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Speaking of props


 

Susan Delacourt considers the life of a government MP.

Every time I see one of those photos, I  feel sorry for the member of Parliament in the picture. When they’re in Ottawa, they’re given lines to recite, like children. When they’re back in their ridings, they have to pose like circus artists for the cameras. I’m continually amazed that anyone wants that job.


 

Speaking of props

  1. Here's who you shold really feel sorry for … the community organizations that have to participate in these nonsensical announcements (sometimes more than once) in order to get the funding after they:

    a) Already jumped through a three stage process, meeting unreasonable deadlines, and then waiting for months for approval for projects that have a must complete by date. Three year projects often get squeezed into 189 months solely because of the time that elapses while the application is being evaluated.
    b) Contributed and coordinated matching funding
    c) Signed contribution agreements with absurd predictions and guarantees as well as restrictions around publicity even though that might actually help conduct the project.
    d) Spent their own resources to go through all this process and are unable to apply any of the funding toward the development of the application and endless negotiations
    e) Start the project, hire people and start spending money months before a cheque appears.

    That's why the only person in the grip and grin that's grinning is the MP. They are the only ones at the announcement that aren't paying to be there.

  2. "I'm continually amazed that anyone wants that job."

    As long as narcissism, ambition, insecurity and know-it-all are human traits there will be pols looking to tell us how to lead our lives. Also, it is pretty cushy job where you work 100 days a year but get paid well over a hundred grand with all kinds of benefits and accoutrements of office.

  3. I'm continually amazed that anyone wants that job.

    I'm not. How many of these MPs would get a job paying 150,000 per year?

    Would anybody hire Pierre Polievre for 150K, 50K, 25K?

    Marlene Jennings?

    Dennis Coderre?

    Rob Anders?

    Jack Layton?

    This is the best job most of them have ever had and will ever have. That's why they want this job, in fact, covet this job.

  4. Thank you for offering a bundle of derogatory and largely mistaken views you hold about most MPs and their work.

    Like Susan Delacourt, I too wonder why people want the job of an MP. I think one of the worst parts of the job would have to be patiently listen to know-nothing spew vitriole and bark nonsense at them.

    Which makes me want to ask if you really believe that MPs "work 100 days a year?

  5. Thank you for offering a bundle of derogatory and largely mistaken views you hold about most MPs and their work.

    Like Susan Delacourt, I too wonder why people want the job of an MP. I think one of the worst parts of the job would have to be patiently listening to know-nothings spew vitriol, and bark nonsense.

    In this regard, do you really believe that MPs "work 100 days a year?

  6. Thank you for offering a bundle of derogatory views you hold regarding most MPs and their work.

    Like Susan Delacourt, I too wonder why people want the job of an MP. I think one of the worst parts of the job would have to be patiently listening to know-nothings spew vitriol, and bark nonsense.

    In this regard, do you really believe that MPs "work 100 days a year?

  7. before benefits! Free flights, Amazing pension, free meals at work an office allowance and housing subsidy.

    It is the best job many of them will ever get or ever have, monetarily speaking

  8. f) gone into debt to match the funds.
    g) worried to heck that they finish by March 2011 lest the funding be clawed back.

    It's become painfully obvious why the Conservatives chose the method of funds dispersal most inefficient and prone to political interference instead of the simple and efficient Gas Tax to get stimulus funds out the door in short order. The PMO wanted their drones to squeeze every gramme of partisan advantage from the centrally-approved project list.

  9. f) gone into debt to match the funds.
    g) worried to heck that they finish by March 2011 lest the funding be clawed back.

    It's become painfully obvious why the Conservatives chose the method of funds dispersal most inefficient and prone to political interference instead of the simple and efficient Gas Tax to get stimulus funds out the door in short order. The PMO wanted their drones to squeeze every gramme of partisan advantage from the centrally-approved project list, even if it means pushing ethical boundaries. All on the backs of Canadians in hard times.

  10. f) gone into debt to match the funds.
    g) worried to heck that they finish by March 2011 lest the funding be clawed back.

    It's become painfully obvious why the Conservatives chose the method of funds dispersal most inefficient and prone to political interference instead of the simple and efficient Gas Tax formula to get stimulus funds out the door in short order. The PMO wanted their drones to squeeze every gram of partisan advantage from the centrally-approved project list, even if it means pushing ethical boundaries. All on the backs of Canadians in hard times. We better be grateful.

  11. I assume Susan is referring to all MPs, not just Conservative MPs. She may recall when some MPs from her own party, the Liberal Party, were also government MPs.

    As for the bizarre comment that MPs only work 100 days a year, I know many MPs from all parties and am constantly amazed at the long hours they put in. Most MPs (at least those that hope to be re-elected) put in 7-day work weeks and often work up to 15-18 hours per day. Unless they represent an Ottawa riding, they are asked to live in two cities, with two households, and to be on call at all hours of the day. It is a mistake to assume that they are not working when Parliament is not sitting. Indeed, the hardest part of an MPs life is the long hours put in while in the home constituency.

    • But the point may be that the MPs of the Liberal party, cabinet ministers, minions or PMs, never NEVER put their picture or a party logo on a cheque issued by the government of Canada. I think you're obviously a yen short of being honest, never mind having integrity. But then, that would explain your toadying for the CONs.

  12. Pierre Poilievre, university drop-out and previously self-employed. I might agree.
    Marlene Jennings, former lawyer. She likely made more in billable hours.
    Denis Coderre, career politician. I might agree with your assertion in his case.
    Rob Anders, professional heckler for the GOP (town hall, anyone?). In agreement here.
    Jack Layton, city councillor in Toronto makes just under $100k, office and staff budget of $258k and mileage–so perhaps an agree here.

  13. Pierre Poilievre, university drop-out and previously self-employed. I might agree.
    Marlene Jennings, former lawyer. She likely made more in billable hours.
    Denis Coderre, career politician. I might agree with your assertion in his case.
    Rob Anders, professional heckler for the GOP (town hall, anyone?). In agreement here.
    Jack Layton, city councillor in Toronto makes just under $100k, office and staff budget of $258k and mileage–so perhaps an agree here.

    I think a distinction should be made with which party the MP is affiliated. There tends to be a varying degree of central control exerted, to pod people extremes.

  14. f) gone into debt to match the funds.
    g) worried to heck that they finish by March 2011 lest the funding be clawed back.

    It's become painfully obvious why the Conservatives chose the method of funds dispersal most inefficient and most prone to political interference instead of the simple and efficient Gas Tax formula to get stimulus funds out the door in short order. The PMO wanted their drones to squeeze every gram of partisan advantage from the centrally-approved project list, even if it means pushing ethical boundaries. All on the backs of Canadians in hard times. We better be grateful.

  15. " I'm continually amazed that anyone wants that job."

    Amen. The only reason I'd ever do it is if I were persuaded, probably under duress, that I could bring some unique benefit to the governance of the country.

    Unfortunately a lot of people do seem to want the job out of personal ambition. It's one of those cases where anyone who wants the job is exactly the wrong person to have it.

  16. " I'm continually amazed that anyone wants that job."

    Amen. The only reason I'd ever do it is if I were persuaded, probably under duress, that I could bring some unique benefit to the governance of the country.

    Unfortunately a lot of people do seem to want the job out of personal ambition. It's one of those cases where anyone who wants the job is exactly the wrong person to have it. We need a bunch of philosopher kings.

  17. " I'm continually amazed that anyone wants that job."

    Amen. The only reason I'd ever do it is if I were persuaded, probably under duress, that I could bring some unique benefit to the governance of the country.

    Unfortunately a lot of people do seem to want the job out of personal ambition. It's one of those cases where anyone who wants the job is exactly the wrong person to have it – perhaps that's why the House is so generally unimpressive. We need a bunch of philosopher kings.

    • The only reason I'd ever do it is if I were persuaded, probably under duress, that I could bring some unique benefit to the governance of the country.

      Let us know if "they' need someone to vouch for your uniqueness.

    • The only reason I'd ever do it is if I were persuaded, probably under duress, that I could bring some unique benefit to the governance of the country.

      Let us know if "they" need someone to vouch for your uniqueness.

  18. Ok lets rule out any other public sector job, which has the same afflictions.

    Did Jennings work for a big firm?

    As for control of MP's….this is a debate that has been going on since Trudeau, his nobodies comment……it isnt partisan, all parties exert the control and only when they can relax they do….although Chretien kind of disproves that point by kicking out Nunziata.

    Of course MP's are under control, our system reinforces it. At least in the UK the MP's can actually depose a leader, giving them some power. Up here, all constitutions drive it to conventions and then only after a loss. You want MP's to have power…..they have to feel safe in their constituency as standard bearer. If you want them to exercise it they need to feel the party is about to lose power or they are about to lose the election. None of these conditions exist in any major party in Canada.

    They are all the same and you are whistling past the graveyard if you think the any of them are different in this regard when they are near power, either near, about to lose it or about to gain it.

  19. I too am continually amazed that people want to run for office. Consider that they have to represent cynical and hypercritical commenters like us?

    • You don't really strike me as one of "us", so I'm sure that any MP would be fortunate to have you as a constituent.

    • I suspect that the MP salary actually represents the high end of what most of them would ever achieve in the private sector. With a few exceptions, they are not our brightest bulbs.

      I mean, can you picture Carolyn Parrish getting paid to do anything worth more than minimum wage elsewhere? Think about it.

    • I suspect that the MP salary actually represents the high end of what most of them would ever achieve in the private sector. With a few exceptions, they are not our brightest bulbs.

      I mean, can you picture Carolyn Parrish getting paid to do anything worth more than minimum wage in a company? Think about it.

  20. The best job is as a Bloc MP…..you know what your pupose is, you never have any responsibility and you get to work on whatever interests you.

    • People who vote for BQ MPs are not voting for sovereignty, they're voting for parliamentarians who work hard for their constituents. We should all be so lucky.

    • Sure. But the downside is that you have to be a Bloc MP.

  21. If I could be convinced that philosopher kings could get things done, I would give more thumbs-up to this statement than I currently posess.

    Unfortunately, the phrase, "Beware the articulate incompetent" keeps on repeating in my head…

    • Just a turn of phrase from a great man, not my own concept.
      We incompetents have to get our ideas from somewhere so that we can sound articulate.

  22. As long as there are voters out there who think that a handshake from a politican is sufficient reason to vote for him/her, grin-and-greets will will remain part of the job. If there ever comes a day when the majority of eligible voters actually reads about what politicians stand for, are doing and not doing, saying and not saying, all this show and tell nonsense will be history.

  23. Steph,

    I would say your coment comes close to calling the Bloc Seperatists…..Shock ;-)

    I dont believe all of the Bloc's voters are sovereigntists/seperatists…..I do believe a big chunk of them are cultural nationalists and this is what animates them….the MP's, well thats another matter.

    However, my point was that if one was looking for a real easy job as an MP then being a Bloc MP is about as easy as it gets. You will nver be in government, you dont even have to try, and you get to pick and choose your topics, the only criteria, you have to find a Quebec angle to it, if there is no Qubec angle you dont need to think about it. and for the moment, most of their seats are safe from poaching by a federalist party.

    Nice work if you can get it. Next easiest job is an Alberta Conservative along with a West Island Liberal. But they may actaually have to worry about being in government so they have to be better behaved.

    • Alberta Conservatives mostly need to worry about getting the party nomination; after that they are pretty much on the same easy street as the BQ MPs.

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