I just got back from the Kitsilano Community Centre where the line-up to sign the anti-HST petition was out the door (about 20-30 people). The line-up was continuous with people showing up as others left.
While they said that they only have a few hundred signatures for Vancouver Point-Grey (my riding, which is represented by premier Gordon Campbell), they only just started collecting here on Thursday. Meanwhile, a few interior and northern ridings have already surpassed the 10% requirements.
Regardless if you like the HST in principle, or even this specific implementation of it, it is a great sign that despite dropping voter turnouts, democracy hasn’t died in Canada. This petition is especially important since this implementation was not debated or mentioned in the election last year, but was brought forward within days.
Meanwhile, businesses and the government are skirting the law attempting to defend the HST, despite the fact that none of them officially signed up to oppose the initiative. If they wanted to speak they should follow their own rules.
So it is starting to look to me like this petition may actually succeed and result in a public referendum on the legitimacy of the HST. If it makes it to that, you can bet that the government is going to lose it bad. After that, if the Liberals still don’t repeal it, they’re likely going to start losing their seats in recall initiatives (potentially including my own slim-margin winning MP).
Finally, the last thing I learned today was that the HST is coming into effect as early as May 1st for advance purchases for this summer. This includes airline and sporting tickets and community centre recreation passes.
So go find a location to sign the petition if you haven’t yet.