Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums

HST, B.C. not as easy to say no to Ottawa


Recommended Posts

Yet one of the quickest ways to stop an industry growing and prospering is to over tax it in the first place.

I'm going to state for the record that, in fact, some industries' obvious problems stemming from the HST aside, I think it's smart tax policy. People just don't seem to know how awful the PST was to administer, and ultimately how expensive it was for the Province. Remember, along with the money the Province gets from signing on, it's also saving a bundle by basically shutting down its PST branch.

There are always winners and losers with any tax change. It's unavoidable. But consumption taxes are by far one of the best taxes out there. A rational and easy-to-navigate tax regime is worth the extra costs. Why do you think the Fed's have stuck with the GST? It's cheaper to administer, simpler for everyone both in government and in private enterprise to sort out, and creates a more even tax landscape.

That all being said, it's clear now that the BC Liberals have been in power too long. I'd preferred they lose an election and remain as official opposition, but I think even that's up for grabs if Delaney and Vander Zalm can build a third party capable of wresting voters, candidates and party organizers from them. The HST was a smart idea, but so ineptly enacted and so badly defended (I'd argue it wasn't even meaningfully defended at all until the petition drive) that it's clear the governing party no longer seems to have the right stuff to govern. Worse, Campbell's near-constant holidaying since last Fall, appearing only briefly at any juncture since it became clear that the public anger was great that I think the BC Liberals have been left essentially rudderless, kept going only because they're so terrified of their constituents' anger that they don't know what else to do.

Every signal I've seen suggests that on the ground it's a horror story. MLAs are getting unprecedented amounts of hate mail, riding associations are livid, and it seems almost certain now that the leadership review vote will be lucky to garner Campbell 50% approval, almost certainly meaning he's got to resign. But then it gets worse, the polls suggesting that even if the BC Liberals find themselves a leader who was in no way remotely connected to the HST, their fortunes will do little better. Even worse than that, one of the most obvious out-of-cabinet successors, Dianne Watts, seems ready to not throw her hat in the ring, and she was certainly seen for some time as a front runner to succeed Campbell. The only reason most political watchers can think of is that she doesn't want to be another Kim Campbell, Ujal Dosanjh or Rita Johnson, and would prefer someone else to lead the party to defeat, so that she can pick up the pieces afterward for the 2017 run.

And we haven't even mentioned the witches brew that Delaney and Vander Zalm are stewing. Vander Zalm is probably the most incredible part of this rather incredible story. The man has literally erased two decades of a shadowy existence; a butt of jokes and remembered as the destroyer of the Socred Party. He's got people tipping their hats to him who, two decades ago would have spit on the ground at the sight of him. It's hard to think of a more spectacular comeback from the political abyss. Maybe Winston Churchill (though my mind wants to scream at even placing the two of them in the same compartment in my head).

Edited by ToadBrother
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 70
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm going to state for the record that, in fact, some industries' obvious problems stemming from the HST aside, I think it's smart tax policy. People just don't seem to know how awful the PST was to administer, and ultimately how expensive it was for the Province. Remember, along with the money the Province gets from signing on, it's also saving a bundle by basically shutting down its PST branch.

There are always winners and losers with any tax change. It's unavoidable. But consumption taxes are by far one of the best taxes out there. A rational and easy-to-navigate tax regime is worth the extra costs. Why do you think the Fed's have stuck with the GST? It's cheaper to administer, simpler for everyone both in government and in private enterprise to sort out, and creates a more even tax landscape.

PST is a consumption tax. If it was overly complicated to administer, that was the governments doing. What HST has done is make business exempt from PST on goods and transfered the cost to services.

That all being said, it's clear now that the BC Liberals have been in power too long. I'd preferred they lose an election and remain as official opposition, but I think even that's up for grabs if Delaney and Vander Zalm can build a third party capable of wresting voters, candidates and party organizers from them. The HST was a smart idea, but so ineptly enacted and so badly defended (I'd argue it wasn't even meaningfully defended at all until the petition drive) that it's clear the governing party no longer seems to have the right stuff to govern. Worse, Campbell's near-constant holidaying since last Fall, appearing only briefly at any juncture since it became clear that the public anger was great that I think the BC Liberals have been left essentially rudderless, kept going only because they're so terrified of their constituents' anger that they don't know what else to do.

Every signal I've seen suggests that on the ground it's a horror story. MLAs are getting unprecedented amounts of hate mail, riding associations are livid, and it seems almost certain now that the leadership review vote will be lucky to garner Campbell 50% approval, almost certainly meaning he's got to resign. But then it gets worse, the polls suggesting that even if the BC Liberals find themselves a leader who was in no way remotely connected to the HST, their fortunes will do little better. Even worse than that, one of the most obvious out-of-cabinet successors, Dianne Watts, seems ready to not throw her hat in the ring, and she was certainly seen for some time as a front runner to succeed Campbell. The only reason most political watchers can think of is that she doesn't want to be another Kim Campbell, Ujal Dosanjh or Rita Johnson, and would prefer someone else to lead the party to defeat, so that she can pick up the pieces afterward for the 2017 run.

And we haven't even mentioned the witches brew that Delaney and Vander Zalm are stewing. Vander Zalm is probably the most incredible part of this rather incredible story. The man has literally erased two decades of a shadowy existence; a butt of jokes and remembered as the destroyer of the Socred Party. He's got people tipping their hats to him who, two decades ago would have spit on the ground at the sight of him. It's hard to think of a more spectacular comeback from the political abyss. Maybe Winston Churchill (though my mind wants to scream at even placing the two of them in the same compartment in my head).

I agree with most of this but don't put much store in the Vander Zalm's political resurection. He has provided a catalyst for the peoples frustration over the Liberals arrogance and intransigence but I doubt that would transfer into votes for the Zalm come election time. Certainly not mine.

I hope Watts doesn't run for leader this term as I wouldn't mind seeing her as Premier some day. I would hate to see her commit a premature political suicide.

Link to post
Share on other sites

PST is a consumption tax. If it was overly complicated to administer, that was the governments doing. What HST has done is make business exempt from PST on goods and transfered the cost to services.

No, it was a sales tax. Not quite the same thing. A consumption tax uses a proper input-output scheme (ie. the VAT in the UK and the GST here and in New Zealand).

I agree with most of this but don't put much store in the Vander Zalm's political resurection. He has provided a catalyst for the peoples frustration over the Liberals arrogance and intransigence but I doubt that would transfer into votes for the Zalm come election time. Certainly not mine.

Oh, I don't necessarily think Vander Zalm is going to lead the party. He's in his 70s now, and all other considerations aside, that's putting him at the upper limit. But he's looking to be a kingmaker, as is Delaney. I don't think either has much expectation of being party leaders themselves.

I hope Watts doesn't run for leader this term as I wouldn't mind seeing her as Premier some day. I would hate to see her commit a premature political suicide.

She's too smart a player to throw her hat in now. Whoever wins the leadership is going to be the sacrificial lamb, and Watts strikes me as being way to bright and ambitious to shoot off her own legs. History is littered with the wreckage of political ambitions, of those who chose to run a party that was already crashing; John Turner, Kim Campbell, Paul Martin, and as I said, at our level, Rita Johnson and Ujjal Dosanjh. Anyone who is seriously thinking they've got a shot at the top spot doesn't run for leadership at a juncture like this. Leave it to a stooge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an narrative invented by BC Liberal supporters, more to the point to help them sleep at night.

Hardly. It's my honest personal opinion. In case my postings on these boards over the years haven't made it abundantly clear, I am far from a Liberal.

But on the ground, the anger that a lot of Liberal MLAs are feeling suggests that this isn't just a blow-over thing. That was the theory during much of 2009 and into early 2010, that the voters would forget it, that the NDP was still the scary monster on the bed. If it was going to just blow over, it would have done so already, but it hasn't, and it's not even the only thing playing into the NDP's hands.

What? 2009 and 2010? The HST just took effect last month! Give it a year and people will see it didn't crash the economy or really increase their spending that much and they'll forget about it just like the carbon tax. Especially if the economy is otherwise prospering, I really don't see why people would focus so much on this one particular tax. I mean, I don't like taxes as much as the next guy, more in fact (I think we should drastically cut all taxes and eliminate many government programs) but the reality is that new taxes/fees are raised/instituted all the time and people get over it.

There's the real risk of a split in the ranks, which is what wiped out the Socreds in 1993 much (and, on the other side of the spectrum, the rise of the Green Party split the NDP vote and delivered all but two seats to the BC Liberals in 2001).

Could be, I don't follow internal party politics.

Look, I'm not saying these things because I'm particularly fond of an NDP government. I'm saying because, well, it's a simple reality. People were saying precisely the same thing as you on the NDP side after Glen Clark's fall, that everyone would remember how awful and chaotic the later Socred years were, that they'd remember that despite the stumbles the NDP was sweet and cuddly and wonderful.

Socreds were before my time. I take it from the context of this post that you equate the socreds with the liberals?

I don't think you really have much of a notion of just how profoundly unpopular the BC Liberals are, even in ridings in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley which wouldn't vote NDP if they had guns to their heads. These are the ridings, and a number of key Interior ridings, where a third party has a real chance of succeeding, and where, if BC Liberal MLAs don't start giving their constituents answers they're willing and ready to accept, that's exactly what will happen.

Err... a third party? In BC? Who are you kidding? The only third choice right now is the greens.

All the NDP has to do at this point is do a bit of flame fanning, and it's not even that hard, the BC Liberals seem to be doing most of that themselves. Carol James just has to sit back and watch as infighting creates internal chaos as Campbell's leadership crumbles, and while Delaney and Vander Zalm, possibly using this new Unity Party (the BC Conservatives being to schizophrenic to be much of a vehicle, I think) as a new right-of-center alternative.

A new right of center party? Could be interesting. Can't say I've ever heard them mentioned before this thread though. I'd certainly consider such a party if it was a serious option. I'm not sure that Vander Zalm is a particularly right wing person though...

Just how many times do you BC Liberal supporters keep thinking you can say "It will fade" before you realize that hoping for voter amnesia no longer is a strategy that is going to work?

"You BC Liberal supporters"? What? I didn't think you were one dimensional enough to automatically assume that everyone you disagree with is some kind of mindless partisan supporter of another party. But then again, your recent performance in the mosque threads (where you mindlessly call everyone a bigot for no reason) and now here is starting to change my estimate of you...

I think it's smart tax policy.

And yet you keep trashing on the liberals for implementing it and assume that the population will follow because the NDP and Vander Zalm will stir the pot. If it really is smart tax policy, there are still 2 years for the benefits of this policy to be demonstrated. If the economy continues to improve in BC, as it very likely will, the Liberals can point to the HST and say it helped to stimulate business, investment, etc (which is the argument they used in the first place to justify it).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hardly. It's my honest personal opinion. In case my postings on these boards over the years haven't made it abundantly clear, I am far from a Liberal.

I'm sure it is a sincere opinion, just like all the BC Liberals that appear on all the BC political blogs saying the same thing are. But sincerity means squat. What counts is reality, and the reality is that the BC Liberals are currently a party in the midst of a severe crisis, every bit as severe as the the crises that lead to the Socred extinction in 1993 and to the near-total wipe out of the NDP in 2001.

If there's one place where the old saying "History repeats itself" holds true, it's politics. The pattern here is almost identical to the Socred and NDP meltdowns, and shares a lot of similarities with the Federal Tory meltdown.

What? 2009 and 2010? The HST just took effect last month! Give it a year and people will see it didn't crash the economy or really increase their spending that much and they'll forget about it just like the carbon tax. Especially if the economy is otherwise prospering, I really don't see why people would focus so much on this one particular tax. I mean, I don't like taxes as much as the next guy, more in fact (I think we should drastically cut all taxes and eliminate many government programs) but the reality is that new taxes/fees are raised/instituted all the time and people get over it.

The public anger has been building since the announcement. The common wisdom, even among the pundits was that it would be like the carbon tax, and the anger would dissipate. That has not happened, and I don't think anyone really expects to happen. Up until the last week or so the strategy seems to have been to let Campbell and Hansen accrue the damage, have Campbell step down some time next year and hopefully taking the bad vibes with him. But events have not unfolded at all like the common wisdom. Events have overtaken Campbell and I no longer think the caucus or the party will permit him the grace of picking his own exit.

I think the fundamental problem is that BC Liberals still think it's about the HST. I think it's much deeper, I think it's really fatigue with the BC Liberals. A government in good standing can get away with a lot. The BC Liberals certainly did up until a few years ago. The voters might not like it, but they swallowed it. But it seems that time has turned. The real problem is that a decade in power is a long time, particularly under one leader. All the HST did was supply a tangible touch stone for public discontent.

Socreds were before my time. I take it from the context of this post that you equate the socreds with the liberals?

Well yes. Where do you think all the Socreds went? They all died off? They tried moving to the BC Reform Party with the Socred meltdown, but all that did was allow the NDP to march up the middle. Campbell's genius was to find a way to merge the free enterprisers who had been on side with the BC Liberals since Gordon Wilson's time as leader with the homeless Socreds, creating what amounts to a coalition party. That's what the Socreds were in their time, and that coalition has been highly successful for many years. But when the coalition breaks, the right-of-center party collapses, and that's what may happen here.

Err... a third party? In BC? Who are you kidding? The only third choice right now is the greens.

You really need to familiarize yourself with recent (last twenty years) history. Third parties, even where their electoral success was limited, have played a major role. The rise of the Green Party in BC is what sent the BC NDP into a tailspin in 2001, the BC Reform party took enough votes to be a spoiler in 1996, though it won only two eats. Third parties in BC often play that way. That's why the NDP is helping Vander Zalm and Delaney out, they want whatever part those two ultimately get behind to play the spoiler.

A new right of center party? Could be interesting. Can't say I've ever heard them mentioned before this thread though. I'd certainly consider such a party if it was a serious option. I'm not sure that Vander Zalm is a particularly right wing person though...

Compared to what? Mussolini? The guy was pretty right wing. His ideology wasn't the problem, it was his "screw you" attitude to the voices in his party, and to everyone else, for that matter. But Vander Zalm wouldn't be leading this. But there are some interesting possibilities, like Blair Lekstrom.

"You BC Liberal supporters"? What? I didn't think you were one dimensional enough to automatically assume that everyone you disagree with is some kind of mindless partisan supporter of another party. But then again, your recent performance in the mosque threads (where you mindlessly call everyone a bigot for no reason) and now here is starting to change my estimate of you...

My apologies. But you will understand my confusion, seeing as your apologetics look identical to just about every BC Liberal apologetic I've seen thus far.

And yet you keep trashing on the liberals for implementing it and assume that the population will follow because the NDP and Vander Zalm will stir the pot. If it really is smart tax policy, there are still 2 years for the benefits of this policy to be demonstrated. If the economy continues to improve in BC, as it very likely will, the Liberals can point to the HST and say it helped to stimulate business, investment, etc (which is the argument they used in the first place to justify it).

I trash the BC Liberals because they committed precisely the same sin Glen Clark's NDP did. They lied. They should have been honest with the pre-election budget, not vomited out fabricated revenue projection figures. They deserve the same punishment the NDP got, because they did the same thing. They've been in power too long, have become to arrogant and to comfortable. They need, like all governments, time in the dug out to renew and reflect, and to rebuild. Or maybe they'll go extinct, I dunno. It's happened before, and not so long ago either.

As to the economic arguments, as I've said, I think it's too late for that. The problem here is no longer the tax and no longer the economy, it's a crisis of confidence, and I've been watching politics long enough to know that when a governing party hits that wall, the game is almost always over.

I'm also equally certain that the HST will remain. Mitigated perhaps in some way by negotiations with the Feds to expand or better target exemptions, by reduction at the earliest opportunity (2012, I think) to drop a couple of points off of it, but the HST is too smart a policy to toss out the door. That's why Chretien broke his word in 1993, because Paul Martin and Finance Ministry economists told him "Don't dump this."

Edited by ToadBrother
Link to post
Share on other sites
What? 2009 and 2010? The HST just took effect last month! Give it a year and people will see it didn't crash the economy or really increase their spending that much and they'll forget about it just like the carbon tax. Especially if the economy is otherwise prospering, I really don't see why people would focus so much on this one particular tax. I mean, I don't like taxes as much as the next guy, more in fact (I think we should drastically cut all taxes and eliminate many government programs) but the reality is that new taxes/fees are raised/instituted all the time and people get over it.

Yet the GST killed the federal Tories two years after it was implemented.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You really need to familiarize yourself with recent (last twenty years) history. Third parties, even where their electoral success was limited, have played a major role. The rise of the Green Party in BC is what sent the BC NDP into a tailspin in 2001, the BC Reform party took enough votes to be a spoiler in 1996, though it won only two eats. Third parties in BC often play that way. That's why the NDP is helping Vander Zalm and Delaney out, they want whatever part those two ultimately get behind to play the spoiler.

It's true I don't know the ins and outs of all the provincial politics over the past 20 years. Honestly, I'm not that interested in learning all these details. However the 2001 election was gonna be an absolute disaster for the NDP in any case. Trying to blame their almost complete destruction on the green party is just false.

Compared to what? Mussolini? The guy was pretty right wing. His ideology wasn't the problem, it was his "screw you" attitude to the voices in his party, and to everyone else, for that matter. But Vander Zalm wouldn't be leading this. But there are some interesting possibilities, like Blair Lekstrom.

How about a more relevant comparison. Is he more right wing than Campbell? How about Harper? What are some of his right wing ideas / policy proposals?

I trash the BC Liberals because they committed precisely the same sin Glen Clark's NDP did. They lied. They should have been honest with the pre-election budget, not vomited out fabricated revenue projection figures. They deserve the same punishment the NDP got, because they did the same thing. They've been in power too long, have become to arrogant and to comfortable. They need, like all governments, time in the dug out to renew and reflect, and to rebuild. Or maybe they'll go extinct, I dunno. It's happened before, and not so long ago either.

As to the economic arguments, as I've said, I think it's too late for that. The problem here is no longer the tax and no longer the economy, it's a crisis of confidence, and I've been watching politics long enough to know that when a governing party hits that wall, the game is almost always over.

Look I don't like being lied to either but I just don't see a realistic better option. The NDP is more left wing and to me that is a show stopper. Another center or right party might be interesting but to me it sounds like it's just theory/speculation at this point. You really think "Unity" is going to be a major player (capable of winning) in the next election? If not, my vote goes to "party most likely to beat NDP", which I suspect will be the liberals in the next election just as it has been in all the previous BC elections in which I've voted.

Edited by Bonam
Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a more relevant comparison. Is he more right wing than Campbell? How about Harper? What are some of his right wing ideas policy proposals?

Yes, he's more right wing the Campbell. He's a good ol' fashioned Fraser Valley Bible Belter, even pondered refusing to pay for abortions through MSP. He was, even up until his last run as leader of the BC Reform Party, a social conservative and pro-business.

Look I don't like being lied to either but I just don't see a realistic better option.

It's BC. There very rarely is.

The NDP is more left wing and to me that is a show stopper. Another center or right party might be interesting but to me it sounds like it's just theory/speculation at this point. You really think "Unity" is going to be a major player (capable of winning) in the next election?

All they have to do to deliver the NDP the vote is take enough Socred-style conservatives to cut the heart out of the BC Liberal base. The BC Liberals lost the 1996 election, an election they should have won, because BC Reform, a party that most certainly never had any chance of forming a government, split enough votes in key ridings to allow the NDP to walk up the middle.

But I think the anger is big enough that even if the third party threat doesn't materialize, the BC Liberals are going to have an uphill battle. Like I said, the HST is not really the problem, it's just the personification of the problems the electorate has with the Liberals. Just as the GST storm wasn't in and of itself responsible for the Conservative crash in 1993, it was a straw situation.

When you look at the popular vote figures from the 2009 election, the NDP were only a few points behind the BC Liberals. The discontent has been there for some time. The BC Liberals were foolish enough to give it the shape and form that the electorate could chew into.

If not, my vote goes to "party most likely to beat NDP", which I suspect will be the liberals in the next election just as it has been in all the previous BC elections in which I've voted.

I can't fault you for it. But I don't think there are going to be nearly enough of you around to make a difference.

Edited by ToadBrother
Link to post
Share on other sites

All they have to do to deliver the NDP the vote is take enough Socred-style conservatives to cut the heart out of the BC Liberal base.

I don't really understand the name "Social Credit" if you are saying they are conservatives. I mean, "Social Credit" is about as socialist a party name as you can come up with.

When you look at the popular vote figures from the 2009 election, the NDP were only a few points behind the BC Liberals. The discontent has been there for some time.

I don't know... I think the NDP getting more of the vote is more to do with their own recovery after Glen Clark. BC has a lot of left leaning voters and they of course gravitate towards the NDP. That would be the case regardless of whether the liberals are engaged in some controversy or not.

I can't fault you for it. But I don't think there are going to be nearly enough of you around to make a difference.

Maybe, you could be right. However, I think there are a lot of voters that don't follow all the details of which controversy is going on when and just vote along lines of whether they are more comfortable with a more left leaning party (the NDP) or a party closer to the center (the Liberals). I think there are a lot of people who will not vote for the NDP period, no matter how badly the Liberals screw up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really understand the name "Social Credit" if you are saying they are conservatives. I mean, "Social Credit" is about as socialist a party name as you can come up with.

The name doesn't have much to do with party as it stood after the Depression. The history was a little convoluted, but the Social Credit party was fairly large in Western Canada, and as I recall Preston Manning's old man, Ernest Manning, was elected as Premier of Alberta under the banner.

The Social Credit movement was not a socialist movement at all. It could almost be seen as the counterpart to the CCF on the right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_credit

It's rather irrelevant, because under WAC Bennett, it was the social conservative-free enterprise coalition, and it was that that was handed to his son Bill Bennett after the NDP defeat in the 1970s, and then on to Bill Vander Zalm who, well, killed it.

To put it in perspective, the Social Credit Party ran the province from 1952 until 1991, with one brief interlude from 1972 to 1975 under Dave Barrett's NDP government. While the Socreds tried to recover in the early 90s, and then disenchanted Socreds went to BC Reform in 1996, after the surprise NDP win that year, they pretty all much flocked to the BC Liberals. The BC Liberal party is pretty much the Socred party by another name now.

I don't know... I think the NDP getting more of the vote is more to do with their own recovery after Glen Clark. BC has a lot of left leaning voters and they of course gravitate towards the NDP. That would be the case regardless of whether the liberals are engaged in some controversy or not.

They've recovered, and as we saw from the popular vote figures from last year's election, they definitely gave the BC Liberals a run for their money. With the HST as a drag and the potential of a split vote on the right, the BC Liberals look in bad shape.

Maybe, you could be right. However, I think there are a lot of voters that don't follow all the details of which controversy is going on when and just vote along lines of whether they are more comfortable with a more left leaning party (the NDP) or a party closer to the center (the Liberals). I think there are a lot of people who will not vote for the NDP period, no matter how badly the Liberals screw up.

I think you're wrong. This was the assumption that both the BC NDP in 2001 and the Federal Tories in 1993 assumed would protect them from, if not defeat itself, then at least from the wilderness.

What's clear from the petition and from the polls over the last year is that BC voters are very much engaged. The strategy of just assuming some large swathe of voters will tune out and just show up at the polls and mark the X next to the BC Liberals by rote is precisely the strategy that will kill the BC Liberals for sure. They can assume nothing at this juncture, neither that the base will come along for the ride, or that somehow the collective amnesia will erase their mistakes. They need to stop worrying about winning the election, and start worrying about keeping the coalition together, otherwise they'll join the Socreds in the dustbin of history.

Edited by ToadBrother
Link to post
Share on other sites

What's clear from the petition and from the polls over the last year is that BC voters are very much engaged. The strategy of just assuming some large swathe of voters will tune out and just show up at the polls and mark the X next to the BC Liberals by rote is precisely the strategy that will kill the BC Liberals for sure. They can assume nothing at this juncture, neither that the base will come along for the ride, or that somehow the collective amnesia will erase their mistakes. They need to stop worrying about winning the election, and start worrying about keeping the coalition together, otherwise they'll join the Socreds in the dustbin of history.

Some political upheaval would be good for our stale democratic system. I could definitely stand to see some of the existing parties replaced by new ones, as long as the political spectrum is adequately represented. If voters are engaged that's a good thing.

I just personally don't see the HST as that big of an issue and despite what current opinion surveys might say, and I am hard pressed to visualize it being a big issue with voters in two years time. Voters may have lost trust to some extent in the Liberals, but they also still have no reason to trust the NDP either; so from my point of view that should not be a deciding factor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just personally don't see the HST as that big of an issue and despite what current opinion surveys might say, and I am hard pressed to visualize it being a big issue with voters in two years time.

Yes, I'm sure the Socreds and the NDP thought that too. In both cases, the disasters that killed them happened sometime before the final defeat. It's delusional thinking, based on taking public anger for granted, and believing the electorate a bit on the dull and amnesiac. I think they'll remember very well. BC isn't Alberta.

Voters may have lost trust to some extent in the Liberals, but they also still have no reason to trust the

NDP either; so from my point of view that should not be a deciding factor.

Your point of view seems wishful thinking, and certainly not based on recent history.. From my point of view as someone who has watched BC Politics since the heady days of Expo 86, what I'm saying is the same pattern played out again. Why exactly you think voters will forgive and forget, when they didn't twice before in the last twenty years is quite beyond me.

But we'll know for sure in two years. I don't hold out much hope of the recall working, not in sufficient numbers to cause the government to fall. If the recall does, then the BC Liberals will be devastated.

Edited by ToadBrother
Link to post
Share on other sites

Then you're memory is faulty. During the first years of the NDP government, particularly under Harcourt, BC witnessed considerable economic growth, not to mention net population growth too, with both an increase in immigration from outside Canada and from abroad (remember the famous Hong Kong exodus to Vancouver?)

In the final years of Clark - The population decreased. 1999 was the year that Hong Kong went from being a British Mandate to being a part of mainland China, and yes, the real estate market was hot before 1999. Prices going out the roof and the Chinese had the money. What that did was price everyone here out of the market. Sellers were happy but the local buyer was basically shut out. The big wave of Chinese after 1999 never did materialize and the economy bombed out. I don't remember what the exact story was about the lumber industry but they were hurting in a time when they shouldn't have been and the fast cats were sort of the last straw on fiscal judgment - Clark's personal integrity came into question, with personal favor being traded for political privilege, and that was it for the NDP.

That was my experience. It sounds as though you think things were rosy but that makes it difficult to explain the trouncing of the NDP after Dosanjh took over from the humiliated smilin' Glen.

Maybe people just thought it was time for a change and 8 years was long enough for a political party to be at the helm. I don't think so but probably a few votes were cast for that reason.

It was a fudge-it budget, precisely the same tactic used by Glen Clark's government.

What was the euphemism developed for it? There wasn't one. The budget was below most people's radar and even if you mentioned fudge-it-budget it was still associated with Glen Clark. You are probably correct the budget was just as much an accounting trick as was the fudge-it-budget but the NDP couldn't effectively call wolf.

Blaming the media now? That's what the NDP did in their turn, and that's what the Socreds did in their turn. The media didn't do any of it, other than the fact that the three successive governments have provided journalists with a delicious array of scandals and missteps. Come on, you're better than that. The media didn't screw the BC Liberals up, the BC Liberals did.

I'm not blaming the media for anything. I am saying they have never painted him in a positive light.

The Liberals did screw up. Bye Bye Gordon and bye bye Colin!

I think, if anything, because the media never thought well of Gordon even when times were good the severity of his actions are diminished because the press has already shown a bias.

"What's that about Campbell? Oh...just more negativity from the press." If they had touted him as a good guy (he must have done something right once) then this "lie" would be perceived to be a huger problem than it is currently.

The Vancouver Convention Centre was vastly overpriced, will likely take decades to make its money back, and is much more of a white elephant than the Fast Cats were. In both cases, the problem was a government far to eager to use public money for pet projects. Campbell's a Vancouver man and just loves to dump money into the Lower Mainland.

The convention Centre will eventually pay for itself and serve BC with international revenues. The fast cats are gone and never did serve BC.

That's an absurd statement. The economy of British Columbia is almost totally dependent on foreign markets. No provincial government has control over global markets.

The China economy was heating up pretty good at the time. Of course there was the Y2K bust.

We had an on-fire economy in the early and mid-1990s because the Asian Tigers were spending like drunken sailors, that is until the bottom fell out. Our economy, for better and for worse, is pretty much dominated by commodity prices, which we have nothing to do with.

The economy was ok. I was new to BC then and and Harcourt managed to lose quite a few seats in the 1996 elections (Down to 39 from 51) I couldn't tell you why.

One thing that turned me off Harcourt, not that I would ever be a fan, is one night he was on TV he was asked why he raised taxes after the 96 election when he said he wouldn't. His answer, "I said there would not be any new taxes but that didn't mean I wouldn't raise existing ones." What a weasel! He thought it was pretty clever. I thought it was pretty slimy.

This reads like some sort of apologetic for the Liberal party, and it's kind of sad, because it's exactly the same excuses used by the BC NDP in its dying days. I guess there really is only one script for political failure of a government.

I am not apologizing. Campbell should resign.

If the Liberals can't find any solid leadership after that they have a big problem.

Why is it when someone is opposed to the HST they are a special interest?

The electorate doesn't generally approve of tax hikes the special interests take up the cause and serve as the voice of the people. The majority may be against the HST but the special interests will do all the legwork and the interest may only be damaging the competition.

People will generally go with the flow and special interests will try and get their support. They play a major role in democratic procedure. I think it unfortunate but that's the way it is.

The economy isn't doing well. Let's face it, the BC Liberals are in serious trouble, and all the wishful thinking won't change that. The public have turned away from them.

Well, considering the State of the global economy we're doing ok, not great but better than some regions. Ontario has a bigger challenge.

More blaming the media. Pretty pathetic.

The media plays a role. That can't be denied. I don't blame them but their editorial viewpoint has probably swayed a few votes. They can only be contributors and are not the responsible party to political fortune or failure. Although Obama likes to blame Fox news for a lot of his troubles - now that's pretty pathetic.

He lied about revenue projections. If it was wrong for the NDP to do it, why is it okay for the Liberals?

It isn't ok. People don't care when they are busy with their lives. They only care when government is busy with their lives.

And again, the reason in both 1997-98 and 2008-2009 for the economic woes was international markets. While the BC Liberals did tame government to some degree, by and large after 2005 they reversed course and spent and spent and spent and spent.

yes it was international markets in both instances but in 97-98 there was no global crisis. The problem was only in BC. In '08-09 the whole global economy was bad. The NDP were the only reason BC was in the tank the rest of the world was doing ok. Whether it was lack of foresight, lackof diversification, labour troubles in the lumber industry or whatever it was only BC that was feeling the pinch.

And that's the difference.

Come on, Pliny. I won't defend the NDP's management style, particularly under Glen Clark, and government did need to be reigned in, but the markets not recovering under another NDP government? We must be talking about two different markets, because the only market that matters to BC is the one beyond our borders that we ship out our commodities to.

The NDP are in the pocket of Labour. (A special interest). If business (A special interest)continued to be ignored then yes the markets would not have recovered.

Ah, I see. So the electorate are sheep who just follow the loudest voice?

Most of them don't care. Less than 60% of the electorate will show up at the polling booths during an election. If special interests can whip up some fervor on some issue the percentage turning out in their favour will be higher.

They will remember Gordon Campbell long after Campbell is gone. The BC Liberals will not win the next election, not even if they had Jesus Christ as leader.

Maybe. You seem pretty worked up about them. You have to get your message out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the final years of Clark - The population decreased. 1999 was the year that Hong Kong went from being a British Mandate to being a part of mainland China, and yes, the real estate market was hot before 1999. Prices going out the roof and the Chinese had the money. What that did was price everyone here out of the market. Sellers were happy but the local buyer was basically shut out. The big wave of Chinese after 1999 never did materialize and the economy bombed out. I don't remember what the exact story was about the lumber industry but they were hurting in a time when they shouldn't have been and the fast cats were sort of the last straw on fiscal judgment - Clark's personal integrity came into question, with personal favor being traded for political privilege, and that was it for the NDP.

I wasn't referring to the Clark years. The years I was referring to were the Harcourt years. Off course, I view the fall of Clark and the rest of the Rat Pack as karma payback for the way they stabbed Harcourt in the back over Bingogate, a scandal that Harcourt had nothing at all to do with. If for nothing else, Clark earned the humiliation for that one, as he was one of the chief attack dogs that went after Harcourt's throat.

That was my experience. It sounds as though you think things were rosy but that makes it difficult to explain the trouncing of the NDP after Dosanjh took over from the humiliated smilin' Glen.

Not really. Clark was an inept buffoon, and even in good times his style of leadership, which ironically wasn't a mile from Vander Zalm's, would have been hard to sustain. But that wasn't what killed the economy. The Asian Flu killed the economy. You've bought into the BC Liberal version of events, but oddly enough seem willing to suspend that logic when it comes to the BC Liberals themselves.

What was the euphemism developed for it? There wasn't one. The budget was below most people's radar and even if you mentioned fudge-it-budget it was still associated with Glen Clark. You are probably correct the budget was just as much an accounting trick as was the fudge-it-budget but the NDP couldn't effectively call wolf.

It was a pre-election budget. It wasn't below anybody's radar. Heck, even the Fudge-it budgets of the Clark era, particularly the pre-election budget, weren't picked up on as the outrages they were until after the election and the full extent of the government's revenue collapse became clear. How is it exactly do you think it happened?

If the 1997-98 budgets were fudge-it budgets for absurdly overstating revenues, then so was the 2009 budget.

I'm not blaming the media for anything. I am saying they have never painted him in a positive light.

The Liberals did screw up. Bye Bye Gordon and bye bye Colin!

The media rarely if ever paint any leader in a good light. That's not their job. Heck, they gleefully went after Harcourt after Bingogate, and Harcourt was at best just another card carrying party member when Dave Stupich and his kin were ripping off charities. The media, for better or for worse, views their job as digging up dirt, and the last three governments have provided them with enough cannon fodder to go to the Moon.

I think, if anything, because the media never thought well of Gordon even when times were good the severity of his actions are diminished because the press has already shown a bias.

Cry me river. As the old saying goes, politicians who complain about the press are like a captain who complains about the sea. The press doesn't owe any government a damned thing, and view it as their job to find every scrap of anything even remotely like scandal, malfeasance or ineptitude and leap on it. You have amnesia if you think Campbell was treated any worse than Clark, Harcourt or Vander Zalm. Heck, they even managed to dig up dirt on Bill Bennett over insider trading.

My memory, I think goes considerably farther back than yours.

The convention Centre will eventually pay for itself and serve BC with international revenues. The fast cats are gone and never did serve BC.

I suggest that by the time borrowing and handling costs are finally tallied, the Fast Cats will have cost the taxpayers of British Columbia less money.

The economy was ok. I was new to BC then and and Harcourt managed to lose quite a few seats in the 1996 elections (Down to 39 from 51) I couldn't tell you why.

Harcourt didn't lose anything. He'd been run out of office, by a nasty trifecta of ambitious subordinates, the Opposition (newly helmed by Gordon Campbell, who had himself got there after Gordon Wilson's subordinates stepped on his head) and the media, who dug up the Bingogate story.

One thing that turned me off Harcourt, not that I would ever be a fan, is one night he was on TV he was asked why he raised taxes after the 96 election when he said he wouldn't. His answer, "I said there would not be any new taxes but that didn't mean I wouldn't raise existing ones." What a weasel! He thought it was pretty clever. I thought it was pretty slimy.

Haven't heard the story. Harcourt wasn't around for the 1996 election, he had already resigned. But how is that any different than Campbell dropping taxes and then raising fees all over the place?

If the Liberals can't find any solid leadership after that they have a big problem.

I don't think they will, because I don't think anyone who seriously wants to be Premier will want to helm a party heading for electoral disaster. That does not produce future leadership possibilities, all it produces is the leader falling on their sword after election defeat. As I said in another post, one of the major hopefuls, Dianne Watts, seems to be passing. I doubt it's for lack of ambition, it's because she has ambitions to be Premier of a victorious party, not Premier of a slow motion disaster area. She doesn't want to be put on the list with Rita Johnson and Ujal Dosanjh, and I don't blame her. Let one of the sullied members of the Cabinet, or even better, Carole Taylor, her chief competitor, commit political suicide.

The electorate doesn't generally approve of tax hikes the special interests take up the cause and serve as the voice of the people. The majority may be against the HST but the special interests will do all the legwork and the interest may only be damaging the competition.

People will generally go with the flow and special interests will try and get their support. They play a major role in democratic procedure. I think it unfortunate but that's the way it is.

"Oh those special interests, people would just follow blindly if people weren't stirring the pot."

What you've written is the epitaph for practically every defeated government out there. They and their supporters always say the same thing. It's the media or the special interests, or probably both. They never want to consider that the electorate is actually legitimately pissed off and wants a change of government.

But the BC Liberals should have seen this coming. While the seat count margin was reasonably wide, the popular vote put the NDP only a few points (4 or 5 points as I recall) behind the BC Liberals. If that wasn't a sure sign that the NDP had recovered from the Clark years and was going to be a major competitor, well then Campbell and his strategists did more than just bugger up selling the HST. They committed the worst sin in politics there is, underestimating the competition.

Well, considering the State of the global economy we're doing ok, not great but better than some regions. Ontario has a bigger challenge.

I agree. But we're hardly doing well, and if the US falls into a double-dip recession, which economists seem to be giving better than even odds to, we won't have anyone waving 1.6 billion dollars in our faces next time. It could get a lot worse for the BC Liberals than just those special interests you keep talking about.

The media plays a role. That can't be denied. I don't blame them but their editorial viewpoint has probably swayed a few votes. They can only be contributors and are not the responsible party to political fortune or failure. Although Obama likes to blame Fox news for a lot of his troubles - now that's pretty pathetic.

The media didn't create this. The BC Liberals and the Vander Zalm-Delaney dynamid duo did. The media are as amazed as anyone else at the extent of the BC Liberals troubles. Most political editorialists were assuming this time last year that the HST would cause a bit of upset, then disappear just like the Carbon Tax did. Seems they were as wrong as the BC Liberals.

It isn't ok. People don't care when they are busy with their lives. They only care when government is busy with their lives.

No, people usually don't expect much of their politicians. But sometimes their politicians do something so nasty (in the electorate's eyes) that the politicians can't U turn fast enough. It happened to the NDP in the late 90s as their ineptitude and dishonesty became clear, and it happened to the Socreds before them when Vander Zalm's dishonesty and arrogance burned them. I'd argue that BC's electorate since the early 1990s has been anything but unconcerned. In fact, I'd say quite the opposite.

yes it was international markets in both instances but in 97-98 there was no global crisis. The problem was only in BC. In '08-09 the whole global economy was bad. The NDP were the only reason BC was in the tank the rest of the world was doing ok. Whether it was lack of foresight, lackof diversification, labour troubles in the lumber industry or whatever it was only BC that was feeling the pinch.

The rest of the world was not doing okay. The Asian tigers didn't recover from the collapse until around the early 2000s, and the US economy didn't start its big growth spurt until the same time. And low and behold, BC's economy began to boom again. You're asking me to believe that the timing of these events was coincidental?

The NDP are in the pocket of Labour. (A special interest). If business (A special interest)continued to be ignored then yes the markets would not have recovered.

International commodity markets aren't controlled by BC politics.

Most of them don't care. Less than 60% of the electorate will show up at the polling booths during an election. If special interests can whip up some fervor on some issue the percentage turning out in their favour will be higher.

Maybe. You seem pretty worked up about them. You have to get your message out.

I'm purely fascinated, myself. I never had any illusions that Campbell was better than Clark. I thought he was an arrogant ideological prick. I think he's smarter than Clark, but then again, I think my dog is probably smarter than Clark. But all the brains in the world won't help you once you've decided you can run the show any way you please.

I think the BC Liberals need some time out of government. I'm hoping they don't go the way of the Socreds, because I'm more than a little frightened of the kind of nutbars this Unity Party will attract (it's already got that blowhard Randy White on board). But BC has chewed up one party that was once one of the most successful electoral machines on the continent, so no party has a free pass on permanent existence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm sure the Socreds and the NDP thought that too. In both cases, the disasters that killed them happened sometime before the final defeat. It's delusional thinking, based on taking public anger for granted, and believing the electorate a bit on the dull and amnesiac. I think they'll remember very well. BC isn't Alberta.

Your point of view seems wishful thinking, and certainly not based on recent history.. From my point of view as someone who has watched BC Politics since the heady days of Expo 86, what I'm saying is the same pattern played out again. Why exactly you think voters will forgive and forget, when they didn't twice before in the last twenty years is quite beyond me.

But we'll know for sure in two years. I don't hold out much hope of the recall working, not in sufficient numbers to cause the government to fall. If the recall does, then the BC Liberals will be devastated.

Meh, whatever, you seem way too zealous and intense on this topic. I was just commenting on things as I see them and you just tear into it with a vengeance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm purely fascinated, myself. I never had any illusions that Campbell was better than Clark. I thought he was an arrogant ideological prick. I think he's smarter than Clark, but then again, I think my dog is probably smarter than Clark. But all the brains in the world won't help you once you've decided you can run the show any way you please.

I think the BC Liberals need some time out of government. I'm hoping they don't go the way of the Socreds, because I'm more than a little frightened of the kind of nutbars this Unity Party will attract (it's already got that blowhard Randy White on board). But BC has chewed up one party that was once one of the most successful electoral machines on the continent, so no party has a free pass on permanent existence.

Were you surprised when the NDP didn't win the last election and things basically stayed the same?

C'mon now...admit it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were you surprised when the NDP didn't win the last election and things basically stayed the same?

C'mon now...admit it!

No, not really. I had no expectations that they would push through. In fact, until the HST catastrophe, I honestly didn't see them winning the next one either. I didn't buy into Campbell's running for a fourth term, but I thought someone like Dianne Watts or Colin Hansen would take the helm, and beat James. I thought it would be a fight, the numbers showed that NDP support in the province had pretty much been restored to traditional levels.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And thus it so often is in politics. The party that implements smart economic policies doesn't survive to enjoy it, and the successor does. The political cycle and economic cycle rarely if ever match up in that fashion.

If their policy is so smart there should have been no problem with debating it before implementation. The Liberals biggest problem isn't so much the tax but the sleazy way way it was brought in. If a proper debate had taken place they wouldn't be in anywhere near this much trouble. Right now a majority of people including many of their former supporters just see their leadership as sleazy and underhanded and not without justification.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

The BC Conservatives, like the BC NDP, for purely political reasons have to oppose the HST. Ironically, since at least the 2005 election, the BC Conservative platform included harmonization of the PST to the GST. But there's some amnesia about that one.

Let's put it bluntly, both the BC Conservatives and BC NDP are bullsh***ing everyone. But to say you're in favor of the HST right now is the electoral equivalent of putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger.

It's sad isn't it? It's just too bad the fact politicians have to do this for the sake of getting elected isn't the bigger issue.

I've long supported eliminating the taxes I pay on my income and compensating for that by increasing the amount I pay on consumption. If the Liberals had reduced and eliminated payroll taxes at the same time they introduced the HST they'd probably be hero's right now and governments across the land would be rushing to emulate them.

If the NDP plays it right they could embrace the obvious environmental and social sense this makes and one day even increase the HST. IN BC of all places in Canada it should be a fairly easy sell to propose that we increase taxes on things that are bad for the environment like consumption, and eliminate taxes on things that are good for society, like income.

Of course any party that could also come clean about how having to lie all the time for the sake of getting elected just might score a few brownie points along the way. It would certainly be a higher road to take and I bet that just might resonate with voters these days. I think we're desperate for it myself.

In light of all the obvious chaos this bullshitting is causing I remind you of that definition of political corruption that I offered in another thread, secrecy with the intent to deceive. If there is even a smidgeon of truth to the idea that the Liberals deceived the public about the HST prior to the last election, there is nothing better than the word corruption, although corrosion comes to mind, that describes what has happened to both the Liberal's fortunes and public faith in politics. The shit has just about gotten on everything and everyone.

To be honest though, and as the amnesia you mention shows, the public is probably just as guilty of holding its nose when it comes to the issue of taxes.

Edited by eyeball
Link to post
Share on other sites

In BC I don't think the Tories have taken a hit at all. Pretty much all the anger has been focused on the BC Liberals. Besides, this isn't a Tory policy. This has been a general policy of the Federal Government to try to get the provinces on board with the HST since Chretien's first term. So I'm not sure how you can legitimately blame the Tories for this one, other than that they have maintained a long standing Federal policy.

[/quote

It was under the federal Liberals that the HST started in Atlantic Canada, so don't look to the Fiberals to help repeal this regressive tax, that has to come from the people themselves.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've long supported eliminating the taxes I pay on my income and compensating for that by increasing the amount I pay on consumption. If the Liberals had reduced and eliminated payroll taxes at the same time they introduced the HST they'd probably be hero's right now and governments across the land would be rushing to emulate them.

And what payroll tax would the provincial Liberals eliminate?

MSP?

Sure, some of us employers pay it for our employees so the increases in 2002 (iirc) and in 2009 are an irritant but why would the province reduce MSP premiums when they have just reduced some of my costs by 7%? (i.e. as a business person I now get the 7% portion back so anything that I would have paid PST on anyway is now a tax reduction for my business).

Of course, EI and CPP is done at the Federal level (and even set independently of the government du jour) so there is no point discussing lowering those taxes since the provincial Liberals are powerless to do anything about them.

I also don't understand the point of lowering payroll taxes.

The reason we aren't hiring isn't because of payroll taxes. It's because there is an aggregate demand problem.

Lack of demand for business will ensure that I don't hire no matter how low payroll taxes are.

If the NDP plays it right they could embrace the obvious environmental and social sense this makes and one day even increase the HST. IN BC of all places in Canada it should be a fairly easy sell to propose that we increase taxes on things that are bad for the environment like consumption, and eliminate taxes on things that are good for society, like income.

Well, the BC Liberals have brought in a carbon tax which has increased the price of gas. They have brought in the HST which taxes consumption a little bit more (from a consumer point of view) and businesses less (input tax credits claimed by HST registrants).

Oh, and they have dramatically lowered income taxes since 2001 not to mention raised the basic personal exemption, went along with the Federal government to allow seniors to split pension income etc.

But, hey, that would require people to actually remember and to actually know things like: how much tax do I pay? In what forms am I paying it? etc, etc...

IOW, people are clueless.

I read a letter in the Vancouver Sun with the letter writer lamenting some kids who had to consider paying the HST on whatever it was they were going to purchase.

I thought to myself - hmmm, I remember when my grandparents gave me money for my birthday and I was in the toy store and I had to consider paying the PST on whatever toy I choose to buy.

People just don't have a clue about what's been taxed and what's being taxed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Announcements




  • Tell a friend

    Love Political Discussion Forums? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...