- Former Williams Lake mayor and B.C. Liberal nominee Scott Nelson (in the Vancouver Sun), Sept. 7, 2010
This week's song, One, is dedicated to Premier Campbell for all of his work on the HST.
What an extraordinary time of decline in the popularity of Premier Gordon Campbell. Headlines and news stories loudly trumpeting that Campbell now has the dubious distinction of having the lowest poll number, 12%, of any Premier in Canada and even apparently any leader around the world according to the news report on Global BC TV last night.
You're #1 at sucking Mr. Campbell, wooohooo!
We always knew this, it just took everyone else some time to catch up, including some of your party faithful.
It's very exciting to see some of the BC Liberal foot soldiers, starting to fight back and speak out publically and advocate for Campbell's resignation (and Hanson's in Bateman's case, at least initially).
People should not miss the importance of these actions - they demonstrate that the people who co-opted the BC Liberal party have become so unbelievably arrogant and out of touch they've even lost the faith, support and money of their own party members and cheerleaders. You know you're at the point of oblivion and well on the way to extinction when you're being attacked from inside the organism.
Some of these people, like Steve Forseth and Jordan Bateman are the future of this party and they are pissed that their party has been hijacked by the HST issue and by the likes of Campbell and co. who are destroying the party from within and without.
These henchmen and hacks are the future candidates, in the "paying their dues" time of their political careers. And they're angry because these savvy young Libs know, the BC Liberal brand is becoming mud with voters all across the Province and across the voting spectrum and age demographics. Lose, lose and lose any way you look at it.
Here, in no particular order, some of the evidence of the slow, painful and very welcome implosion of the BC Liberals:
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
CTV British Columbia is reporting that South Peace MLA Blair Lekstrom is calling on Premier Gordon Campbell to step down.
"You hope that he knows when the time has come. I think, without question, most people would agree that the time has come to have a new premier," Lekstrom told CTV News.
Lekstrom resigned from the Liberal caucus earlier this year in protest over the HST and has been sitting as an independent MLA since.
Former Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA Dennis MacKay called on BC Premier Gordon Campbell to retire because of the HST.
MacKay says he's become increasingly disillusioned with the Liberals under Campbell, especially with the harmonized sales tax.
MacKay also says he supports former Liberal cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom who quit Campbell's cabinet and the Liberal caucus last June over the way the government was moving ahead with the HST despite widespread concerns among British Columbians.
"I now find myself, with deep regret, having to join the ranks of Blair Lekstrom, Scott Nelson and Sheila Orr asking BC Premier Gordon Campbell to retire as Leader of the BC Liberal Party..."
For months now, I have tried to convince BC Liberals’ privately, via numerous emails/phone calls, that the provincial government’s communication strategy vis-a-vis the HST and the future of Gordon Campbell is woefully inadequate and needs to change before the voters’ stop listening to us as BC Liberals’.
Gordon Campbell no doubt retains the support of both the Caucus and Cabinet – after all, he is the “Boss”. However, he does not now have, in my view, the support of rank and file BC Liberal Party members’...*****************************
B.C. Liberals try to quash party rebellions: HST Backlash: Members say Campbell has poisoned the party
By Michael Smyth, The Province, September 12, 2010.
Excerpts:Party activists were determined to send Campbell, and the rest of the party brass, a pointed message: The premier has become such a reviled and politically toxic figure that his continued leadership of the Liberals threatens to send the reeling party over a cliff.
Reichert told the rebellious group they had no authority to call for Campbell's resignation and their resolution was out of order. The executive stuck it in his face by voting on it anyway, deciding unanimously to "receive, note and file" the resolution, recording the vote in the official minutes of the meeting.
"He [Kelly Reichert, executive director of the B.C. Liberal party] seemed very worried this was going to leak out to the media and it would embarrass the premier," Forseth said, adding the Liberal fixer pleaded for patience.
"He said Campbell could absorb the damage from the HST, so the next leader would not have to wear it," Forseth said. "But our worry is that it's too late for that. The longer Gordon Campbell stays, the worse it will get."*****************************************
A brilliant editorial by Joseph Roberts of Common Ground magazine is a must-read, but you will have to pick it up at your local library, health food store or elsewhere, as it's not online from what I can see. Here are excerpts below.
Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right: Harper and Campbell tried to harmonize their financial blunders
Two wrongs don't make a right, but this is how Harper and Campbell tried to harmonize their blunders so voters wouldn't notice, or find out.
The first big error occurred when the Conservatives cut the GST from 7% to 5%, which gutted the Feds’ profitable margin for tax collection... The Feds were short of money and not wanting to look stupid, they couldn't just say, “Sorry, we screwed up and we need to put the GST back to 7%, or maybe even eight or 9% to make up for the lost tax revenues.”
They came up with a new tax scheme called the Harmonized Sales Tax. They would pitch it to the provinces and offer them an incentive in the form of transition funding (some call it a bribe).
BC was reeling from the Olympic debt hangover even though MLA’s wages just kept going up. [Ed. And the salaries of senior bureaucrats.] But they wouldn't let the voters know they had blown their budget. It would have been political suicide before the election to tell voters they would be bringing in a new tax (i.e. hiders make liars).
More than 700,000 voters in BC have signed the anti-HST petition and they want better governance. Voters do not like taxation without representation, as was the case when BC's HST was rammed through by an order in Council rather than being fully debated in the legislature. Voters want democracy. They are standing their ground through the process of referendum and if that does not provide relief, then through recall of MLA's.
Two wrongs don't make a right but it does make for strange bedfellows. The provincial Liberal/Conservatives and the federal Conservatives/Liberals have taken each other as dancing partners to distract the voters from seniors fiscally lame screw-ups. Simply put, the Feds are in debt so they take our tax money and give it to the province. Likewise, the province is in debt so intakes are provincial tax money and gives it to the Feds.
This dance of debt continues until the music stops. It is not this writer's intention to have Tweedledee or Tweedledum run our government, but whichever parties are elected, the citizens of our land should be treated with honesty, fairness and provided full disclosure. This is currently not the case and it is up to the citizens to make it so.