Want to Know Why Your Politician is A Lawyer

Posted on March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

Why are so many politicians trained lawyers? Is it because they find the practice of law so dissatisfying, is it because the skills they possess match ideally with those required to become a politician or is it a combination of the two or are there other reasons?

I searched online for a list of US Presidents and their occupations. At Wikipedia I found such a list and counted 25 lawyers. There have been 43 US presidents but only 42 presidents bearing in mind Cleveland’s re-election to a non-consecutive term. In the recent bid to choose candidates for both parties there were 6 Democratic and 6 Republican candidates with law degrees; and after the next Presidential election there could very well be another US President who is a qualified lawyer.

An examination of leaders and other politicians from other countries also reveal a preponderance of lawyers. Canada according to the Parliament of Canada website has had 22 Prime Ministers with law degrees, out of a total of 28. In the Caribbean, Hubert Ingraham of the Bahamas is a lawyer, David Thompson of Barbados is a lawyer, Fidel Castro former President of Cuba studied (not sure if he practiced) law and Ralph Gonzalves of St. Vincent is a lawyer. According to the Parliamentary library in Australia, 42% of the Australian parliament comprises lawyers. Remember Tony Blair of the England? He was a lawyer and so is the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. What is going on?

It seems that lawyers just love leading and/or enjoy the fruits that comes with political positions. To be fair however, being a politician involves persuading a large group of people that you have the best ideas, that you can resolve their problems and generally that you are better than the next guy, just like the trail lawyer. It involves legislating and who better is able to understand laws and their application (even their potential manipulation)? It involves diligence to the task at hand and all lawyers are trained to function on a few hours sleep and then work like maniacs. It involves negotiating deals, agreements and treaties and lawyers particularly lawyers in civil litigation are often skilled negotiators and I could go on and on.

However outside of their skills and training are there other considerations for this relationship between the law and politics? How about economics as a factor. Many lawyers enter the field as it is viewed as a good money source but what is the connection with politics? They may see politics as a natural stepping stone where they can gain status or make contacts which will guarantee a continuation if not expansion of their already high earnings. I once read on CNN that Bill Clinton earned $7.5 million for speaking engagements in 2005. If lawyers even fail at politics they can return to practice law with their new found contacts/potential clients in hand. Not a bad deal and it could in fact be considered another factor, namely flexibility. You leave law enter politics, lose elections return to law and the cycle continues.

Then there is the over abundance of lawyers. It seems given the numbers being bandied about that everyone is studying law. Yes the field of law is over saturated. I could not locate the source myself but I read an article by Thomas C. Reeves at the History News Network which claimed that, in the United States in 2007, according to the American Bar Association there were 1,148,358 attorneys, while there were 1,066,328 in 2000. Dan Quayle is reputed to have said that the US has 5% of the world’s population and 70% of the world’s lawyers. Now I don’t know if those figures can be relied on – don’t forget that infamous “e” on potato – but I think we can agree that there are a heck of a lot of lawyers out there. So if there are so many of us grabbing for a share of the pie why not exit that rat race and join another? Become a politician and gain fame, fortune and of course more power.

This brings me to my original point about the dissatisfaction with the practice of law. Does that have any relevance here? I mean if we consider the drudgery involved in drafting and re-drafting fine print, battling for the last cent of your legal fees, scouring the planet for clients and fighting treachery in the court room and the firm well why not seek the glamor of the politician’s life. Wait! What exactly is that? Is it socializing with the rich and powerful, making speeches in front of television cameras and rolling up your sleeves and helping your constituents to fight injustice. Oh sure that is the glamor part but it may also mean scheming, maneuvering, meeting women in hotels a la Governor Spritzer, showing deference to contributors and coping with the reality that big money and corporate sponsors are king.

Sounds familiar? Maybe, just maybe lawyers have been so shaped by their training and the experiences gained in their careers that they have been molded to become the perfect politicians.

Studying the Fiscal Impact of Immigration to Canada

Posted on March 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

Every country has its own rules and regulations as far as immigration is concerned. Canada, which is one of the most popular destinations in the world, is seeing a few reforms in its immigration rules. The types of immigrants vary a lot. However, the two most commonly seen immigrants to Canada are those who are dependents or family members of professionals working in Canada and those who have been employed by Canadian businesses or companies, owing to their skillset. These immigrants, who largely add to the pool of skilled workers in the country, bringing with them a bit of their own culture, have a great effect on the country.

The fiscal impact of immigration to Canada has been the subject of many different studies. Considering that Canada itself offers assistance and spends on refugees, one can look at it from various viewpoints. If the immigrants are highly educated and pay more taxes than the country actually spends on them, the fiscal impact of immigration is positive. Similarly, when the spending of tax dollars is higher than the income, the fiscal impact is in the negative. There are illegal immigrants, who sometimes lack in education but receive benefits due to their children, thus creating funding issues in some cases. The number of refugees as well as temporary workers arriving at Canada is in the tune of thousands.

Canada is a very interesting case in the world considering that a few years ago, a huge fraction, close to 1/5th, of Canadians weren’t born in Canada. Besides, the population growth contributed by immigrants to Canada is a big number too. The increase in number of immigrants lowers domestic wages because of demand and supply. Some feel there is a negative fiscal impact, because of the flexibility in wages and outsourcing of some of the jobs to foreign nationals imported to fill vacancies, which cause lower productivity.

Replacement migration though is another interesting case. Immigrations to Canada, some feel, should be welcomed, largely because of the aging population in Canada. Although, imported skilled workers positively benefit the labor market, it could work both ways in Canada. The effect could be negative if the immigrants find it hard to adapt and blend into the mainstream. That is why certain reforms have been introduced including the point based system that determines the outcome of immigration applications.

The educational background, age and language proficiency in French and English have become important factors for the success of the immigration application. The expected fiscal impact from immigrants who have an impressive score is positive. One of the most subtle but important factors influencing fiscal impact is the presence of a community. Low skill workers in a large community attract more such immigrants. Similarly, presence of relatives is seen as detrimental to productivity. In both cases, the earnings drop down and the fiscal impact is negative. Immigrants doing poorly might sometimes have a bad fiscal impact on the economy of the country. Although, the financial growth of immigrants is lower compared to the native population, the diversity can help Canada do better at international trade.


All You Need to Know About Immigration Rules in Canada

Posted on March 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

An immigrant visa is a document issued by the Canadian Government that allows a person to travel to Canada and apply for admission as a legal permanent resident. Generally, people wanting to move permanently to Canada seek for an Immigrant Visa. The visa signifies permission to enter Canada for an indefinite period of time, and can be based on employment, family relationship, business investment, or other ties to Canada.

Different ways to apply for an Immigrant Visa

Conventional Refugee (Political Asylum)

An applicant can request an application for political asylum in Canada, if that person has a well founded fear of persecution because of his/her religion, race, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion. If the individual can provide proof of such reason for why they cannot go back to their home country or cannot get protection from their country, then they have a very likely chance of successfully attaining an Immigrant Visa.

Live-in-Caregiver (Nanny or Domestic help)

The purpose of this program was to meet the shortage of domestic help in Canada. Under this program the work permit can be obtained by following the below mentioned process:

– Obtaining job offer from the prospective employer in Canada
– Employer must make an application for approval of sponsorship in Canada
– On approval of sponsorship, the applicant must apply for employment authorization to the Canadian immigration office
– This application can be made by the applicant while in Canada or out of Canada
– The work permit is issued to the applicant for a period of two years. After the expiration of that time the individual can make an application for permanent immigration to Canada.


An applicant can apply under this class if he/she gets married in Canada while on a temporary visa in Canada.

Humanitarian or on Compassionate Ground

An applicant can apply under this class on the basis that if visa is not issued, the applicant will suffer undue hardships.

Basic Programs that allow for individuals to immigrate to Canada as a Permanent Resident

Business Immigration Program

This program seeks to magnetize the experienced business people to Canada who are expected to invest, own or manage business in Canada and contribute to Canadian economy.

Canada has three classes of business immigrants:

Self Employed

Family Sponsorship Program

Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child or other eligible relatives such as a parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Applicants under this program must have paid work experience which is managerial, professional, technical or a skilled trade according to the Canadian National Occupational Classification.

Provincial Nominee Program

To apply under the Provincial Nominee Program, applicants must be nominated by a Canadian province or territory.

Canada Green Card

Canada Green Card is a term that is used metaphorically to describe Permanent Residency in Canada. Instead of a Canada Green Card, the permanent residents of Canada have the right to a Canada Permanent Resident Card as a proof of their Canada immigration status. The Canada Permanent Resident status grants an individual the right to enter and live in Canada.