can politics, party strategists, and politicians be far behind?

Although they did not invent it, boomers embraced Rock and Roll and the radio stations that played it. Led the Peace and love movement and freedom of sexual expression of the seventies. As adults their overcrowded world drove-up rents and housing prices, drove-up interest rates and claimed all of the best jobs and opportunities. Until the just recent crash of the stock market they had both bulging waistlines and bulging RRSP Investments...sadly just the waistlines are left!

Perhaps then why not crack-open the door for one of us to lead the country. Since there seems to be an opening in the Grit stable, I say; bring it on. Of the names most frequently mentioned to replace Stephane Dion...just a youngish 53 years old: There's Mr. McKenna (60), Mr. Rae (60), Michael Ignatieff (61), Ken Dryden (61), and John Manley (59)...I'd say they are all just about from the right generation.

Oh! Let me save you the "Googling"...Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 49. 'Nuff said.

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