The world’s poorest president and what Canadian politicians could learn from him

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica gestures while giving his speech during the opening session of the X Conference …Remember that Liberal Senator who a couple of weeks, ago was complaining about his pension roll-backs?

He actually had the gall to suggest that pension reform could force some senators to accept "brown paper bags with cash in it"

You've also invariably heard the argument that you have to pay politicians well, so that you can attract quality people to the profession.

Well, meet Jose Mujica — the leader of Uruguay, dubbed the world's poorest president.

[ Related: Stephen Harper one of the least trusted leaders, according to new poll ]

According to BBC News, President Mujica has refused residence at his country's presidential 'estate,' for accommodation on his wife's "ramshackle farm." Moreover, he gives away 90 per cent of his annual salary so that he makes the average wage of his fellow countrymen.

"His charitable donations - which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs - mean his salary is roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of  [$770] a month."

In 2010, his annual personal wealth declaration - mandatory for officials in Uruguay - was [$2,860], the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.

This year, he added half of his wife's assets - land, tractors and a house - reaching [$215,000]."

How great is that?

Needless to say, Mujica is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum.

The 77 year old has continually spoken out against excessive spending and hyper-consumption in the developed world.

The "poorest president" moniker is one he seems to relish.

"This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he told the BBC.

[ Y! Awards: Canada's next PM? You say it's Justin Trudeau ]

"I may appear to be an eccentric old man... But this is a free choice."

Salary of Stephen Harper vs. the average Canadian:

Stephen Harper: $315,462 Average Cdn.: approx. $46,000