Friday, September 18, 2009

Victory? What victory?

Last night's huge by-election win by the Ontario Liberals in the Toronto district of St. Paul's should not be seen as a vindication for the coming Harmonized Sales Tax, nor forgiveness for the scandals at eHealth and the OLG. It should be seen as a defeat for democracy. Only 25% of voters could be bothered to come out for the vote. 25%. This is a disgrace for the country that proved that parliamentary democracy and federalism could work together.

Of course I congratulate Dr. Eric Hoskins -- a co-founder of the Canadian arm of War Child, the late Luciano Pavarotti's charity -- on the win, but I'd tell him, not to get too comfortable.

We're nowhere near out of the woods yet economically and there's no proof that business savings when the two sales taxes are combined next year will be passed down to the consumer, not in the short term anyway -- after all, companies have to pay their debts and banks are only so much patient. But Canadians can't vote against corporations except to take their business elsewhere. They can vote against governments.
Does this mean that the HST will be gone if McGuinty is defeated in 2011? Don't make me laugh.

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