So the news today, which really shouldn’t be news to us because we don’t generally see ourselves as naive, is that McGuinty and his crew that are voluntarily leaving provincial politics are “entitled” to severance pay. McGuinty is eligible for $313k, some of his cabinet ministers a little less.
The inference in the article, which we hadn’t thought of before we’d written about the traitor Elizabeth Witmer, is that she also was eligible for severance pay when she left her position as MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo and accepted a $250k a year position at the WCB – an appointed position.
Two years ago when David Miller left as mayor of Toronto, he also got a severance package – $166,000 in addition to $3,500 of counseling to help him find a new job. This, for a man who is a Harvard educated lawyer and served 7 years as mayor of North America’s fifth largest city… wouldn’t it be expected that his experience and connections might land him a very lucrative job post-mayoralty? And the councilors who lost two years ago – guess what. They also got “severance”. They lost an election… does that equate to being fired or laid-off?
If Mac or I, being private sector workers, quit or resigned from our jobs, we are entitled to… NOTHING. NADA. ZERO. ZILCH. It is a chosen action. We would make the choice to leave our current job with presumably time to prepare ourselves financially and from an employment perspective. If we quit because of a rash decision – that is our consequence to live with.
Severance implies you were terminated. Severance pay (within reason) is justifiable in these circumstances to provide the terminated employee with some cushion while he/she looks for new work. That isn’t the case here… these politicians are leaving their jobs of their own free will.
The worst thing about this is the complete lack of transparency – we don’t even know for sure who has been taking severance and how much. Going back to Witmer, she served longer than McGuinty, so presumably she was probably eligible for more of a payout… when you consider it could be $350k plus her new $250k/year job, that is approaching more than a half-million dollar enticement to drop her seat.
Politicians should be paid less – a lot less. We don’t buy this bunk that you need to pay them wonderful salaries and perks and pensions to attract the best and brightest to run for office. The best and brightest should be in the private sector creating wealth. We should aim to make politics less of a career path and more of a calling, with the average age of your typical politician rising as a result of more established people entering it as a form of public service after they’ve done their thing in other sectors of life, bringing wisdom, perspective and arguably less partisanship to our political arena.
You start down that road by putting an end to this outright theivery, politicians sticking their hands in the cookie jar that they’ve stocked with our tax money.