I’m likely going to jump all over various levels of politics here, so I hope you can keep up. Basically my brain is running over thinking about our political system at all levels and the clusterf*** that it is. Listening to the sh*t that Halifax debates sometimes is the catalyst for this blog post and I’m likely not alone in saying that it is time for change.
Right out of the gate all levels of politics should come with some sort of term limit to avoid stagnation and abuse of the system. A politician that has served for 20 years has played the political popularity game well, that is where I will leave that and that practice should end.
The political system at the municipal level is entertaining at times and a significant expense that appears more to be a life long career choice for some and less about accomplishing something and getting back to business. I’ve never viewed politics to be a career move, only something that one engages in to fix something that is broken. But this is not the case. Politicians go for the popular decision to ensure reelection vs the business decision that makes long term sense. And everyone in Nova Scotia is aware of the investments made to save a job or two. Tens of millions into pulp mills, millions into a ferry etc etc. No business case, just a politician trying to save 50 or 100 jobs in hopes that the decision will be popular and they will get reelected. Bad business.
If we made decisions based on a sound business case we would have a much different political environment, one that would see a political career likely lasting one or two terms. Our economy would likely be in a better place and debt levels would certainly be lower.
Back to municipal politics and the reason I started writing this. People need to look at the cost compared to other Canadian cities. Take a look at some numbers and question why Halifax councillors represent fewer people per capita and make more money on average (well compared to the cities below)?
Something else to keep in mind cause I’m sure people think politicians run things and they don’t. The CAO or City Manager essentially runs the city/municipality. As its defined in Wikipedia “As the top appointed official in the city, the city manager is typically responsible for most if not all of the day-to-day administrative operations of the municipality, in addition to other expectations”. So you need to ask yourself, what does a municipal politician do? If Halifax had a similar political landscape or set up as Vancouver our councillor costs would be cut in half (roughly). Those savings could certainly help improve roads, cycling infrastructure and support a variety of programs.
I’ll leave this post for the time being. I know more could be added and maybe in time. Leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comments.