Should politicians get a salary for participating in the political system? Should politicians get paid for their travel and their hotel cost? I say NO! Do not pay politicians! Politics is about ideas. It's not a profession where one gets paid for sitting in an office or for shaking hands all day.
In these days of the Internet, anyone can put ideas on websites, communicate with people by email, send out mailing lists and post comments under articles like this one. If a politician, or anyone else, has a view on something, they can easily give that view without having to make a lot of expenses.
I say that those who have been elected into office through some democratic voting procedure should not be paid at all! If you want someone to take decisions on your behalf, then wouldn't it be nice to know what you can expect from them? Not paying politicians encourages them to come up with ideas. That again encourages politicians to think about issues and to rethink their positions. It encourages politicians to ask for comments and, where appropriate, to change their views.
If you have ideas, then you should share them. Look at me, I'm giving you my view here and I do so for free, because I believe it's an idea worth sharing. You are invited to comment on my view! If you have good arguments, I'd be happy to change my view, for free of course, and I'd thank you for sharing such good arguments. I'd be happy to further share the revised view, because I'd be convinced that this was a better view.
If I did change my view, it would also be clear which comments had made me change my mind and who came up with those arguments. Such online discussions therefore can constitute important records as to how ideas grows and what kind of arguments were behind the various positions and how heavily they weighed for those who took a specific position. In many ways, such discussions thus reveal what motivates someone and what kind of response you can expect from them in future.
So, should politicians be paid to shake hands and travel around, without revealing much of their ideas? Or, should we stop paying them and tell them to put their views on the Internet, for free? I believe that people who truly believe in their ideas will be happy to share and promote them, for free. Not paying politicians would lead to a greater focus on ideas and views, to better argumentation and better understanding of the issues. I am Sam Carana, I gave you my view for free.