Pension Tension

Something fascinating happened this past week. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation attacked Members of Parliament saying their pensions were platinum plated. And then among the political pundits, the people who are paid to disagree with one another, peace broke out. They all agreed, slash those pensions.

Now I understand the sentiment. When I heard that Pierre Poilievre, Stephen Harper’s favourite MP of all time, qualified for a full pension at 31, I was physically ill. But we have to ask ourselves, “Why did he qualify for a full pension at 31?” Well for starters he got elected straight out of school; he never accomplished anything of any note; that's the type of person that’s getting elected. People who have done nothing but are experts in everything. We avoid those people like the plague in real life but for some reason the House of Commons is crawling with them.

So let’s just forget pensions. I want better MPs. I want the best and the brightest that Canada has to offer. And boy, is that not happening. And why? Well, the fact is, if you're mid-career with a family, leaving both behind and taking off to Ottawa for 6 or 7 years is not good for either of them. There's a very good chance at the end of the day both will be seriously damaged. And are we going to fix this problem and attract better MPs by making the job less desirable? No, we go down that road for every Pierre Poilievre there’ll be 10 more just like him.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like beating up a lousy MP as much as the next guy. But when we get a good MP, they aren't just worth their pension; they're worth their weight in gold. All the parties have them but they are few and far between. So what say when it comes to MPs instead of all of us piling on and lowering the bar, let's aim high for a change.

Posted: 25/01/2012 7:30:07 AM | with 0 comments

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