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MLA Travel Expenses

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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby krocky » Nov 1st, 2012, 10:34 pm

glassmaster wrote:Am I judging the poster or calling the rhetoric when I see it?


I thought it was a rhetorical question, but good answer. Cheers mate!!
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby fluffy » Nov 2nd, 2012, 7:57 am

grammafreddy wrote:In order to have strong independents in any government, the parties have to be broken up and/or reduced in power. The independents, however, don't have the megabucks behind them that the party ones have when it comes to election time. Until then, the parties will keep winning the majority of seats and the independents who do manage to get elected will be ineffective in government.


It will be a slow start if it does happen. It will have to sink in to the general public that the current system is just not working, that in its current form it will always be a self-serving get elected/get re-elected machine. To turn things around there would have to be enough independents seated in the legislature to constitute a "swing vote" and actually hold some influence. Of course with numbers like come the risk of independents as a group taking the form of yet another party. Minority governments generally have to "behave" a little better, and it's pretty obvious that majority governments lose touch with voters' wishes on pretty short notice.

In it's present context an elected position in BC politics is a thankless job, the public is pretty much constantly on your case, your peers in Victoria have their own set of rules, and the bosses seek to push party policy over and above individual initiative except for those rare cases where the two align. But the money is great and so are the percs. What sort of person would you think this job is likely to attract?
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby Nom_de_Plume » Nov 2nd, 2012, 9:09 am

I'm not discounting the fact that yes, some of these travel expenses look very high. But I think we also need to keep in mind that these local MLA's usually also have another ministerial job on top of being our local rep.
In the last few years there have been numerous cabinet shuffles and all of a sudden a rep will have a completely different job, like going from say... minister of forest and land to ... say.... minister or Agriculture or something.
All of a sudden there is a whole new set of things to learn about and completely different group of people to become familiar with and really that can only be accomplished by making a tour of the new (to them) industry sector, usually in various locations all over the province, along with possibly some staff to assist with that.
I know right now, Norm Letnick is presently touring all of the provincial slaughter facilities along with various wineries and other ag sectors all over the province. I think it's a sign of being dedicated to the position of office to get a really good feel for the industry and talk directly to those operations and hear their comments and concerns and actually "see" what's going on.
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby CTF » Nov 2nd, 2012, 9:22 am

-fluffy- wrote:It will be a slow start if it does happen. It will have to sink in to the general public that the current system is just not working, that in its current form it will always be a self-serving get elected/get re-elected machine. ?



I often hear claims that the “current system is not working” and yet from my standpoint our “not working” system of government has built the greatest country in the world with a very generous social safety net compared to many places. We all seem to love to bitch, whine and complain but how many Canadians want to leave Canada to go and live in a “better” place that has a "better" system of government?

Meanwhile tens of thousands of people from all over the world are lining up to become Canadians. I think we are truly fortunate to live here and it grates on my nerves when I keep hearing our government is not working when more often then not our problems get solved and we have a very high standard of live compared to many places.
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby fluffy » Nov 2nd, 2012, 9:24 am

Nom_de_Plume wrote:I'm not discounting the fact that yes, some of these travel expenses look very high. But I think we also need to keep in mind that these local MLA's usually also have another ministerial job on top of being our local rep.


True, and some posts may even involve travel out of the country to deal with matters of international concern like trade talks and issues of a global nature. This increases the need for transparency so that speculation is kept to a minimum and the taxpayers can rest assured that their money is being handled efficiently and responsibly. In my version of a perfect world there would be copies of an MLA's expense report available to the public at his/her constituency office.
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby fluffy » Nov 2nd, 2012, 9:33 am

CTF wrote:[I often hear claims that the “current system is not working” and yet from my standpoint our “not working” system of government has built the greatest country in the world with a very generous social safety net compared to many places.



Yes, but the system is not sustainable in its current form as it costs more to run than the revenue it generates, and that's only going to get worse as the boomer generation ages. My point is that in general government is not dealing effectively with the problems facing us. Economic and environmental forecasts are dismal and are being met with inaction.
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby CTF » Nov 2nd, 2012, 10:00 am

-fluffy- wrote:Yes, but the system is not sustainable in its current form as it costs more to run than the revenue it generates, and that's only going to get worse as the boomer generation ages. My point is that in general government is not dealing effectively with the problems facing us. Economic and environmental forecasts are dismal and are being met with inaction.



But that is not the fault of our style of government that is a by product of democracy. People generally get what they vote for and that is lower taxes and increased spending. You are correct that it is unsustainable but I blame democracy for that and not our system of governance

Look at the HST as an example. The Government took action and democracy took over. Democracy won.
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Re: MLA Travel Expenses

Postby krocky » Nov 2nd, 2012, 10:32 am

-fluffy- wrote:In my version of a perfect world there would be copies of an MLA's expense report available to the public at his/her constituency office.

Vicki Huntington, Independent MLA, Delta South
To illustrate my commitment to accountability I have an open-book policy for any Delta South resident wishing to view my expense reports. Contact my constituency office to set up an appointment.

Bob Simpson, Independent MLA, Cariboo North
Below you will find Bob’s constituency and legislative office expenses, as well as his travel expenses. You can find additional detail on travel costs in the travel expense claims posted at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions about these expenses, please feel free to contact our office. All expenses covered by the Legislature are detailed here: MLA Remuneration – Indemnities and Allowances.


From their websites
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