27 April 2014

Whose Money is it Anyway?

Last week at work I was talking with a colleague about the government, more specifically, the corrupt politicians and their dirty deeds. I used the disgusting behaviour of our city and the police in the eviction of the Occupy protest camp as an example of our government at its worst. Of course there are many more examples of corruption, greed, mismanagement and general sneakiness. But it seems I was talking to a wall when the response I got was that I can't really complain because I work for the government. "You can't have it both ways."

At first I was shocked. Naturally I can complain about the government even if they sign my paycheck since I am not obliged to agree with what the government does as a condition of my employment. Our country has a couple of documents securing my right to free speech and free thought called the Canadian Constitution and The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I thought most Canadians would be familiar with these documents. Perhaps not.

What is even more shocking is that my colleague believes the government owns the money. The government doesn't have money, it collects and distributes the people's money, our taxes. I work for the public, not the government. I work in a public institution which means it belongs to the public. I owe no allegiance to this or any other government party or leadership. It is very scary to know that people believe we cannot question authority if they sign our paychecks. In actuality, it is our obligation to question authority, especially the government, whom we have placed in office to oversee the management of public resources.

Let's get this straight. The government works for the people, not vice versa. Anyone is allowed at anytime to voice objection to this or any other government department, agency or party. If you are working within the government and don't like the criticism, might I suggest moving to the private sector?

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