Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm no Rick Mercer, but...

I do not consider myself a political person. I have no interest in politics. I openly admit that I only vote so I can retain my right to complain. And, while I guess that does make me somewhat political, it’s as far as I go.

So last year the BC government, whoever they are, decided to adopt the HST, which is, as far as I can see, a federal-government ploy to ensure that the GST doesn’t ever go away. (I mean if you bury it deep enough under a new name and format, there ain’t no way that it is ever gonna get gone.) There was no consultation. The petitions to stop it were ignored. The government didn’t give a fig about what the people who elected them - and those who didn’t, but must still be represented anyway – had to say about the whole thing. All they were worried about was getting that 1.6 billion from the feds. One point six billion! Just so they could increase our taxes.

To appease us, they finally agreed to host a referendum on the subject, knowing full well that reversing the HST would be an unbearably costly undertaking. What? Give back the 1.6 billion? Let’s not even think about how much the ultimately useless referendum is going to cost us. Basically, what it comes down to is that, once again, they have us by the short and curlies. We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t and those smug bastards are still going to get their stupidly huge pensions, go down in history, which they will write themselves in as the heroes, and pat each other’s backs for the good job they did.

I understand the necessity of taxes. I really do. I don’t begrudge doing my part to support the services that make this country a good place for everyone. I do, however, get a little cranky when the people elected to represent me use my hard-earned money in ways that are dubious, to say the least. Changing tax laws is not something that should be done without first making sure that the people who are paying them understand and agree to it.

Obviously, no one wants to pay higher taxes. But, honestly, if the government was more accountable and… well honest with us, we’d be more likely to be more open to such changes. They insist, though, on insulting our intelligence and taking advantage of their positions. I seriously think that it’s getting close to time to take up those pitch forks and torches and rid the proverbial village of the monster! This is simply unacceptable.

I’m going to vote Yes in the referendum. Just to be a pill. Just to make a point. I’m relatively sure that most people will vote No, because, well it would be foolish not to. Not that I’m admitting to being a fool, which is completely subjective and possibly fodder for some other blog. I’m just being rebellious and contrary and want to give the government a message. Stop doing this stuff to us! For heaven’s sake, have some – even a little – respect. We pay your salary after all. You work for us. You are supposed to protect us from this crap, not design it so that we are exposed to it and must suffer the consequences.

My inner socialist is riled up and trying to come up with a socialist system that works. God knows democracy doesn’t. But I bet that politicians would think twice before pulling fast ones like this on us if they may the same salary that, say, I do.

I get that it’s unrealistic to vote Yes at this point. It would cost the province a fortune and who would foot the bill for that? We would, of course. As for the promise (and I use that term extremely loosely) to reduce the HST to 10%, I have to wonder how many people realize that even if they do, it won’t last long. Six months down the road, the government will come up with some song and dance about how they just can’t do it on 10% and they have no choice but to increase the HST. And they won’t just put it back to 12%. No. They’ll make it 13 or 14%. They’ll say that the referendum cost more than they anticipated or something equally as ridiculous and I, for one, am not going to pack my bags just to tag along on that little guilt trip!

End rant. I’m no Rick Mercer, but damn I’m choked!


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