More shrewd political judgement

Last week, the New Democrats abrogated their responsibility as British Columbia's opposition by repeatedly refusing to comment on flaws in the MLA pay-and-pension panel process. But it seems panel chair Sue Paish doesn't feel any reluctance whatsoever when it comes commenting on the New Democrat's response to the commission's recommendations. In an interview with The Globe and Mail's Ian Bailey, Ms. Paish "'decried the political 'gamesmanship' that has prompted New Democrats to protest against the plan by donating their raises to charity." Continued the chair, "From the perspective of saving the taxpayers dollars, if that's a concern, the members should be contributing to charity the value of their pensions" - rather than participating in the retirement package.

8 Comments

An excellent point. What has Ms Paish contributed to charity?

"What has Ms Paish contributed to charity?"

Nice diversion. But that is not the point, Budd. If the package really is unjust, why not give it all back.

James was between a rock and a hard place. As soon as she said they wouldn't take the raise one of her caucus (Lali) broke from the caucus.

So the stick handling started. They will take the pension even though from what David Shreck has said, very few NDP members could qualify, Lali being one of the few. End result, we will take the increase and pass it on to assorted charities in thei ridings. Not a good fix, but far better then the Liberal gang who instantly had their hands out. A number of them qualify for the pension as of now by paying to buy back . It bothers me to see some very inept Liberal cabinet ministers getting the present pay and it really grates to see they will have grabbled the brass ring. Wonder what Good Old Stan will be doing next election? it upsets me that I will be contributing to his salary and pension. somehting which he gets to pay little to get.
The Opposition leader had enough control over her flock. as for the use of the raise. I'm sure many folks will watch to see that they do. Gordo doesn't have to be watched, we already know he gets the bundle.

I smell Liberal panic. The calls and letters must be nasty.

"If the package really is unjust, why not give it all back."

Good point, if you ignore who's making it. Ms Paish is the one who recommended and then defended the entire package as just, reasonable and well deserved. It's a bit late and a tad hypocritical to start worrying about saving our tax dollars at this point. And what business is it of hers what any MLA does with the raise she recommended?

I'd say she's stepped way out on a limb and way beyond her mandate with this latest example of "more shrewd political judgement".

I think we are all forgetting that Ms.Paish is not a politician. Thus if Carole James and the NDP are calling the recommendations unjust and voting against them, it only seems takes common sense in the real world to opt out of the plan not take the pay raise and pensions.

Only in the world of Carole James and the NDP does it seem to make sense to vote against the pay and pension while at the same time holding out your hand to collect on it.

And let’s not forget; there are many other perks like the housing allowance and that Capital City allowance that the NDP will be quietly pocketing as well.

If you look at the grand total of all the new pay, perks and pension the pay part is about the cheapest. I also wonder how some of the NDP MLA’s families will feel about being ordered by Carole James to spend the raise on charity.

Charity is normally and rightfully a very personal decision, unless you are NDP that is. Once again big brother get’s to dictate to you. A similar structure to how the big Unions work I might add.

I thought Ms. Paish's comments were inappropriate. Perhaps she's trying to deflect attention from the panel's very rich recommendations and odd decision-making process. (Kudos to Sean for the interview with the dissenting panel member!)

Paul Willcocks has written a good column on it and a better American process to follow. David Schreck also offers an interesting perspective on Tyee.

And this is not playing well in small town BC. I support salary increases and a decent pension for MLAs but these increases and pension are out of line with ordinary British Columbians' financial situtations. Half of BC families make less than $65,000 a year. Not to mention the many people who are working and poor, the thousands who are disabled and on social assistance and the thousands who are homeless and eking out an existence on the streets (from Prince George to Vancouver to Cranbrook to Kelowna).

Lots of families (with kids) now couch surfing too . . . housing costs are extraordinary and rentals almost nil.


Sheesh.

What the heck is Paish doing critizing MLAs when her she failed to get unanimity within her own committee?

FYI - I met an NDP MLA in a bookstore yesterday, and he insisted that he is never going to accept the pay raise. "We already earn enough," he said.

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