KAMLOOPS — If there's one opinion that seems to pervade most Canadians' views of the various levels of government, it's that all politicians are the same.
They all have the same basic motivation in their political careers: to take.
They take your votes, then they begin to take your tax dollars and take advantage of their entitlements.
After years of Harper-era Senate scandals about politicians bent on taking more and more, it hasn't changed much.
This week's revelation that the Prime Minister broke conflict of interest rules by vacationing on an island owned by a registered lobbyist certainly reinforces the notion that political stripes don't matter much.
They're all the same: they just take, take, take.
But a notable exception to that politician rule was Marg Spina.
No one could argue Marg was doing what she was doing simply to take, not when looking at the legacy of giving she built even before she ran for office.
Marg was heavily involved in developing local therapy and education programs for people with autism.
She headed up the board for the local crisis counselling centre, and was the executive director of the Kamloops Food Bank.
They were hardly glamorous jobs, thankless and gruelling in many respects, but extremely important for the clientele those organizations serve.
Once she was elected to city council, she quickly became involved in the Union of BC Municipalities and the Southern Interior Local Government Association, not for the modest stipend, but because she believed local governments worked better when they worked together.
Almost every issue she raised at Kamloops council was on behalf of someone who saw a need in the community, and looked to her for advocacy.
Marg Spina was not about taking, but about giving.
It was refreshing to see, in the world of tax grabs and entitlements.
When we go to the polls again next fall, look for the Marg Spinas on the ballot; the candidates with a history of giving to their community.
They are out there.
And a council full of those people could do great things for Kamloops.
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