Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel: Burning for generation and old age politics

Candidate-Speech for Austrian Parlamentary Election 2013

(Birgit, member of the board of the ENGS, is set on the 7. place of the Vienna list  for the austrian General Elections in 2013. The first 6 places, they say, are for shire. So we have to fight together to get the 7. as well!!)

In a country where 21 percent of the population today is already over 60 years old and where, in 2030 the percentage will be 31 percent, it would be politically blind to ignore politics for generations and thus for older people.

The Austrian Greens are the only party who are able to abandon traditional generation patterns and to create new models. That holds true for politics for young and old people.

Green politics for generations, which include politics for older people, is one of the major overall projects. Whether it concerns the economy, ecology, social matters, commerce, everywhere the generation approach has to be considered.

Instead of propagating flowery phrases and declarations of intent, Green policies advocate new life concepts for generations who are faced with a life span never reached before.

In order to protect young and old people from poverty it takes more than just advocating to look after each other and to provide privately for old age. The fight against youth unemployment, against precarious employment conditions, and against private pension funds that are at the mercy of the money market has to become a top priority and is a basic concept of Green politics. Neither young nor old must be poor!

The Green pension model has been presented, it prevents poverty, is participative and gender adequate.

In order not to be at the mercy of growing right wing populist trends, politics for generations and older people has one top priority: political education. To know how politics works, how democracy affects each individual and how to separate wheat from chaff.

Especially the so-called “orphans of globalization” – the losers of globalization, are in danger of falling into the hands of itinerant preachers of right wing populism. This is especially true for older people. We have to pay particular attention to them and therefore we advocate the Green political mission of life-long learning.

A real, deep-rooted new generation contract is more than just a pledge to care for each other. Young and old can support and respect each other, shape the world together – but every state that calls itself a social welfare state, has the duty to contribute and not to evade the responsibility saying: mind your own business!

We need a Green Generation contract, which fortifies us against conservative insinuations in education for all generations, which guarantees social benefits for all generations and which forces obligations on the social welfare state.

A Green signature for walking upright from early youth till late old age without any compromises.

Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel

Excerpt from the speech at the city convention on 21 October 2012,Translation: Kitty Weinberger

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