Two years ago, an independent commission recommended provincial legislators should receive a 29 percent increase to their base salary - in part, to ensure the best and brightest run for public office. But, despite that increase, the bulbs on the ballot during the most recent election weren't any brighter than those who were on the ballot in 2005. For example, we didn't see any environmental leaders lay down their protest signs in a bid to become a MLA. This, despite the fact a 2008 survey shows most of them make $37,000 less than our legislators.
Instead, for the most part, British Columbians were asked to vote for B-team business leaders and union activists - along with failed and former local politicians - who will bring little ambition to the legislature and leave having accomplished little else. Which perhaps explains why the best and the brightest often don't run for public office. Because they're bright enough to understand no amount of pay can make up for four years without any power to serve those they've been elected to represent.