My dad left for home this morning, heading back for a planned fishing trip that will occupy that last precious week of his vacation. He’s a relative spring chicken still, at only 58, but I can tell you that he would ” kick your ass to high heaven” if you did him wrong! It’s kind of funny to talk with him now about all the things he used to tell me polite people should never discuss- things like politics, money and religion. Times change, I guess, and that’s not always a bad thing.
We covered all three of those ‘forbidden’ topics during the odd quiet moments when the kids were either eating, sleeping or otherwise engrossed in some toys or books that kept their endless chatter to a minimum. It was great, more than great actually, to discover that dad has all the same passion as I do for ousting the Liberals, and being from Prince George, Pat Bell and Shirley Bond is on his hit list. It sounds like there are a hell of a lot of angry people up there, people who feel that Bond and Bell deliberately pulled the wool over their eyes on the HST, and other northern BC issues. Enbridge is not gaining support in Prince George because people are smart enough to know that any jobs that might be created during the construction process, are not permanent ones, and people can’t live on hope and a prayer in these ” tough economic times ” .
I was sitting in traffic on the way to a belated birthday dinner my dad planned for the kids and I when I heard the announcement about the successful HST petition, and the shocking news that Elections BC didn’t plan to do a damn thing about it.
You know what happened when I heard that? Tears actually sprung to my eyes, not of sadness, but from the hot, burning anger that was boiling my blood! I am not joking you one bit. I was so bloody angry – and still am, by the way- that Elections BC seems to have made the same, serious mistake that I mentioned G0rdon Campbell did a few days ago : they failed to recognize the importance, and the power, of the people’s vote. Or, to be precise,the extreme importance,and power, of each and every signature on that petition.
The anger in Bill Vanderzalm’s voice as he belted out his declaration of total recall over the radio waves made the hair stand up on the back of my arms, and sent goosebumps down my legs.
Just how far will this government go to keep the people from exercising their democratic rights? This entire sham of waiting for the court cases to complete is just crooked, bloody well damn crooked. It’s just coated with Liberal slime, which in my opinion, is not unlike the viscous ooze slugs leave behind on sidewalks during their nightly travels.
Bill Tieleman tells us why this lack of action by Elections BC is a joke:
Let’s be clear – there is no legal impediment for Elections BC to proceed – the big business coalition filed an extraordinarily late attempt to overturn the Fight HST petition just one day before it was filed – on June 29.
The big business organizations who all stand to benefit by gaining millions of dollars in HST revenue transferred from consumers to their pockets have never obtained nor even attempted to get a court injunction to stop the Initiative.
Failing that, Elections BC has no reason to block the next step – sending the draft Initiative petition legislation called the HST Extinguishment Act to a Select Standing Committee of the BC Legislature.
The Recall and Inititiative Act is extremely clear – if the petition is verified as having met the threshold, then ” … the chief electoral officer must send a copy of the petition and draft Bill to the select standing committee.”
Not “may”. Not “whenever he or she feels like it”. Not “after business groups take a legal run at the petition” – the Act says the chief electoral offier “must” – no ifs ands or buts.
“B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is hailing the passage of the anti-HST petition as a good day for democracy.“We should recognize that this really is, kind of, a celebration of democracy. The reason we have an initiative and referendum legislation in place is to give citizens those tools,” the Liberal premier said Wednesday while in California to address the State legislature.
“So to those who felt that it was important enough to motivate them to sign the petition and move it forward, congratulations to them.”
But Mr. Campbell rejected the suggestion that the milestone comes at the expense of his Liberal government, which is already suffering from an erosion of party support over the issue.
“It’s at no one’s expense,” he said. “It’s actually a way that public democracy actually works, and encourages people to participate in public policy and public life. Every time people do that, there’s a benefit.”
He said he expects a thorough debate on the issue when the petition eventually goes to a committee of the legislature for discussion on what happens next.