Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Art of Double Dipping by Career Politicians

It has become apparent that recent retiring 30 year federal and provincial elected representative of specific political party’s i.e. liberal, conservative or NDP have come up with their own definition of new revenue sources for personal use.

The greed for power or supplementing their overly generous government pensions after representing a political party’s loyal members at either the federal or provincial government levels is becoming the new form of political double dipping in Ontario and Canadian politics.

I am referring to the recent retirement or quitting from federal politics by one Jim Karygiannis after having represented the liberal political party and its local constituent supporters at the federal level for more than 30 years of continued elected service.

This career politician and parliamentarian recently thanked all his fellow members of the liberal federal political party and now starts to collect his annual pension and benefits which he earned from representing his party’s taxpaying supporters.

Problem is this political party member now wants to represent these same political party constituent supporters at the municipal government level on City Council, which unlike federal and provincial levels of governments, currently does not have the open system of party politics for campaign funding, advertising and worker support.

For decades Canadian citizens at the Toronto and municipal government election levels have and overwhelmingly continue to prefer that their local councillors be independent and represent their constituents rather than representing party politics at the municipal levels of government.

As there is already an abundance of party politics at the provincial or federal level. Further it is grossly unfair and unethical for retired MPP or MP of 30 years to then seek political office at the municipal levels and be backed financially or otherwise by their political party affiliations while receiving a taxpayer funded pension for having served these same party supporters at the federal or provincial levels of government.

Such political party condoned or supported pork barrelling and double dipping by this or other elected parliamentarians upon retiring is unethical and shows no respect for voters within our One City Community of Toronto.

Toronto City council, in my perhaps biased opinion, does not at this time or any time in the near future require the introduction of political party politics and the divisiveness it encourages within communities, cities and municipalities.

It is time the leaders of the Liberal, Conservative and NDP political parties all immediately establish a no double dipping rule. 

This rule would clearly prohibits all previously elected and retiring political party parliamentarians that have served their party and constituents supporters for 30 years or longer from seeking another position of elected office at the municipal government level for up to ten years from the date of retirement from either their federal or provincial elected government service.

What is needed to stop such double dipping is a Five-Year Post-Employment Ban for Designated Public Office Holders & retiring or quitting MPs or MPPs.

The five year period would start from the time the member (MP or MPP) ceases to carry out his or her functions with the political party he/she was elected to represent or the time the member resigned or quit as an MP or MPP. Those who contravene this provision would be committing an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $150,000.

The prohibition would apply equally to all elected members of the federal parliament and or a provincial legislature.   

More food for thought: 
Are provincial governments with their political party politics really necessary?

Perhaps another idea rather than the entry of the divisiveness of party politics at the municipal level would be to move in another direction.

And consider eliminating the provincial governments and have the federal government take over education, healthcare, and other public welfare benefits and goods that citizens consider to be entitlements from birth to grave.

With administrative duties being transferred to municipal levels of government which would further reduce representative and political overlap. 

Provincial taxes could be eliminated replaced with slightly increased federal tax rates with the added efficiency of removing a level of government if handled correctly would translate into an overall savings for taxpayers.

Provinces already exist financially because of our current system of transfer payments from the federal government paying for the greatest portion of education, healthcare, debt payments, and other entitlement programs, as our federal government largely gets to set the mandate under which they are delivered anyway, no matter what provincial leaders advocate, on the behalf of their citizens, ultimately the national interest usually gets the final say.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your views on this subject, Peter! I agree with your concern.

    Regrettably, the greed of some people, and the desire of political parties to reward and protect their loyal supporters, guarantees the continuance of this travesity on taxpayers.

    And then there's the present way of managing of the Senate, and, worst of all, the far too generous trigger point and level of Fed. & Prov. politician pensions.

    God bless you and all those whom you love!


Thanks for your thoughts, comments and opinions, will be in touch. Peter Clarke