Nation e-Edition

No downside to being a politician

By – MARK?EDWARDS

| Fri, February 08, 2013 - 12:01 AM

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IT’S?ELECTION time again. The only time that a politician has to worry about his job.

Let’s face it – you can get elected, not be offered a Cabinet post, so you spend the next five years sitting on the back bench; this assuming you are in the winning party.

If you’re in Opposition you sit on the other side of the chamber, attend the parliamentary sessions and then go about your daily duties after partaking of lunch, I assume with your other buddies (incidentally from both sides of the House).

An elected parliamentarian without a Cabinet post really hasn’t got a whole lot to do. Yes, you stay in touch with the party stalwarts of your constituency (as elections will come again and you want to be considered), but in the main for the first two to three years between elections, it is not a matter of any real great concern.

The pay is good, there’s free lunch every now and then, social prestige within the constituency and possibly a day job like real people – the voters.

There are a number of first-time politicians this time around. This is going to make them very junior in the House. They’re hardly likely to get a Cabinet post since politics is an “old boys” network.

You have to do the time before they allow you onto the front bench. So I guess five years’ steady income, lunch, back bench, and, hopefully, a win next time around will elevate your status.

I have, in the four times I have voted (this will be my fifth time), never seen my parliamentary representative. I possibly live in one of those upmarket neighbourhoods that don’t require any parliamentary representation, thus there’s no need to come visit, check me out, listen to any concerns that I have from time to time.

I must admit here that the DLP candidate for our constituency did come to see me. He got lost and needed directions to one of the other eight houses that occupy the ridge. We chatted briefly and he promised to come see me again before the election. Well, we still have time!

One other item of concern is that the BLP candidate seems to feel that her constituency boundary is the main road into Fort George Heights, as the propaganda posters stuck to every light pole stop at that point. So I guess there is no representation from the BLP. On the plus side, the DLP has yet to disfigure the neighbourhood with its propaganda posters.

Whom do I vote for and why? I guess I met the DLP candidate so maybe I will vote for him, only because he knows where I live and that I exist. This has not been the case with my past parliamentary representative.

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