The BC Liberals have been hit by several donation-related scandals in the last few months.
Most damning is the RCMP investigation into potentially illegal indirect donations made by lobbyists. Having lobbyists make donations on behalf of others muddies the waters of conflict of interest.
But the most baffling was the fact that Premier Christy Clark was taking an extra $50,000 a year stipend from her party. Which means she was being paid directly by her party’s donors.
Why did Clark accept – for her entire term in office – the extra salary as leader of the BC Liberals? As premier of British Columbia, she already makes $195,000 a year.
Keep in mind that the average annual salary in B.C. is about $54,800. The median family income is $76,770.
So with an income as premier that is already almost four times higher than the average British Columbian’s income, Clark needed a further top up?
The wretched truth is that people in power and in proximity to power start to believe that they’re not just doing an important job, but that they are important. They tell themselves they’re indispensable, that they are unique, elite.
And if they’re so special, don’t they deserve to be paid extremely well for their oh-so-vital work?
When we go to the polls – and that time is coming soon – we want to pick people who will do a good job of managing the many functions of government.
But one of the principles of democracy is that our leaders are not that special. They are ordinary people who have been hired to do a job.
If they don’t like the pay, maybe they can look for another job – elsewhere.