Government loses even if it wins on the HST

Even if Fight HST loses the referendum on the harmonized sales tax, it will come out a winner. With just five days left to vote, it's become increasingly apparent the provincial government has done almost everything it could to stack the deck against opponents of the tax - from using $5 million of your money to buy advertising supporting the HST to letting big business lobby groups spend an unlimited amount on their pro-harmonization campaign.

It's almost like Goliath realized he would need to take steroids to beat David. That means, even if British Columbians elect to keep the HST, those who opposed harmonization will have ample cause to complain it wasn't a fair fight. And it's those slings and arrows that could end up felling Premier Christy Clark and her colleagues - doing, in some ways, just as much damage as a lost referendum could. After all, no one likes a cheater.

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Take three givens:
The BC Liberals definitely crossed a line and earned the distrust of a great many British Columbians by shutting down the BC Rail Corruption Trial. This distrust has now spread to so many other issues that it has become pervasively their biggest problem.

Second, the shenanigans surrounding the whole HST Referendum, a situation forced upon them by law and one they could not simply ignore, is so slanted, so blatantly biased and unfair as to seem purposeful.

Third, having the HST rejected by a small margin is the best and only outcome that can in any way remedy (or at least start to remedy) the pall of dishonesty that currently surrounds the BC Liberals considering that an acceptance, by large or small margin, of the HST would only enhance suspicions that have already been created by the blatantly biased government HST campaign. And, of course, those suspicions would be spectacularly emphasized by a resounding rejection, amply illustrating that the issue is not merely ideological or political but really about the government's unethical behaviour.

It is the nature of the mail-in ballot that we can never really know if a rejection of the HST by a small margin was by design. What better response to the suspicion that the Referendum was rigged to provide such an outcome than to claim that the government went overboard trying to tilt the field toward an HST acceptance instead? Wouldn't that "prove" that the Referendum wasn't rigged? Not if you agree that the government will fabricate an economic "crisis" as an excuse to delay the promised early election.

Call it a fourth given: the BC Liberals need to buy as much time as possible before the next election if they're to have any hope of expunging the stench of lying a corruption that has disgusted even their erstwhile supporters.

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