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Author Topic: Who wants to be a MP?
Stephen Gordon
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posted 18 June 2004 02:40 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
I saw an article the other day suggesting that some of the Liberal 'stars' are probably hoping to get defeated at this point. They signed on with the intention of taking a seat in cabinet, not to be an ordinary MP.

Everything I've ever read suggests that life as a MP sucks.

- Separation from your family. Personally, that would be the deal-breaker: my kids are too young.

- Travel, and lots of it (unless you happen to live in the Ottawa-Gatineau area).

- Career disruption. I think the reason why so many MPs are lawyers is that it's probably the only one where having been a MP is an asset in life after politics. For me, it would effectively mean the end of my career as a researcher. I could go on teaching, of course, but I wouldn't be qualified to direct PhD students.

- Financial issues. Yes, the salary looks good to most of us, but most MPs are expected to maintain two addresses: one in Ottawa, and one at home. And Ottawa rents are not cheap. Being a MP would mean a significant reduction in the Cromwells' standard of living.

- Intellectual integrity. I can understand that parties must show a unified front, but I just can't see myself defending a policy that I don't believe in.

So the question is: Suppose you were offered the nomination (uncontested) for the party of your choice in a safe riding where you would be almost certainly elected. Would you accept the offer?


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 18 June 2004 02:47 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah. But then, I suspect my pay's much worse than yours.
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Mandos
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posted 18 June 2004 03:03 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ed Broadbent went to academia after his MP life. I dunno if he was directing PhD students. He might have been. The only reason why it would be the end of a career for a computer scientist like me would be that I would be out of touch with the field after a term as MP---I'm not sure if there's an intrinsic reason why an economist would become disqualified.

I guess I'm in transition to a PhD programme right now, so it wouldn't be too late for me to go into politics and then come back to grad school or something. So most of those factors except for being potentially morally compromised won't apply to me. I think that's the only reason why I would say "no."

I think the pension plan is pretty good too.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 18 June 2004 03:06 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
I'm not sure if there's an intrinsic reason why an economist would become disqualified.

Same reason you gave. New theories and new analytical techniques are being developed all the time.


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Mandos
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posted 18 June 2004 03:09 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But you could become re-qualified just by catching up on the literature, n'est-ce pas? Or does a revolution happen every minute in economics?

And I think there exist out of touch profs with firm careers...


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saskganesh
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posted 18 June 2004 03:09 PM      Profile for saskganesh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
having job security for 5 years would be a good thing at this point. i'd take the parachute.
From: regina | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 03:36 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Its all about the POWER.
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 18 June 2004 03:39 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
Sure, but ordinary MPs don't have much power. On almost every issue, they have to vote with their party. And private member's bills invariably go nowhere.
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ravenj
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posted 18 June 2004 03:39 PM      Profile for ravenj     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not sure if this is still true, but you can start drawing pension right away once you step down as a MP, as long as you are elected at least twice... The pension must be good enough to change the mind of Ms. Reform Debra Grey!

If you do a cost of money analysis, I'll bet it's probably worth a cool million for someone young


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 03:43 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Sure, but ordinary MPs don't have much power.

Its all about the ALLUSION of POWER then. How's that?

As for the pension, I kind of suspect a local candidate..... hmmm well hhhhhmmm the thought did cross my mind....


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 18 June 2004 03:51 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
screw MP, I want to be a senator.
From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 03:52 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would like to be GG or an ambassador.
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 18 June 2004 03:54 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Make me your King, Canada. I will rule you with the iron fist of love.

[ 18 June 2004: Message edited by: Screaming Lord Byron ]


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
neeuqdrazil
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posted 18 June 2004 03:57 PM      Profile for neeuqdrazil   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Lord Byron:
Make me your King, Canada. I will rule you with the iron fist of love.

*bows down before King Byron*

What is your bidding, Your Majesty?

(Hey, that iron fist of love thing sounds pretty nice!)

[ 18 June 2004: Message edited by: neeuqdrazil ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 03:58 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can I be a lady in waiting, or a lord leaping?
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Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 18 June 2004 04:03 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Kuba, I guess you could be in the counting house counting all the money, or something. It's that or Ambassador to Sweden. That's all I've got right now. Well, there is the privy council. Ever wanted to be privy to that?

As for my bidding, I start at $100. Any advance?


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 04:05 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was hoping for something in a warm place, with beaches and scantily clad men. Me lord, can we revisit this after I return from Sweden?
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 18 June 2004 04:07 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, perhaps I could spare Honduras. Swedish people are, in the main, lookers, though.
From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 04:12 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think I am not in favour in Court, Soon I'll probably be in the dungeon.
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 18 June 2004 04:12 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, Senator's much better. No annoying election, don't have to show up to work that often, get your own office, and it's all yours until you turn 75!
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
vaudree
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posted 18 June 2004 04:16 PM      Profile for vaudree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seems that some Liberals are starting to think of Paul Martin as a liability.
quote:
When the Liberals launched their campaign nationally last month, Paul Martin was the big sell. Posters and signs prominently featured his photo and included lines like "Team Martin."

But the party is losing support to both the Conservatives and the NDP and some Liberals seem to think Martin is no longer the party's main selling point.

"I can understand that Mr. Anderson is trying to dissociate himself from the Liberal record," said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Polls show Anderson's riding has become a four-way horserace, between the New Democrats, the Conservatives and the Green party. And it's one the NDP thinks it can win.


CBC

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Sean in Ottawa
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posted 18 June 2004 04:29 PM      Profile for Sean in Ottawa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Man would being an MP ever suck.
Being able to make a difference and all.
And then there's that dental plan and medical plan and pharmacare plan -- no wonder most don't care if anyone else gets one.

Oh and the pay packet and travel allowance. Gee that would suck as well. I think their travel allowance is several times what I make and the pay also. I don't know If I could live with that.

I work a small business so I am not sure that I would have to work any harder as an MP. Oh and their pension plan -- much better than mine since I don't have one.

[ 18 June 2004: Message edited by: Sean in Ottawa ]


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beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looks like Martin will be sent to the dungeon soon.
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 18 June 2004 04:33 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oliver Cromwell:
So the question is: Suppose you were offered the nomination (uncontested) for the party of your choice in a safe riding where you would be almost certainly elected. Would you accept the offer?

Nope. Nope. Nope. No way. No how. No thanks. Uhh, no.


From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
lonewolf
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posted 18 June 2004 04:37 PM      Profile for lonewolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I read somewhere that the MP's plan to vote on a salary raise first thing, estimated up to 20%...

They are already making in the area of $90,000 s year plus expenses, which include travel allowances. Cabinet ministers are well over $120,000. Financial hardship? hardly. (and that doesn't take into effect the many little perks and helps they get from influence peddlars)

The one point they always raise is how tenuous the job can be. So whose isn't? Plus when an MP leaves they get courted by various organizations to be on boards of directors, and if a lawyer, sit on their duffs just because of the name.

My point is that the STATUS and NETWORKING an MP gets (on the public purse) ensures a life after Ottawa, unless they are really really stupid.

M.P. sure Pass me one.

(Oh yeah did I mention gold plated pensions and 'retirement' to the Senate)

Hard life? gimme a break ....


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
lonewolf
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posted 18 June 2004 04:47 PM      Profile for lonewolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
HERE's a reference ...

"Just when it seemed the nation's politicians couldn't possibly make taxpayers any madder, Sun Media has learned the same scoundrels now begging for our votes in the federal election will be picking our pockets for obscene pay raises the minute the balloting is over. No matter who wins the election, one of the first orders of business will be voting on a still-secret report expected to propose pay hikes up to 20%. "

quote:
The latest raid on the public purse would boost the salary of an ordinary backbench MP to a whopping $168,000 a year, plus all the usual housing allowances, free travel and other perks of office.

The new PM would get a raise of more than $50,000 to go with the keys to the bulletproof limo, bringing his total pay to something around $330,000 a year


[ 18 June 2004: Message edited by: lonewolf ]


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 18 June 2004 05:21 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sun Media ------------ running from the room screaming.
From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mel Skiller
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posted 19 June 2004 12:24 AM      Profile for Mel Skiller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, a job that pays six figures and gives you a huge fat pension after working six years.........

And you get put into the free draw for the Senate?

I'll sign in blood.


From: toronto | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 June 2004 03:23 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lonewolf:
I read somewhere that the MP's plan to vote on a salary raise first thing, estimated up to 20%...

They are already making in the area of $90,000 s year plus expenses, which include travel allowances. Cabinet ministers are well over $120,000. Financial hardship? hardly. (and that doesn't take into effect the many little perks and helps they get from influence peddlars)


I hate flying. I really really really hate flying. Even first class doesn't obscure the fact that airlines, when they want to, can make air travel the most Byzantine and Kafkaesque adventure in existence on this planet. Furthermore, I dislike the air pressure differences as my ears are particularly sensitive to them. Going up is OK, but landing? Imagine your ears hurting not just for a second, but for a half hour as the plane descends. AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Even the 90 grand a year just wouldn't compensate for the bimonthly trip back and forth between Ottawa and Vancouver.

The only way I'd even think about taking the job (and dealing with every complaint a person has - after all, being an MP people obviously would like you to get things accomplished for them. That's your job, right?) would if I was able to drive back and forth across the country.

Wouldn't be practical while the House was in session, but after recess, I could do that.

Still, there's other things I'd rather be doing. If I were out of chemistry for 5 years it wouldn't kill me, but getting caught up on the latest stuff especially in nuclear chemistry would probably take a month or three... making new connections, reinforcing old ones, getting back into the swing of things.

[ 19 June 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lonewolf
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posted 19 June 2004 04:45 AM      Profile for lonewolf     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Toronto Sun claims politicians listen to taxpayers

quote:
Anger over Sun story slices MP pay raises

GRITS, TORIES LISTEN TO TAXPAYERS AND VOW TO SHELVE WHOPPING HIKES, GREG WESTON SAYS

By GREG WESTON




CHALK ONE up for beleaguered taxpayers and angry voters: Federal MPs and senators will not be getting their planned pay hikes of up to 20% after all. They will be lucky if they get anything.

In response to our column yesterday exposing this obscene cash-grab-in-the-making, both the Conservative and Liberal leaders vowed to legislate the raises out of existence as soon as Parliament reopens after the election.



From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
the grey
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posted 19 June 2004 10:09 AM      Profile for the grey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by ravenj:
Not sure if this is still true, but you can start drawing pension right away once you step down as a MP, as long as you are elected at least twice... The pension must be good enough to change the mind of Ms. Reform Debra Grey!

MP's cannot draw their pension until turning 55. They contribute 7 % of their salary to the plan. And it equals 3 % of salary per year of contributions after 6 years of service.

Oh, and MPs make about $140,000 now. (The PM makes double that.)


From: London, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Guêpe
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posted 19 June 2004 11:00 AM      Profile for Guêpe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is a good post eh...

MP life is HARD - the divorce rate is through the roof, the lifestyle is hard on the body (rubber chicken dinner circuit) and constant criticism...

Then you get some MP's who work their asses off for their constitutents, their beleifs, or just plain have to - to get reelected. Then there are other MP's who don't and will have thier seat as long as they want it.

Although many of them really love the work - its not inheriently some sweet job.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 June 2004 04:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by andrewtgsadler:
MP's cannot draw their pension until turning 55. They contribute 7 % of their salary to the plan. And it equals 3 % of salary per year of contributions after 6 years of service.

Oh, and MPs make about $140,000 now. (The PM makes double that.)


I know in BC provincial MLAs cannot draw a pension until 55, but I was always under the impression that federal MPs could draw a pension effective immediately after they leave office.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 19 June 2004 07:17 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well everyone will tell you that there job is stressful -- I'm so stressed out I can't see right. I work 7 days a week, this place has no pension plan, so I'm on my own, what else, oh my boss is so disorganized but demanding he drives me insane!!!!!!!!

There --- it wouldn't be so bad to be an MP.


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged

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