Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Zippy Campbell: The Declining Days of the Empire

Darryl Dyck / Reuters

Photo: Darryl Dyck, Reuters

The Beginning of the End for Gordon Campbell

Adrian MacNair, National Post,
August 10, 2010.


The B.C. Liberal Party won its third consecutive majority government in an election only a short 15 months ago, garnering 49 seats in the Victoria Legislature with a popular vote of 46%. In that election the B.C. NDP came in second with 42% of the popular vote, giving them 35 seats, but ultimately no ability to control any legislation being passed by the governing Liberals.

Though the NDP were powerless to stop the passage of the Harmonized Sales Tax into law in early May, several polls have shown that as many of four out of five British Columbians do not like the tax, and it has hurt the Liberal Party badly. What a difference 15 months can make.

A new Angus Reid poll conducted for the Vancouver Sun, took a random sampling of 800 British Columbians in July, and asked what party they would support if an election were held tomorrow. Liberal support has tumbled to 27%, nearly 20 points below their previous electoral result, while the NDP has surged to 48%. Even the Green Party and the B.C. Conservative Party have picked up momentum on the raw and visceral dislike for the HST, improving to 13% and 6%, respectively.

The poll also asked the hypothetical question of whether they would still support the same choices if embattled Premier Gordon Campbell, whose approval rating was 28% according to a poll conducted by The Mustel Group in May, were to resign and a new leader take his place.

This is significant, since it means that not only is Mr.Campbell damaged goods for the party, but he has done perhaps irreparable damage to the party itself. Even tossing the party leader overboard may not be enough to save the ship at this point.

The Liberals have shown surprising resiliency over their nine years in power, despite numerous scandals, controversies and bad press. The implementation of the carbon tax in 2008, for instance, at a time when gasoline prices were at a historic high worldwide, was not enough to remove them from power...

When it was revealed a few short months after the 2009 election that Premier Campbell’s lowball estimate of a $495-million deficit “max” was actually $2.7-billion, the leader took a huge hit on his credibility. And when it was announced that the province would be receiving a $1.6-billion “transitional” payment from Ottawa that was factored into the projected deficit, many critics called this the “Fudge-it Budget 2,” after the former NDP premier Glen Clark.

Now, 14 years later, it is Gordon Campbell who is under pressure to resign for the good of the party, following his own Fudge-It Budget. But it must be said that support for the leader has evaporated mostly because of his obstinate refusal to back down from the HST, despite a grassroots petition initiative to repeal it that secured 700,000 signatures between April and July. The HST, which has been characterized as a $2-billion tax shift from corporations to consumers even by former finance minister Carole Taylor, has shown early signs of damaging the rebounding B.C. real estate market.

The Angus Reid poll shows that in a breakdown of results by region, gender, age and income, the Liberals trail the NDP in every category but one: those who earn over $100,000 a year still support the Liberals by a margin of two percentage points.

Even if Mr.Campbell doesn’t voluntarily step aside as the clear obstacle to his party’s future electoral fortunes, he may quite well lose his seat in the legislature come November. The same group that launched the successful HST petition will be looking to begin a recall campaign, which by B.C. elections law cannot begin until 18 months following the previous general election. If Mr. Campbell is unseated from his Vancouver-Point Grey riding, you can be sure that the internal pressure from his party to step aside will become almost overwhelming.

The party and current posse are so tainted and there are so many skeletons falling out of the closets, it's gotta be regime change, or the Liberals will truly become the Socreds. It's the slowest falling upon the sword ever - year after year. Scandal, mismanagement and controversy, with so much more sure to come. You can only plug a hole in a dam for so long. And we here on the street, the vanquished, so to speak, are being taxed out of a decent life, with BC's resources and assets being given to the Corporation as plunder for the victors.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Interesting Times Ahead: How Low can the BC Liberals Go?

Isn't this a hoot? Apparently the BC Liberals are doing so bad at the polls that even if Walking Eagle (who is so full of B.S. he can't fly) was replaced by more popular, appealing and charismatic leaders the party would still be behind the NDP, a party whose "leader" is pretty much invisible and a party that doesn't really have much in the way of a platform, or strategy to actually get elected. hahahaha

HST Damage Mounts

One month into the HST, how are things adding up for all of you? I know my wallet is lighter and I'm definitely watching how I spend my money more, as are others I know. People on fixed, or low incomes - seniors, families, the poor will be really struggling more and more each month.

Someone I know recently had a five day stay at a hotel. They paid $72.85 in HST on the room. $5.40 HST on daily parking. HST on food, and on anything else purchased.

Premier Campbell & Minister Hanson, can you remind us all how the HST is going to balance out again?

Fall Recall

The Fall should be damn interesting, as the anti-HST folks should have no problem springing into action with an easy recall of some of the Liberal MLA's. They've done their homework and know which ridings are the most vulnerable.

Lekstrom saw the writing on the wall and jumped the sinking ship first. When more people sign the petition than voted for you, as a MLA , it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out your days might be numbered in a most public, humbling and embarrassing way. There is some karma coming for the ostrich and possum crowd.
Can't wait for the mayhem, should be interesting to see.

As more and more businesses start feeling the pinch from the HST and the general economic downturn, look to them to start complaining louder. I would also guess there will be some real rancor between businesses that are losing and the BC Liberal corporate supporters and cheerleaders (I guess donations to the Liberals come with a price tag after all).

But the question of the day remains, what will be left of BC by the time of the next election? And what state will things be in? The Liberals have a lot of work left to be done to sell off BC's precious resources and assets.


Replacing Campbell Would help Liberals But Not Save Them, Poll Says
Party led by Carole Taylor or Dianne Watts would be more popular, but would still lose to NDP
CHAD SKELTON, Vancouver Sun August 6, 2010

Angus Reid Public Opinion surveyed 800 British Columbians in late July and asked them which party they would support if an election was held tomorrow.

Only 27 per cent of those surveyed picked the Liberals, well behind the NDP at 48 per cent. The Greens picked up 13-per-cent support and the B.C. Conservatives six per cent.

The Liberals, who beat the NDP 46-42 in the May 2009 election, have trailed in opinion polls ever since, largely due to public anger over the introduction of the harmonized sales tax.

The Liberals hit bottom in early July, when an Angus Reid poll put them at just 23-per-cent support — slightly above the 21 per cent the NDP received in the 2001 election, when it was reduced to two seats.

The poll results reveal how deeply unpopular Campbell has become.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they disapprove of the job the premier is doing. And two-thirds said their opinion of Campbell has worsened in the past three months. Only two per cent said it has improved.