Source: CTV News: Harper, Former Reformers now Entitled to Pensions
I want everyone who reads this blog to think back for a little bit; go back to 1987 and look out here to the West. The winds of change had begun to sow seeds to discontent, and a new political party was formed. I speak of course of the now defunct Reform Party of Canada; a party that stressed their small government, conservative views openly and sought to change the way politics operated (in their opinion) in Canada.
Now, think about some of the things they ranted and railed against as 'problems'. Chief among them was the 'outlandish pensions' awarded to Members of Parliament after their years of service. Numerous Reform Party candidates came out and talked about how they would not opt into this pension plan. Many more also said that they would not be 'career politicians' and only seek a limited number of terms in Ottawa; which served as another out for pensions, as they did not plan to stay long enough to qualify for a government pension.
That was 1987. In 2010, we see where the former Reformers really stand. Our Prime Minister, and numerous other prior Reformers, have now qualified for the pensions they said they would never opt into. 11 former Reformers/Canadian Alliance members are still sitting in the House of Commons as Conservative MPs...Guess that means that entire limited term idea went out the window as well.
I would like to go on the record as saying I'm not against government pensions. Politicians, of every level, commit themselves to a job that is pretty much active 24/7 and can seem like a thankless job at times. As such, they're as entitled to a pension plan as any other worker in our nation.
What I am against, in this case, is a party that preached populism about smaller government and wasteful spending in the guise of government pensions, then turned around and quietly opted into the programs that they were against. For example, according to the CTV article, Stephen Harper will stand to make $150,244 a year off his government pension. And that's a number from the right-wing think tank that is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, not some crazy leftist like myself.
I think what this shows Canadians, yet again, is that the Harper Government is a government of say one thing, but do another. The Harper Government does not care about Canadians; it does not practice what they preach, and instead seemingly only seeks to gain our support in elections by telling us what we want to hear. A government who tells people only what they want to hear is no government at all, and that is something that Canadians cannot afford to have.
Hopefully, this incident in a long line of them, will help convince Canadians that we cannot support a government as two-faced as this one.