I was listening to John Moore blather on the other day, something about MP incomes and how one can't raise them in the face of low-income folks. Apparently, it would be an insult to those of us who earn so little, it's worse than pitiful, to have politicians increase their pay.
But quite frankly, I don't know what my piss poor income has to do with how much we pay our politicians. And I don't know why I'd be insulted or offended if politicians are paid well. We ought to pay them commensurate for the work they do, and if we do look at their incomes in comparison to others, the others ought to be civil servants in their branch of government. Civil servants tend to look at the percentage pay raise politicians give themselves and want the same. It's also prudent that when politicians ask their constituents to tighten their belts that they lead by example, particularly at the municipal level. That's the only thing that insults me: that Toronto Councillors wanted us all to pay more and get less while they spent more on themselves and made much more. But that's about leadership, not about my income relative to theirs.
In the end, we ought to ask ourselves the question, does this salary in absolute terms compensate the politician adequately? I don't know about other offices, but the PM office is a no brainer to answer. Even though we have a real oddball in the PM's seat right now, I do believe that that particular office ought to come with a high salary. I don't know if you've noticed, but anyone who takes that office, goes really grey, really fast.