To the Editor,
Now that we have cast our ballots in the HST referendum, is it clear to all that democracy has won, no matter what the results?
One major result of all the rhetoric surrounding the HST referendum was that it cut through a lot of the partisan politics. It allowed people to vote freely and democratically on their own beliefs, rather than those of a particular political party.
We must also recognize that Bill Vander Zalm’s efforts were not so much against the HST as they were against the process that was used to initiate the tax. His stand was on behalf of the people of British Columbia, not for a political party.
It is my contention that the bulk of those votes cast will have been from the people who care the most about the democratic process and that they are the ones who were against the HST and/or how it was implemented.
In my opinion, a large portion of the public would have felt that the HST was a done deal and therefore would not bother to vote, leaving those with special interests or political agendas to come out in favour of keeping the HST.
The ‘yes’ vote should handily win, barring election tampering. Tampering though, seems like a strong possibility, when considering the number of referendum ballots not received after repeated requests.
Knowing that Elections B.C. had access to lists of those opposed to the HST via the Fight HST initiative petition, and were given an excuse by the federal government when they locked out the postal workers to lose ballots. Were those undelivered ballots mostly to those who signed the petition?
We may still see democracy in action, but only if the number of ‘yes’ votes meets, or exceeds the number of those that signed the petition.