—Stockwell Day (Comment in the House of Commons regarding Liberal and NDP coalition with Bloc support.)
Stockwell Day has inspired me with his unconventional suggestion that forming an alliance with “socialists” would be against his “very DNA.”
It leads me to think that there should be a test that politicians have to take–maybe one in which we investigate the applicant’s DNA for national security purposes.
One need not subject himself or herself to the test unless that person has a desire to participate in running the country. And since even fewer people will have that desire after the current performance of the 40th and 39th Parliaments, if not earlier ones, it will affect only a few brave souls.
Afterall, if it is in one’s DNA to not work with others, especially other elected members of the House then Canadians need to examine how such pre-determined traits impact parliamentary effectiveness and national prosperity, or if you prefer, national security.
We could save ourselves millions if not billions of dollars, first in annual base salary and then in sizable benefits and pensions. The idea of savings here is tied to the idea that Canadians would begin getting exactly what we pay for — effective government — instead of wasting money on talking heads who aim to obfuscate rather than enlighten people.
Earlier this year, a Toronto Star article pegged Federal MPs’ base salaries at $155,400 per year as of April 1, 2008. In addition, it states that “[m]ore than half of federal MPs receive salary top-ups for additional House and caucus duties.”
So with 308 seats in the Canadian house of Commons we currently pay at least $47, 863, 200 to MPs without calculating the additional perks. If the non-taxable expense, and Ottawa accommodation allowances are added, surely it makes economic sense to spend our money wisely.
After the next parliamentary compensation review we will have more accurate figures of parliamentarians’ earnings. Such a review is required, under the Parliament of Canada Act, within two months of an election.
With that additional information to spur the need for accountability, a DNA test would be invaluable. It would allow us to weed out any bad seeds lest they embed in the Canadian Parliament and become a recurring problem, like dandelions to those who love uniformly green lawns. But best of all, at least our money wouldn’t be wasted on people who prefer partisanship over national progress.
However, if not a DNA test, would you be opposed to a Parliamentary fitness test designed to unearth criteria such as an ability to work with others, sound ethical judgement, knowledge of Canadian history, and respect for diversity?
While the list of criteria could be endless, maybe it’s time to start forwarding such ideas so that we can improve the caliber of people we elect to the Hill and whom consume our tax dollars albeit for a very important job: ensuring Canadian independence and prosperity.