Premier Christy Clark is now going to wait until May 2013, when the current provincial government’s mandate expires, for a general election.
This decision comes on the heels of the HST referendum result, which showed voters want to dump the Harmonized Sales Tax and return to some form of the former split system, even though Ms. Clark previously hummed about calling an election earlier, questioning whether she had a sufficient mandate after taking over the leadership from Gordon Campbell, all while riding the wave of her newfound popularity.
She denied that the defeat of the HST, or polling numbers, changed her mind. She blames the instability of the world economy and lack of public appetite for another election this year for putting it off.
The delay will at least give Ms. Clark and her Liberal government time to get the GST/PST transition sorted out, and how to pay back the $1.6 billion B.C. now owes Ottawa.
And to find some competent allies to replace those who recently announced they will not be seeking re-election, and to start moving on her stalled families first platform.
But we doubt that voters aren’t hungry to go to the polls again sooner rather than later.
The referendum result had as much to do with their unhappiness about how the HST was introduced as it did about understanding how the tax worked. Some people don’t like to be lied to, especially about a new tax.
It took little time to implement the HST after the last provincial election. It shouldn’t be that difficult to return to a familiar tax system.
If anything, the referendum result shows that Ms. Clark’s mandate is in question and only lends reason to call a fall election. That might get in the way of the municipal ones, but spring would suffice.
The honeymoon is over.
– The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News