As the campaign for voters’ hearts and minds in the provincial HST referendum reaches its final stage, most of us seem to have heavy hearts. And according to a recent Angus Reid poll, some of us have such clouded minds we’re not even clear on what the basic question means any more.
It can’t be doubted that some of the confusion comes from a chorus of raised voices – not to mention stick figures – who accost us daily.
Do we trust Fight HST organizers Bill Vander Zalm and Chris Delaney?
They play well to the emotions, particularly locally (a point that Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, an Ocean Park resident and Surrey-Cloverdale MLA might want to give closer attention). But while their successful grassroots initiative resulted in the referendum in the first place, they have not been immune to charges of misleading the public on facts.
Neither has the provincial NDP, which has launched a campaign to extinguish the HST and return to the GST-plus-PST structure.
Do we believe their claim that going back to the GST/PST will help balance the budget sooner, as well as save taxpayers $2 billion?
Falcon has attacked NDP Leader Adrian Dix for faulty math, saying the 10 per cent HST rate promised by the Liberals by 2014 is clearly less than the 12 per cent GST/PST rate championed by Dix. Falcon also wonders where the money will come from to “fix the $3-billion hole extinguishing the HST would create?” – possibly forgetting that, for taxpayers, this begs the question of who actually dug the hole.
The average taxpayer might be forgiven for wondering if, like Diogenes, one must venture forth with a lamp seeking someone who will give us a straightforward – and honest – answer.
– Black Press