December 28, 2006

Worth More? Or Worth Less?

I was actually toying with the idea of leaping into the fray of the pay raise recently voted for by our beloved politicians. For themselves. By all parties, except the NDP who know they can squeak and squawk and remain chaste, while still getting all of the same stuff as the other guys. Kinda like wading through puddles and never getting your feet wet.

Anyway, I was considering it. I'm of two minds (just two, which must be a good day, actually) about salaries of those in the public eye, making decisions about public policy, and about vast quantities of money. And especially when that money is landing in their own wallets. Do we want corporate heads in government? Is there any bait sweet enough to lure someone from the private sector over to the fires of hell of being a politician?

I'll tag onto some of the arguments already made: Some politicians work their butts off and deserve far more; some are lazy trough-dwellers who should be kicked to the curb, not given a raise. In fact, we've already noted several who should be refunding us. And I'm sure that 'several' is far more. Some have mastered hopscotching among various levels of public service, staying just long enough at any one tier before hopping the fence to be a fresh face in a new arena. I suppose it is a skill to leave before being booted, but there are times I wish some of these little piggies would just run all the way home.

One of the biggest arguments I think they have going for them is the time they spend away from home. If you work long hours, your family is suffering. I've known tradesmen who work insane overtime on projects, because the nature of the work is transitional. I've known others who have travelled and been away for months for the same reason. You do what you have to do, and most of these tradesmen earn a lot more than the politicians. When you have a family, every decision you make impacts them. Stop being surprised that you will have a tug-of-war over how your time will be spent as your money is being earned. We all live it.

But today, I find this little snip. Apparently, PM Harper, feeling all Christmas-y and warm in a new cardigan, is lamenting how much time he spends away from his family.

Awwwwww. Back when he was first elected, there was a video op of him taking his kids to school. His kids are pretty young, 6 and 8 I think. He shook their hands. Yup. Shook their hands. At least now I know what he was really doing.

He was introducing himself to them.


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