January 14, 2011
I’ve been having a hard time understanding the recall campaign against MLA Terry Lake, largely because I tend to believe economists who for the most part say a harmonized sales tax will be good for B.C.
Still, the voters will have their say in a referendum on Sept. 24 — and I have a feeling it will be resoundingly defeated, mainly because people will vote with their hearts instead of their minds.
It seems no discussion of the HST can take place without words like “betrayal,” “mistrust” and “lies” being used. And it’s perfectly understandable. The B.C. Liberals screwed up. They’ve even admitted it. Gordon Campbell went on TV to essentially beg forgiveness and make the peace offering of an income tax cut. It still wasn’t enough. The anger is so deep-seated that many people dismissed the income tax cut out of hand. That same anger will defeat the referendum.
As irate as voters may be, however, I hope they will be content with axing the tax. I hope they will, in the end, see no need to start recalling MLAs. The campaign against MLA Ida Chong on Vancouver Island is already floundering, and my optimistic prediction is that much the same will happen here.
It’s true that Lake supports the HST, and that voters have the right to punish him for that. But almost every other Liberal MLA backs the tax as well. The obvious solution for angry voters is to vote the party out of office. We won’t get that opportunity for a couple more years, and by then the HST may not even be an issue if it has been abolished in the meantime. Still, it seems the more appropriate route.
The recall campaign is really little more than payback. If Lake is removed from office a year or two early, then what? We will have sent a message of vengeance — and that’s about it.