Al Hogan has said time and time again that he likes the ability for political parties to be able to pay their leaders a ‘top up’ so that guys like Premier Lord can be the highest paid Premier in Canada. This, as I understand it, is illegal in most provinces and federally but for Al it should be legal in New Brunswick:
Premier Shawn Graham may have made some political hay by knocking his predecessor Bernard Lord for having his salary augmented by payments from his party, but to introduce a bill that would make such party salaries to leaders illegal is short-sighted. It achieves nothing but to put taxpayers on the hook eventually for increased salaries of premiers. Such party salaries are reported publicly, within a party’s right, and serve a useful purpose. If parties expect to attract the best possible talent when the person earns much more in the private sector, they need a way to attract them. A party salary, which is not from public funds, is a logical way to do so. Why would the Liberals put an end to that? Could it be they think taxpayers should pay the whole shot for politicians even when they don’t need to?
I think that we should pay for talent. If we have to pay more to getter better politicians – than ante up. I am okay with that but it should be the public.
Al’s logic is severely twisted. The Party gets its funding from special interests: businesses, unions, associations and individuals who may or may not be looking for stuff in return. For a Premier to get paid directly out of funds coming from vested special interests – in my opinion – doesn’t make much sense. Even if there is nothing going on – it just looks bad.
For Al to argue that this is about saving a few thousand dollars of taxpayer money on a $6 billion budget is just plain silly and a hearkens back to the days when he defended every move Premier Lord made. Premier Lord is gone, Al. He left you and went to work in Montreal. You are the editor in Moncton. Time to cry it out and get over it.
This is a good law. If we want to pay our Premier $200k. Fine. Pay it. But the Premier should be paid by the people through the government and not by the party.