Kevin Falcon is pissed. So is Christy Clark.
What has them pissed? Somebody whizzed all over their parade. That's what.
In the hours since the delivering of the BC provincial budget I have tried to rationally analyze what part of the Falcon budget makes sense. I have even taken the dive into fiscal prudence and still, there is no answer which can reconcile the fact that Falcon's budget penalizes British Columbians for their simple existence.
It's all about the Harmonized Sales Tax.
Falcon is a Campbellite. The HST, introduced to the citizens of BC from the blind side, was supposed to be a given. With an unworkable recall legislation, (the only one in the country), the Campbellites were confident that they could dump a change in the provincial tax system on the people of BC without a problem and with enough time until the next election to have it pushed back in the memories of the electorate.
The backlash was swift, ugly and huge.
I don't know many people who would come to the call of Bill Vanderzalm, but the HST issue got a once reviled provincial premier an unbelievable amount of popular support in the fight to get rid of it. It wasn't so much the tax itself that energized a movement. It was the underhanded methods used to implement it. There are few who could be made to believe that then-premier Gordon Campbell did not lie to the voters when he told reporters that HST was not on the radar just a few months before introducing it.
The forcing of a referendum on the HST cost Campbell his job. Unfortunately what emerged as a premier and ministry turned out to be nothing but the same Campbell water-carriers heaped with the baggage of a corruption investigation tied to another Campbell lie - the sale of BC Rail.
Then there was the attempt to cloud the HST referendum question. Instead of learning from their past dishonesty, the question put to the electorate on the HST was twisted into the negative. Again, people were angry, not so much about the tax, but because the political power elite presumed that voters were stupid enough to fall for a cheap trick.
The political power elite got handed their asses.
The afterglow of the Vancouver Olympics, for the few who actually believed there was one, lasted for all of two minutes. The rejection of the HST and a demand to return to the previous two tax regime had almost nothing to do with the tax itself; it was a response to the behaviour of current provincial government. The lying, the arrogance, the corruption and the gimmicks were put to a direct test. The right-wingers were given a beating their egos still cannot handle.
And that is what the Clark/Falcon budget is all about. It is punishment being meted out to the voters for getting inside the Campbellites private game.
For what it's worth, Falcon's budget, peppered with Thatcherist moves, has raised another issue. These people are still trying to run a private game.
Detesting Falcon and Clark as I do, and confident in their corruption, wrongheadedness, and absolute lack of any sense that government has anything to do with the public good, I'm confident your assessment is correct.
But some detail would be appreciated. What'd they do this time?
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