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John Baird, democracy's gold digger

John Baird, gold-medal archer

John Baird has a new job (update: jobs). And not just any job. He's going to be an international advisor to the world's largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold. You don’t get a gold watch when you retire from Barrick, you get a gold butler.

This is a company that's hugely benefited from policies of the Conservative government. But, if you believe that whatever's good for large corporations is good for all Canadians, then Baird's new job is no big deal. It's just public service in a different form. A form that happens to have no accountability and yacht-loads of money. 

But for the rest of us, this seems corrupt. Normally we think of corruption as something illegal, but corruption also means an impairment of integrity or moral principle. 

If we think of corruption as something that degrades the integrity of an institution, this totally fits. (in my opinion) Our foreign minister resigned so he could cash in the relationships he formed with foreign leaders and dictators for a lucrative job with a multinational corporation notorious for human rights abuses. John Baird degraded the integrity of our democracy. He corrupted it. He sleazed all over it.

And it's highlighted a perverse incentive for politicians to align their interests with private companies in the hopes of getting hired by them later. So maybe it's time to get our representatives to fix that while we still have some who are representing us. 

(below video edited to make clear it's my OPINION that Baird quit to cash in his relationships) 

Photo: Flickr/dfait-maeci

 

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