The harmonized sales tax may be one of the worst things to have ever happened to the Liberals. But that doesn't mean the tax is one of the best things to have ever happened to the New Democrats. Because of the HST, the Liberals have seen their support drop 14 percentage points - from 46 percent during the 2009 election to 32 percent according to the latest Mustel Research Group Ltd poll. The New Democrats know this. So they've been clubbing the Liberals over the head with questions about the HST during the most recent legislative sessions.
But more and more that club has begun to look like a crutch. It appears to have become a way for the New Democrats to avoid the hard work of holding the Liberals to account on a range of issues by focusing on just one. But if Carole James wants to become premier in 2013, she's going to need to get off that crutch sooner rather than later and begin building an alternative political vision for British Columbia - something that will take more than a few chin-stroking meetings with business leaders to accomplish.