To the editor:
The harmonized sales tax referendum isn’t just about tax policy, it’s about democracy itself.
Voting “Yes” to extinguish the HST sends a powerful message to this and every future B.C. government—do not mislead voters by bringing in a major tax policy that you denied you would before an election.
We’ve seen it before from this same B.C. Liberal government that said it wouldn’t privatize BC Rail before the 2001 election and sold it off in 2003.
There are always reasons why many governments insist they just had to break their word and usually have a few years to get away with it before the next election.
Not this time.
Remember that 700,000 people in B.C. signed a petition to kill the HST. The government did not listen, instead spent millions of dollars to convince us that, in fact, we like it. Rubbish.
For the first time in Canadian history—even Commonwealth history—voters have a chance to democratically overturn a government policy that was imposed against their will.
That in itself is reason enough to vote “Yes” to extinguish the HST—to punish a government that didn’t respect its own citizens and teach all parties a lesson about political honesty.
Too many governments think democracy can be bought. Don’t believe it.
Democracy can only be earned.