Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Good for Ghiz - Ending Patronage Goodies

To the victor go the spoils - no more in PEI.

The revolving door of patronage in PEI is being slowed down by new PEI Premier Robert Ghiz. The Globe and Mail reports that Ghiz will not fire hundreds of government workers hired by his predecessor.

This patronage is not just about high-profile public appointments to boards and agencies. It is patronage of hiring friends and family and friends and family of friends and family of party supporters and contributers for jobs at any level of government. On an island where jobs have been scarce, government jobs of any kind have been precious. So, it has been a historical practice for incoming premiers to sweep clean the losing party's government-employed supporters and contributers, replacing them with his or her own. Ghiz's father was no exception to this when Premier.

My family is from the Island, my granddad was Mayor of Charlottetown for a time and I have lived there. This is a practice widely known and only grudgingly suffered.

Good for Ghiz for planning to put and end to this practice. Merit, not party affiliation or friendships, should be the primary driver in any employment placement. It is about time Canada's red-soiled Island got rid of this red-communist practice.

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