Democracy speaks.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

 Theodore Roosevelt

Today my friends, defeat is not in our vocabulary and instead, we know great triumphs, great victories, and great joys. As Roosevelt stated,  the credit does belong to the men and women in the trenches.

 On this momentous day, I would like to extend a hearty, hearty thank you to not only the organizers of the Fight HST effort, but to the thousands of selfless volunteers across this great province who slogged in the snow, the rain and the hot sun to assist in collecting signatures, posting signs, and doing all the quiet behind the scenes work that is rarely recognized.

I would like to thank every person who was a part of the people’s media effort, spreading the facts and truths via email, facebook and blogs, the people who attended rallies, stood on street corners and spent long hours doing what needed to be done.

We did it without the big budget, without the big PR names and without stick people.

We did it with our hearts, and with the truth.

I was at the very first HST rally as were many of you, and I will never forget standing by the side of the stage and taking a photo back of the thousands of people who attended that day. That fire, that feeling, never subsided, despite what the pundits predicted. And that fire carried us through to victory.

" The massive crowd at Saturdays HST rally in Vancouver- and this doesn't show the crowds packed into the sides, the balconies on each side, nor the people spilling out and down onto the sidewalks back by the street

Democracy only works if you claim it for your own – and you clearly did.  But this is not the time to sit back and relax, this is the time for each and everyone of you to think about where you want this province to go. For what legacy you wish to leave your children, your grandchildren, and for what part in democracy you must continue to take to ensure not only your future, but the futures of those who come behind us. 

The HST is but only one of many issues that threaten not only the economic stability of this province, but the quality of life for far too many of us. It is now time for all of you to inform yourself about these issues as well. Issues like the debt loads behind the provinces many P3 projects not counted as provincial debt, but contractual commitments. The destruction of BC Hydro. The ongoing BC ferries debacle, all of these are long term financial disasters that are looming overhead just as the HST has for so long. The way the HST was introduced is not an singular incident, it is how the BC liberals do business, and have done business for years. In backrooms, with handshakes, and deceit. Just read the numerous articles on my Best Of page to get a small idea of what we are facing.

Democracy doesn’t stop today, let this be the start of a new era in voter awakening in British Columbia, and if anything, say a thank you to the BC liberals for opening the eyes of so many in this province via the HST.  Let this be the start, no matter what your  political leaning is, to take the initiative to become more involved in the decisions the decision makers are making! 

And never forget, we don’t work for the government…

The government works for us. And you just told them what to do.

HST Referendum Results

Where it all started- the September 2009 Vancouver Rally.

37 thoughts on “Democracy speaks.

  1. Lynn

    This whole process has been bitter sweet.
    Yes, democracy ruled today. It took this vote to put not only the current sitting government MLA’s but all politicians throughout the country.
    It took this event to force the current sitting government and their corporate pals to realise that the citizens of this province can and do, on occasion, wake up. Everyone has a duty to participate in the day to day business of running the province. If they had this bloody embarrassment would not have happened.
    A lot of things would not have happened.
    Economists now have about as much credibility as Bhagdad Bob. So stop your pontificating on what will happen. After all it is that MBA holding group that sold savings and loans, dot coms,and direvitives. Look where those successes left the globe.

    Like

  2. Wayne Russell

    It goes so much deeper than the HST, All of Canada has been watching us, the people of BC to see if we would make this referendum, Recall work. Now they know and I predict that they to will demand the same. If this comes to pass, never again will any government in Canada take us for granted. They will be held accountable. Our BC rail (OURS) should never be sold without asking the people, Our rivers should never be sold without asking the people, When 10.4% of our children in BC are below the poverty line, the government should not put up a 600 million roof to comfort a few people without asking all the people, and the list goes on. My thoughts anyhow.

    Like

  3. Patricia Warden

    Very well said, Laila, and thank you for the work you are doing. It is more valuable than perhaps you know.

    HST…check.
    Next…”Smart” meters….. NO, NO, NO!!!

    Like

  4. SB

    Thanks Laila you worked hard to help the grass roots movement influence change your blog along with others was a huge part of the success , it is nice to see we can send a message and change a wrong and let us hope its not quite done we need a change in who manages our affairs in Victoria on to that next no more corrupt back room games allowed.

    Like

  5. Great post, Laila! You are so right. The anti-HST movement was just the beginning. We have so much more to do in order to hold the BC Liberals’ feet to the fire. They may think that we’ll be content with winning this referendum, but they’ll soon find out they’re wrong. The biggest hurdle we must get over, however, is the apathetic attitude of our mainstream media. If it weren’t for you, Laila, and your online colleagues, many of us would be completely in the dark about the dirty deals that have been made, and are still being made by our governing party. We will be forever in your debt.

    Like

  6. Julie

    Thank you Laila, and thank you to all the HST team people.

    I feel a lot more safe now. We have some democracy back, that was stolen from us. When people’s Civil Rights and Liberties are taken from them. When they are stolen from, unfair, impossible taxes forced on them. That’s why people feel so much rage, they riot.

    There is still a lot of resentment though. It only took only 90 days, to force the HST onto the people. However, the HST can’t be undone until 2013?? I don’t buy that. I don’t buy, we have to pay the 1.6 billion back. We very clearly said, NO to the HST. This was a deal set up between, Harper, Campbell and Hansen, before the BC election. I say, Harper, the Campbell/Christy BC Liberals owe the BC people, the HST money thieved from us, right up to 2013.

    It’s about time Harper cleaned up his act too. To send someone as corrupt as Campbell, to England as High Commissioner, is another very huge source of anger, and embarrassment to Canadians. Especially to the BC citizens.

    Like

  7. Gary

    Democracy won today !!! We cannot forget to keep the pressure on these fools that call themselves the Liberal Party. They will wank ,whine, squirm, and lie some more trying to weasel out from under their new obligations. They won’t punish us too badly yet because believe it or not, they still seem to think that they can win another election. If by some fluke they do ( win ), then not even God will be able to help us. You have been a great inspiration in this Laila, but the job is not quite done yet.
    I saw Crusty and Falcon on the news tonight, Crusty looked like she wanted to start flinging the F bombs at us and Falcon looked like he was going to cry. What a pathetic duo.

    Like

  8. Lisa Papp

    I voted for the first time in anything because of when I heard you on Jon Mcombs show on CKNW and about how they could raise it as much as they wanted to down the road. Thank you because I cant afford to pay any more than I can and since the HST I cant even take my kids out for a cheap dinner anymore once a month. I thank you and your fellow writers for what you do for us people who cant talk like you and no one would listen anyways. Thank you from my kids and from my heart for what you do, bless your soul!

    Like

  9. Jenny,Len and Peter and Tanis.

    It’s over! Falcon probably can’t even swallow right now. I live up the street from you and would like to say I would support you if you run for MLA in this riding, and my neighbours all will too. We eternally appreciate what you do, and for speaking for what is right, and your posts with Mike Jagger were very revealing when he could not dispute what you were saying.

    I would very much like to have you represent our community, because I know you would truly represent us!
    Thank you to you, and Norman Farrell for that blog you both did, and for starting the boycott. See you in September!

    Like

  10. Norman Farrell

    This was a victory of unfunded ordinary people standing up for principles against the corporate media, giant multi-national corporations and, sadly, agencies funded by our tax dollars. Premier Clark thanked Finance Minister Kevin Falcon for his work to save HST. That proved what we have been saying in the alternative media: the government did not conduct the campaign with any attempt to be fair and balanced. The HST information office, the panels of “independent experts”, etc. were all efforts to achieve the result they wanted. Dishonesty of Clark, Falcon et al is proved conclusively.

    Like

  11. Gloria

    I just can’t wrap my mind around, how corrupt Campbell was. I can’t believe, the Liberal Ministers and MLA’s, didn’t lift a finger to stop Campbell’s lunacy. I can’t believe they supported Campbell working for Harper. Campbell’s every purpose was, to dismantle and destroy BC. He lied to and cheated, his own citizens. Campbell and Harper, are the most vile politicians, this country have ever known.

    Christy and Falcon are both Campbell clones. BC is a province of natural resources, there was not one benefit for the BC citizens, at all. The HST was totally to thieve from the people, to give to big business. Big business gave nothing to the people as promised. All they did was, jack their prices through the roof. BC gained no jobs, by the HST. BC lost jobs instead, there are more lay offs on the way.

    Now they say, we must pay back the HST that was stolen from us by, Campbell, Hansen and Harper. Just as we paid Campbell to thieve the BCR from us. Our tax dollars were stolen from us, to pay the two patsies that took the fall for Campbell, legal fees.

    Anyone who thinks crime doesn’t pay??? It sure in the hell does in Canada.

    Like

    1. Laila

      Thank you to all of you for the kind words, but really, this is as Norman states, a huge victory of ordinary people like you and I. We all did our part with what we had.

      So here is the question I have.

      Considering Falcon states the transition is a “manageable step back” and our provincial purse is in good shape (* or so he claims, but I think he has is still pretending he has no clue about the IPP, hydro, P3 debt commitments) What is the big deal the media and the government is making about how and where to address cuts to handle the ” situation” ?

      The idea the HST is revenue neutral has been completely blown out of the water and everyone knows this is a cash cow- that is why governments go to VAT’s in the first place.

      The BC Liberals will therefore have the revenue coming in from the HST for the next 18 months( as per their words) and can therefore apply the revenues generated during this 18 months to the amount negotiated to be paid back to the feds, as well as transition costs. Again, go the best of page and read the HST agreement.

      As for having to rehire the staff we paid for years in the first place, simply transfer them back. If it was already in the budget to pay for them prior to the HST, it will be there now. This is all a big fearmongering tactic to make people feel bad about voting to get rid of it.

      Like

  12. Jean

    Hi Laila,

    Sybil and I went into the big city today and what a great day it was. Part way in I I wished I had emailed you to see if you would like to ride in with me, the old coulda woulda shoulda!

    I would like to add Lillian VZ to the list of thankyous. She has worked tirelessly, staying home to man the computers and not able to travel with Bill as she always has. Could we also add the 6 million Care cards to the to-do list?!

    Thanks to you and everyone who worked so hard to get this all happening.

    Jean

    Like

  13. Wayne Russell

    I talked to the owner opeator of our small town health food store today. He said it was total nonsense to take 18 months to revert back to PST. He said even with his 1000’s of items he could do it tomorro with out any problem.

    Like

  14. Coral

    I notice there is a distinct scolding tone in the many of the mainstream media stories and editorials today. The wording varies, but the basic message being that we (i.e, the majority who voted to extinguish the HST) are naughty and stupid and will be punished for causing grief for those who herd us and milk us.

    I have disliked the biased selective reporting in the mainstream media for a long time, but I REALLY offended by this tone since it implies we (the majority) are too base and stupid to be entrusted with the right to vote.

    This toxic anti-democratic spin makes me want to hurl. But on the other hand, I get the impression that most people are on to it now and are not buying it – witness yesterday’s results – and that is really encouraging.

    Congratulations and thanks to all who gave so much time and effort to make this happen – it is the best thing to happen in this province for a very long time!

    Like

  15. Linda

    I agree with you Coral.

    I was very offended by, Global TV. I will never watch that channel again. None of the media have stood up for the people, they are bashers. There is no such thing as good journalism and reporting anymore. When the BC Liberals pull their strings, they dance. They are all devoid of honor, they have no ethics what-so-ever. There is no pride or honesty in the media. They are a total disgrace to their professions. That’s the way they will go down in history, along with the worst, than disgraceful BC Liberals.

    Like

  16. Paul

    Well thanks to Stephen Harper, Gordon Campbell is now in England as our new High Commissioner.

    Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said yesterday that the HST will remain in place until 2013.

    QUESTION: How much HST will Gordon Campbell be paying until 2013?

    As of yesterday, I will continue to not pay the HST on anything avoidable.

    If Gordon Campbell doesn’t have to pay it, why should I?

    I’ve discovered that the best way to avoid the HST is to simply find ways to not pay it.

    It now looks like I will have until 2013 to find more ways to not pay it.

    Like

  17. Paul

    Speaking of the disgusting mainstream media reporting, please read Harvey Oberfeld’s blog piece today.

    Harvey Oberfeld spent 8 years as a reporter in print and television so he knows from experience what he’s talking about.

    Here’s his Wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Oberfeld

    —–
    HST: Biased Pundits/Reporters’ Propaganda Failed
    August 27th, 2011

    QUOTES:

    “Too many reporters and too many commentators … pretending to be unbiased or feigning that they had not yet made up their mind … acted as outright propagandists and messengers for the government and big business on the HST.”

    “They should be ashamed of themselves.”
    —–

    Here’s the link:

    http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/hst-biased-pundits-and-reporters-propaganda-failed/

    Like

  18. Colin N

    Thank you for getting the truth out there Laila. This historic referendum is truly a message to all politicians – “Listern to and consult with the people you are governing before making major changes”. The message from 881,219 people who took the time to vote yes and sent in their ballots couldn’t have been more clear. I am so proud to be a British Columbian, especially today.

    One of the 6556 HST Petition volunteers.

    Like

  19. Joey

    It would be a pity if history looked back and sighed, ‘They were so close to the beach before they drifted back out to sea.’

    ‘Too poor and uneducated to understand the benefits’ some pundits are saying; knowing full well that the truth is we aren’t ‘poor and uneducated’ enough to fall for a tax which disproportionately targets the poor and middle class.

    The government is also angry; and while they can’t say so out loud they will punish us in other ways to prove to us that we really are too dumb to make our own decisions.

    We shouldn’t forget that the way we won even this single victory was because we had a free vote. And it took almost two years even though the government knew way back in 2009 that the vast majority were against it. And we almost lost because the corporate sector and our government spent over 25 million dollars to advertise against it. Plus all the free support they got from the media. And most of the ‘democratic’ world is in exactly the same boat we are in.

    I’m just saying that if some issue or other (like the HST) is hugely unpopular we shouldn’t have to fight our government for two years to get it thrown out. We should have a simple vote and our decisions should be respected.

    Like

  20. Paul

    In 2005 Canwest (Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, etc) donated $50,000 to the BC Liberal Party.

    Why?

    That’s a question Charlie Smith from the Georgia Straight tried to ask in a taped interview with Gordon Campbell.

    It’s still on YouTube.

    Charlie Smith: “What do you say to someone who wonders if the government has directed government advertising to Canwest in return for political contributions?”

    Off camera Bridgitte Anderson, Gordon Campbell’s Press Secretary interrupted and objected to the question while Gordon Campbell sat there looking down with an arrogant look on his face.

    Here’s the YouTube Link:

    Spread it around and make them squirm.

    They may have no shame but hopefully many of their current sponsors do.

    urgman

    Like

  21. We have enjoyed 2 victories since last November…..the demise of Gordon Campbell and the demise of the HST. But we have many more battles to fight.

    First of all, we must let the mainstream media know that we’re not going to put up with shoddy reporting anymore.

    Secondly, we must continue to hold the sleazy BC Liberals accountable for their lies (‘revenue neutral’, ’18 month transition period’,etc, etc.)

    Furthermore, the Smart Tax Alliance, or the Chamber of Commerce members, or whatever they call themselves will have to pay for their lies, as well. Anything that I buy from this day forward that was PST exempt, will now be HST exempt. And if these businesses refuse to deduct the HST from the bill, they will be re-stocking the shelves with whatever it was I was going to buy. I live close to the US border and can easily go down there to make my purchases. I really don’t want to do that, but if I’m forced to, I will.

    Finally, more than half the BC Liberal ridings voted to axe the tax. All of the NDP ridings voted to axe the tax. Isn’t there some way that we can get rid of this corrupt government with a vote of non-confidence?

    Like

  22. Donna

    The media is well known, to have no guts, no morals or ethics. They dance a jig for the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. They seem to have no idea, the contempt they have earned for themselves. The media is, a pathetic disgrace to anything honest and decent..

    Hansen said on camera, the HST cost very little to force the HST onto the people. Now it’s going to cost billions to ditch it? More lies and deceit from the BC Liberals. Business owners have said, they can make the switch within minutes.

    Not once did, Campbell/Clark and the BC Liberals, ever have any concern for the everyday BC citizens. This province is of natural resources, the HST does absolutely nothing for the people. Our BC HST goes directly to Harper, the snake.

    Stats Canada named the provinces, who had job gains. BC gained no jobs, because of the HST. Nor has the HST, saved us any money as promised. The HST has driven costs, right out into orbit. We had another hike in the carbon tax. Campbell’s theft and sale of our rivers, will put hydro up to 53% higher. The HST is just too hard a burden for the people. Good grief!! All we have to do is, keep track of what is coming in, and how much is going out, of our wallets. The BC Liberals have no answer, to how the BC people are supposed to pay for all of these unfair taxes and price gouging.

    What about citizens, shopping in the U.S, going underground, shopping in Alberta and online? BC is losing billions in revenue. That’s how much good the HST is to this province. The HST is killing this province and the people. The HST or VAT is crashing the other country’s. BC is at the bottom, of all the western provinces. All the HST provinces are failing. But, the HST is good. Good for what? Big business?

    Like

  23. Joey

    And this from even wikipedia:

    ‘Canwest newspapers and broadcast outlets in British Columbia were regularly criticized for giving a “free ride” to the BC Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell, especially in relation to the scandals and controversies ensuing from the privatization of BC Rail but also in cooperating with the government’s manipulation of information for political purposes, such as the suppression of the actual scale of the deficit or welfare rates in advance of the 2009 election.’

    Can you say government and corporate media in bed together? Canwest newspapers are now owned by Golden Tree Asset Management, a hedge fund in New York on which I haven’t yet found the actual owners. They are not owned by Shaw as many people believe – Shaw bought only the broadcasting assets of Canwest. 64 dollar question: who owns Golden Tree Asset Management? And how can a New York hedge fund possibly be considered Canadian ownership by the CRTC?

    Like

  24. Leah

    Joey…if the New York hedge fund has Canadian ownership…the CRTC would likely say it’s not an issue. Campbell’s son works for a New York hedge fund…same one maybe? Wouldn’t surprise me to find out the Campbell’s have a large stake in Golden Tree Asset Management…but good luck finding out anything with the privacy laws ‘n all.

    Like

  25. Joey

    Well, I had a few beers so I won’t go on at length. But I’d just like to say, if you were faced with a choice between making your own decisions or having your decisions made by a foreign owned media and largely foreign owned corporations which are only here for the money they can make off our natural resources – who do you think?
    Direct Democracy.

    Like

  26. Lisa P.’s comment, way above, is the reason I am willing to pay more income tax, tomorrow.

    Why?

    Because while I cannot afford a $55,000 luxury car, I can afford to pay a little more so those who don’t have as much (as I also once did not) can make a go of it.

    Thanks Laila, et al. for looking out for the folks like Lisa that really and truly do need those PST exemptions.

    .

    Like

  27. Curt

    Google Golden Tree and see where it leads, just keep following, manouevreing on links and it takes you all over. Interesting connections: Emerson, Collins …
    And then a few companies = Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s, Morgan Stanley who filed for bankruptcy in states when troubles began for the big companies, (feds bailed it out) Barclay’s, Citigroup, who also had problems, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs (problems). The news on these companies declaring bankruptcy a few years back and the feds bailing out. And interesting to follow around where people are located. Of course London has a big presence for some of these companies.

    Where’s Gordo?
    I’m just starting, but this is interesting, very interesting.

    Like

  28. Laila

    Hi all, still enjoying time with my family, but thanks for the comments and do carry on! I will be checking in now and then.

    RossK, I fully and completely support your suggestion, since it was Campbell who made such massive cuts to both personal and corporate tax rates during his time-addressed in my new post today.And neither personal tax increases to higher income earners, or corporate tax increases will hurt those who did feel the pain of the HST, but both will strengthen our provincial tax revenue base substantially.

    Question is, will our families first government see the sense we see?

    Like

  29. Kudos to RossK for acknowledging a person (Lisa P) who, without wordiness makes a valid and heartfelt statement.
    Some rule should be made (as I feel “how much is too much” in the “haves” area) that anyone making over $1,000,000 / year (usually not including benefits, perks, bonuses [David Hahn comes to mind] should automatically be donating (without exemption) %10 of their excessive income to a fund, or funds that would automatically be used to shore up healthcare, low-income subsidies, and so forth.

    Am I wrong in saying/asking for that? Why does our Democracy allow only a few to continue to get and get and get while giving very little back? I thought that was always the purpose of “getting rich”, to take care of family and be able to help those who need it.
    So, when is it “too much”?

    As for Christy Clark’s “families first” propaganda, there comes a curse to mind (thanks to Frank Zappa) ~May your shit come to life and kiss you”. ~

    Like

    1. Laila

      Oh, man….. Canadianbud, if you could see my the look my kids just gave me when I gave a singular round of applause to the quote at the end of your comment.

      ” May your shit come to life and kiss you.” ~ Frank Zappa

      Classic. Simply classic. And you are right on. Those who can pay more, should pay more. I’ve mentioned several times higher income earners should be paying more income tax provincially and federally, and Damien( Gillis) backed that up on a recent facebook thread after I posted Christys email there as well. In fact, he pointed out that our response to WWII was to raise the income tax on the highest bracket to 90%, where it remained to the 60’s. It worked then and it will work now, and as he pointed out Warren Buffet even thinks so!! And you are right about Lisa, who I have been emailing back and forth with since that comment, and sharing some of my frugal mom tips on the best places to get deals, coupons and to eat for very inexpensively. I am the Queen of free and cheap, and proudly so! She is doing a fine job with her children. ( hope you read this Lisa! )

      Damien also pointed out a counterpoint to her statement that the NDP ” Would drive up government spending”

      ” NDP to “Drive up government spending”??? Kind of like raising the provincial debt from $34 Billion to $60 Billion, lumping on $50 Billion worth of rip-off IPP contracts, and hiding another $54 Billion in unspecified capital lease contracts, thus raising long term unfunded liabilities of British Columbians by approx. $130 Billion in just over a decade. Oh wait, that was the Campbell/Clark Liberals… ”

      Brava!

      Gary, arrogance doesn’t even begin to cover it, delusional is more like it! She must have some inkling how everyone is laughing at her, really. How she can show her face I do not know.

      Jon, the fact the Winter Owelympic mittens, bearing our patriotic colours and maple leaves, were made in China, speaks volumes. China is the sole reason behind the Gateway iniatives, SFPR, port expansion etc… the only thing is the numbers dont support any of it.

      Henri, you never fail to hit the mark head on..lol…

      Doug, my question is, how much money did the government waste on election readiness?

      But of all these comments, terminalcitygirl wins the award for the most important comment of all:

      “Postponing the inevitable until 2013 also gives the lieberals 18 or so months to bust up and sell off BC Ferries & BC Hydro. Then I think we’ll be pretty much out of lucrative public assets. Also if the financial armeggedon & reckoning can be postponed that long, the NDP will come to power just in time to be blamed for the mess”

      Bingo. The only thing is that I really don’t think she will wait until 2013, because if she does, the Liberals will certainly hold a leadership race with this revolt, and she will not survive to run for premier again. I think Falcon would be working hard in the interim to turn around his public persona.

      Wade! Nice to have you join us!! And you are right on, that is her job..lol. which she has been doing pretty good at so far, in terms of running up more debt..lol.

      Lynn, your boot idea is catching on like wildfire. I posted it to facebook..lol.

      Like

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