It’s one thing to lose a referendum on a regressive tax that came in on a lie, that was a tax shift from businesses to real human beings, and that removed PST exemptions on real necessities or awesome products like cloth diapers, kids shoes, food, smoke alarms, child car seats, bikes and fire extinguishers. But it’s wholly another thing to delay the removal of the HST for 18 months, which brings it up to around the next fixed election date. This way the government gets to keep their FrankenTax for almost their whole term, assuming the premier doesn’t hold an ego election sooner.
There is no way in the world it will take 18 months to revert back to the old tax regime. They need to step that up, and the BC Conservative Party has already demanded that. Good for them!
But then on Friday the premier sent out an email to her supporters [I wonder if anyone in cabinet received it!] detailing her thoughts on moving forward, post-HST. It was sprinkled with Tea Party rhetoric. Let’s take a look!
The special words are underlined in her email below. The bold words are in the original email.
- Smarts. Kevin Falcon has smarts. Lots of them. Not intelligence, mind you, but smarts. Smarts screams Sarah Palin. I’d be shocked if Christy Clark doesn’t have to pay her a royalty on the use of that word.
- Job Creators. The right wing in the United States has stopped referring to all those morally bankrupt fake human beings called corporations as corporations. Corporate boards have sucked hundreds of billions of dollars out of human wealth through their recent recession extortion. They also hurt the real economy by destroying tens of thousands of jobs in huge swaths of massive profit taking. Thus the greedy right has started calling corporations Job Creators, as in, we need to cut corporate taxes and give them wild subsidies so they can create [sic] jobs in this jobless recovery.
- Our free enterprise approach that brings BC together so we all win. This is just nonsense. The free enterprise system with low taxes for corporations and the rich is all about increasing income disparity. There is no communal win when deregulated, tax-free capitalism undermines any redistribution. This is part of the right wing plan to convince us we all benefit when the rich get richer. It’s an empty argument, but constant repetition over the last 30 years has made many of us believe it.
- She characterizes the NDP as having a high tax, free spending plan that tries to divide our province into winners and losers. The worst part is that their approach really means we all lose. The BC Liberal Party has been dividing the province into winners and losers. That’s what capitalism is all about. Don’t be fooled by this notion that we all lose if the rich can’t get richer off our backs.We weren’t fooled by the HST spin that said we’d live in the land of milk and honey if we just had faith in…whatever the Liberals were selling us.
- Adrian Dix is spending his time traveling the province attacking me and our government. Notice the primacy of her victimization. It’s the cult of right wing persecution. Sarah Palin and her gotcha questions and Michelle Bachmann and…all questions.
So, thanks to the premier, our border with the financially handicapped USA has become more porous for Tea Party rhetoric.
But why is she doing this? Likely for the same reasons she pretended to be a server in a diner last spring: to augment Brand Christy Clark[tm] by making her appear to be everywoman, who works hard for her money.
But there’s more to it all than just this:
- The BC Liberals are worried about voter bleed to the rising BC Conservative Party, especially in their heartlands.
- Brand Christy Clark has no overt, obvious, substantial support from caucus, so she returns to something familiar: herself.
- She has a warm relationship with her base/constituency: the thousands of people she signed up to the party who voted her in as leader/premier. Sadly for her, those people are not the core base of the party, nor are they particularly supportive of caucus as a whole, nor are they a representative group of voters in 85 ridings in BC, many of which [particularly in swing ridings] voted quite seriously against her party’s and her HST spin.
- Her political achievements come before any loyalty to a party or a province. She has trouble with follow-through. A couple decades ago she, a member of the SFU Young Liberals, was elected to the SFU student society in a slate of people claiming to be non-partisan. [I’ve already written about the Lie of Non-Partisanship, ironically about Vancouver’s NPA, under which Christy Clark once tried to run for mayor, while she lived in Port Moody. Opportunism over investing in community.] She later ran for SFU student society president with that slate, but while winning by 6 votes, her campaign was deemed to have violated campaign rules, so she lost her win while the rest of her slate was obliterated. But then free of the burden of her underachieving slate she ran in the by-election for president. And lost. She then left SFU for a career in European university tourism, graduating with no degree from SFU or any university in Europe. She did not stay to build a right wing slate with substance, effective campaigning and a compelling vision for anything. She just left when she lost. This is the same kind of empty leadership she has provided BC for months now. Families first? This rhetoric is empty of policy. Job creation strategy? It’s coming. Maybe. Building a cohesive caucus that can demonstrate a plan for BC? Nope. A commitment to run again in Point Grey? No.
So keep your eyes out for the above themes coming out of Victoria.
Also watch for any evidence than any caucus member has a series of encouraging things to say about their leader. So far, it’s been quiet, along with two resignations, including one from the MLA who took over her cosy Port Moody seat, just in time for her to run there again.
And as much as I hate to paraphrase the federal Conservative Party, she didn’t come back for British Columbians, or Point Grey, or BC families, or the unemployed, or team building a caucus in which virtually no one endorsed her, of the city of Vancouver as a mayoral candidate, or Port Moody if she chooses to run there.
She came back for herself. And if she blows it all, don’t worry. She will land well. She always does.
Message from Premier Christy Clark on HST Referendum
Well, the HST referendum is behind us and, while I am disappointed in the result, I wanted to share with you some thoughts about where we go from here.
I think we all owe a special debt of gratitude to Kevin Falcon, our Minister of Finance. Kevin worked tirelessly to consult with the public to make the case for the improved HST — we would not have come as close as we did without his SMARTS, energy and leadership.
As I just informed the media, we are returning to the PST with the exemptions that existed prior to the introduction of the HST. That is what people voted for and that is what will happen. We will also take other measures to help
JOB CREATORS and to make sure our economy remains stable in a sea of global economic turmoil.
Our focus must be on one thing more than any other: jobs for BC families. We will be presenting a plan that strengthens free enterprise, expands markets for BC products and sticks with our commitments to low taxes and a fiscally responsible approach.
Our cabinet is excited about this plan to defend and create BC jobs — and I think you will be too when it is outlined in the coming weeks. It is the product of extensive listening and will be a good example of how open government really works for BC families.
The stakes are tremendously high, especially with our economy in jeopardy due to the global situation. We need to act boldly because the alternative is an NDP government led by Adrian Dix, one of the main architects of the disastrous economic policies of the 1990s. It is a choice between our free enterprise approach that brings BC together so we all win, or a high tax, free spending plan that tries to divide our province into winners and losers. The worst part is that their approach really means we all lose.
Adrian Dix is spending his time traveling the province attacking me and our government. Their union bosses have now joined in with negative TV ads. We have to fight back. I hope you will click here to make a secure donation of $25, $50 or $100 today. With so much on the line, every dollar helps.
It is time for BC to turn the page on our long debate about the HST. Let’s get on with building our economy and creating a bright future for our families.
PS: I would really appreciate it if you could take a minute to make a secure online donation by clicking here.