Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can You Hear it Coming?

"Man is not free unless government is limited." (Ronald Reagan

Just a few short weeks from now, the HST is scheduled to "go into action"... and I resent it. Not, though, for the reasons many people would think.

You see, it's not the tax that chafes me - truth is, I figure we're going to pay more tax sooner or later, in one way or another. Nor is this an "anti-Liberal" or "pro-NDP" position piece - I'm not interested is writing something that inflames the reader because of their political loyalties or leanings.

Nope. I'm just pissed off about how it's being brought in.

See, the government is supposed to represent it's people, speaking on their behalf because direct representation on all policies is impossible. Therefore, we elect individuals to represent us after finding someone that most reflects our beliefs and ideals, fiscally and socially. The problem is, when the individuals are voted into office based on misdirection and hidden agendas... well, then it invalidates the whole process. And this, quite frankly, makes me furious.

Firstly, let me be clear: I am 100% sure, despite what they say, that the Liberals not only knew they were going to bring in the HST but that they already had the plan in the works... and I'm pretty sure that they didn't let the voting public know about this because that would have seriously impacted their chance at winning. Why do I say this? Because when they were questioned about it point blank before the election, they answered "...a harmonized GST is not something that is contemplated in the BC Liberal platform..." - which, if you read it carefully, suggests that they wouldn't bring in an HST, but never actually says so. So now, when people angrily claim "You said you wouldn't bring in a harmonized sales tax!!" they can respond "No, we never said that...". Which is true. Smoke and mirrors, twisting words, political double-speak, and completely lacking in moral integrity - but true.

To make matters worse, I'm seeing an incredible swelling of anti-HST sentiment, and it's growing exponentially - which makes the situation even worse. Because clearly, the people who voted this governement into office are unhappy with this tax... and, as their representatives, this same government should at least be putting this question to a referendum before implementing it. Instead, they fall back on the plausible deniability of their statements and, with an exceeding arrogance, push through a policy that has polarized a province-wide movement of discontent. If the Liberals are so sure of themselves, what are they afraid of? Why not hold the referendum? Oh, right - because it costs too much. And they know better than we do. And - most importantly - because I'm pretty sure they fear that they'd lose.

I hope the recall goes through, and then I hope they listen.

Because in this day and age of policital apathy, the only thing that could lower our voter turnout even more is for a government to show that, in the end, our voices really don't matter.

So hold this government accountable - force them to do this properly. You know what? I may, in the end, vote "Yes" in a well publicized and properly educated process... or I may vote against it only to see it come into effect anyway because the "Yes" side wins.

Either way - I just want the chance to make the choice. For right or wrong, it's time for us to take the power back into our hands and remind the politicians that they work for us... not the other way around.

~Guy

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