Axe the Tax? Or Axe the NDP?
A brief primer on BC politics: The current governing party are the Liberals, who behave like conservatives. The opposition is the New Democratic Party or NDP, who behave like conservative liberals. The only other party with any real standing is the Green Party, who are the only actual liberals anywhere in the province. Among the rag-bag of fringe outfits we have a "Christian Heritage" party, the BC Marijuana Party, and a couple of other also-rans.
Metro is no big fan of the Provincial Liberal Party. Their first five years in power were spend slashing and burning. Some 10% of the Provincial Public Service was chopped outright, including the Ministry of Women's Equality and the Native Services Ministry.
Premier Gord Campbell, a disgracefully petty and venial man more in the mould of the federal Conservatives, has introduced some damn stupid ideas: raising the price of an education some 60%, consistently slashing education budgets, ordering unions back to work while the legislature continues to receive comparatively astronomical pay and perks.
He arrived in town a while ago and, lacking any concrete achievements, suddenly announced the abrupt and immediate dismantling of a local toll highway, which cost the province money in lost revenue (just as the road was about to be paid off) and cost about a dozen people their jobs.
But the NDP have really shot themselves in the foot.
About the only measure the provincial Liberals ever came up with that I agreed with wholeheartedly with was the Carbon Tax. It's a consumer-level tax on gasoline levied at $10 per tonne of carbon.
Carbon taxes, most economists not actually employed at the American Petroleum Institute would agree, are the best current option (which is why government and industry push so hard for "cap-and-trade" or "carbon-capture" schemes). Retail-level taxes will have the dual effect of reducing consumption and likewise pollution.
Of course, the recommended taxation level is $60 per tonne, not $10. And I disagree with the government's administration: The funds go into general revenue, rather than a green fund, and are returned to the consumer through some income-tax jiggery-pokery.
But it was a bold move at a time when gas was already at record highs last summer, and I respected it as a gesture.
Lacking anything else to fix (end snark), the provincial NDP has decided in its current election campaign to oppose the gas tax. However, it seems that Vancouver shootings and the current financial situation seem more likely to carry the voters.
Not that the libs have any solutions to those. But the gas tax is really a dead issue with most, yet strikes at the heart of the environmental movement, whose votes are far more likely to put a Greenie in the legislature this May.