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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ours is a funny system

We've all had them knocking at our doors by now, prospective MLAs -

that's what they have been reduced to - prospective MLAs - begging for

our support. It is a funny system, though, our democracy - when you give

it some thought. That 30 seconds at the door is a 'job interview' for

a job that will pay between $75,000 to $125,000 a year - sometimes with a

car - certainly with a nice pension. Really even a minimum wage

coffee shop job needs at least a one-hour interview. Our smile and a

handshake is a pig-in-a-poke interview.

I would like a party to promise us that they will be holding

constituents' meetings in each riding every six months to listen to

their voters. I would like them to say that MLAs could vote against

their party if their constituents wanted them to - no more blindly

following party lines. I would like to know that my vote counts, and

that you, who came to my door, will be there for me. Will a party

promise those things? Then you will get my vote.

Here's an interesting question. When the election is called, do the MLAs

running for re-election continue to receive their full pay until the

election? What about the higher-ups – Premier, ministers, party leaders?

More dough? The answer is yes - full pay until election night, when all

bets are off. Is this fair?

I believe that legislation should be changed so that each sitting MLA (whether party Leader, minister or so on) should receive only MLA salary until election night.

Why? Well, while the Premier and ministers are running around door-to-door - who's minding the store? I guess it's the provincial civil service. I know we have a tremendous civil service.

Why? What other Canadian civil service could process 1,400 PNP applications in a month? I'm not blaming them for that - they had to do what they were told - by the Liberal government. There must have been many ethical problems discussed around the water cooler.

So now it's time for you, the voter - to flex your muscles - feel the power; you are the government. These nice people in suits are going to be your employees. Well-paid employees. Don't hire the wrong ones.

Gary Walker,

Charlottetown


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