OUR VIEW: Ode to politicians

Put away for a moment any disdain you have for politicians.

As things start to heat up for the May, 2017 provincial election, we thought we’d take a different, perhaps unpopular view today about those who both seek and serve as elected representatives.

We are often the first to criticize politicians, so this semi-tribute isn’t in our comfort zone either.

Most of the people who are quick to criticize those who seek elected office have never stood for office themselves.

Just putting your name out there takes guts. Then there’s the job interview, the campaign.

When someone puts their name on a ballot, both the public and the media believe these people are now fair game to call at any time with any question. The candidate who ignores the questioning does so at his/her peril. Go through all this and more and then, after you find out if you get the job, the scrutiny gets even worse.

Some people seem to think it’s okay to call politicians nasty names or make all kinds of wild accusations on social media. Having to weather that kind of garbage should not be on anyone’s job description.

To suggest politicians should expect disrespectful scorn because they are paid with taxpayer money is also unfair.

A municipal councillor around here makes around $23,000/year while last year the mayor earned more than $60,000. A provincial cabinet minister makes around $150,000.

City CAOs make close to that or more. Regardless, what a person makes does not automatically open them up for hateful abuse. If you believe we need politicians and experienced/educated bureaucrats to run our governments, then you must also expect to pay them. Comparisons to what a person on disability or social assistance gets a month (and they get way less than what’s reasonable, we understand that) to what a politician is paid a month are not arguments with much meat or traction or relevance.

Try this the next time you have contact with candidate or politician: say thanks.

-Black Press