Wednesday, August 31, 2011
At least a couple of more folks in the Lotuslandian Bloggodome today began to wonder if, perhaps, the HST referendum vote breakdown was all about class.
First it was Ian Reid, who used the recent Ipsos-(no relation)Reid poll numbers to make his point:
|Positive Impact||Negative Impact||Neutral/No real impact||Don’t Know|
|You and your family||43%||25%||24%||8%|
|The overall BC economy||17%||49%||20%||14%|
Second, Paul Willcocks invoked both the riding income level/voter preference correlation and the I-R poll results cited by Mr. Reid above to come to the conclusion that this just might signal a real seismic shift in public opinion:
The HST referendum result might signal a greater political shift, something beyond a tax revolt or anger over an arrogant, untrusted government.
The idea of class-based politics, for want of a better term, after being considered largely irrelevant for the last 60 years, could matter once again...
This is all fine and good.
And as I've already said a bunch of times, I really do think it mattered in this specific instance of the HST referendum where the folks who were personally affected the most did vote to get rid of an egregious tax shift while folks that were more well-off, who the tax shift affected much less severely, were happy to vote to keep it. And I also figure that lots of the latter group voted to keep the tax because they perceived that they would be contributing to an enhancement of government revenue that would contribute to the public's greater good.
It is going to be interesting to see if the majority of British Columbians in the middle (class?) can still be, like our brethern to the South, bamboozled into voting in their own worst interests in the future.
To be honest, though, I dunno which way it will go.
However, a number of folks in the Lotuslandian bloggodome including now, Harvey Oberfeld, have noted that the propaganda pushback has truly begun in earnest to try and re-herd folks into that mystical corp-friendly swampland where their own worst interests lie.
Which is encouraging.
What is more discouraging, however, is the fact that this transparent propaganda pushback is not being called out for what it is by the proPundits who are most able to move (or stabilize) public opinion in this province.
Which, I suppose, in and of itself, probably says something pretty important.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Education minister George Abbott kept using variations of the word "challenge" during a half-hour telephone conference call with reporters on Tuesday to discuss the coming school year.
"It may be a somewhat more challenging school year," the minister said.
He was talking specifically about the deadlocked contract talks with teachers, but he sounded equally gloomy about the impact of the HST defeat on funding for new schools in Langley and Surrey, where population growth in some neighbourhoods has outpaced school construction.
"It [the HST defeat] adds an additional dimension into what is a challenging situation," the minister said.
There is a need for capital investment, he added, but it won't be easy to fund.
Even without the loss of revenue from the HST, the drop in revenues created by the international economic "meltdown" has forced the government to tighten its belt, Abbott warned.
"It is not a time we can be expansive when it comes to spending," he said.
"We don't have that choice."....
Monday, August 29, 2011
...I met Bob "back in the Hu Du days" a couple of times (and exchanged a couple of e-mails back and forth with him a few years ago) and he was always really really nice (as were Grant Hart and Greg Norton), so the "monstrous" anti-social behavior he describes in the book I never witnessed. There are some good insights into the Hu-Du songwriting and recording history, and I suspect the rest of the book will do the same for Sugar and his solo work....
...It's also really cool to read his thoughts on some of the great shows that I saw the Huskers play- they were some amazing times for me, and it's always great to think about those old shows when both Bobby and I had alot more hair!....
I am relieved this isn't a "grouchy" look at his past- I hate those kind of "I hated every moment of my life" books. For example, I worshipped The Ramones, but after reading the various "tell alls" that were written about the "brudders", my memories of all the great times I had at their shows and listening to their music are a bit ruined since I know what miserable people they were.
I also found his description of how he might have pushed too hard on tune choices such that it squelched overall band creativity to be fascinating and a reasonable measure of his efforts to be honest.
Finally, I really dug the fact that he still considers Hooskers (as he calls it) to have been the very best band of its time.
And ya, when he talked about how they worked together when they were at their furious peak... Well, that was exhilarating to contemplate - Even now, twenty five years later."
President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC
"With the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia on July 1, some misinformation has surfaced as related to the HST and its affect on new car purchases. In fact, the new HST has zero effect on the amount of tax that will be paid on a new car, and some consumers will even pay less for their vehicle under the new tax rules.
New car dealers across BC are receiving phone calls from consumers who are concerned that the new blended tax will make a new car unobtainable. The reality is that both the GST and PST, which are blended together to form the new HST, were already charged on all new vehicle purchases prior to the introduction of the blended tax.
This means that the total tax we must charge on a new vehicle remains exactly the same – 12 per cent – as it did prior to July 1.
Some new vehicle consumers will actually find savings with the HST when they visit our showrooms, in that its introduction means the elimination of the vehicle “luxury tax” of up to 3 per cent on new cars worth more than $55,000...."
Sunday, August 28, 2011
But John Cummins says he was caught off guard by the gap between "yes" and "no" votes, which was almost 10 points...."