They were there. You may not remember that, given the selective memories of media reporters and pundits spinning the departures of so many provincial Liberal cabinet ministers and MLAs.
That’s what happens when reporters who have been covering the Legislature far too long explain the departures of long-time politicians who have become “friends” and when pundits who have now become part of the establishment that they used to cover try to explain.
We get the spin: all those Liberals abandoning ship are doing so due to personal matters or because of Christy Clark, who badly handled the HST referendum and the follow up, who has governed badly, who has fallen in the polls, and whose political strategists and strategies are clearly going nowhere.
All those things are true.
BUT what the media are FAILING to zero in on is what I believe is a very real reason those now running away are doing so: their own records in office.
They were there. They were part of the introduction and approval of the despised and ultimately disgraced HST … either as members of the Gordon Campbell cabinet that brought it in or the vast majority of Liberal MLAs who applauded it in the legislature at all stages of the debate and failed to stand up against up, either in the voting or in interviews outside the House or with their own constituents.
Don’t forget: Kevin Falcon was on board as a Liberal MLA and cabinet minister since 2001; John Les also elected in 2001; George Abbott, 1996; Bill Barisoff, 1996; Harry Bloy, 2001; Murray Coell, 1996; Dave Hayer, 2001; Kevin Krueger, 1996; Mary McNeil, 2009; Kash Heed, 2009 … all of them there … supportive or silent … when the HST was introduced, adopted and implimented.
(Blair Lekstrom served as the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Products for Campbell: he resigned from caucus over the HST on June 11, 2010, but returned to the Liberal fold under Clark, serves as Transportation Minister and defended the tax during the referendum …and, as far as I know, will run for re-election.)
Let’s keep it real: all those Liberals jumping ship know very well that next May they would have faced the wrath of the voters, who have NOT forgotten their roles in bringing in, applauding, defending the HST.
Especially now that the TRUTH has become known: the HST was not revenue-neutral, as they …and their media mouthpieces … told us so often, but a HUGE shift of the tax burden from corporations onto the backs of consumers … the very people who elected those Liberals.
Not to mention all those cutbacks at the same time to education funding, remaining long health care waiting lists, the disgraceful treatment of BC’s paramedics (still continuing), BC Rail, BC Ferries/David Hahn funding fiasco, ICBC’s wasteful management practices, parks and environmental cutbacks etc. etc.
May will be payback time!
And they would have been sent packing … in shame. As will many of their remaining co-conspirators.
The MSM reporters and the MSM pundits can blame it on Clark all they want: the people KNOW the truth.
Those Liberals heading for the hills are doing so to avoid THEIR OWN record and failings, that would likely have sentencem them to at least four years in purgatory … Opposition.
And they simply don’t want to face the music.