The Republican Party in the failing state to our south has, at least since the reign of Ronnie Raygun, been highly successful at getting large portions of the electorate to vote against their own interests by a combination of outright lies and cunning exploitation of wedge issues. While being faithful to their real constituency (and owner operators) the rich and the corporate elite, they manage to also gain the support of the same coal miners whose lives are put at risk by the de-regulation policies dear to their real constituency. They sweep elections among the rednecks of southern states who if lucky - work for minimal wages - and if not so lucky are unemployed because of the wholesale shipment of their jobs overseas where children and other unfortunates will do the work even cheaper. They even get away with cutting off unemployment benefits to those whom their policies have thrown out of work and making assistance either inaccessible or too meagre because well - it's Un-American after all. Besides, a gay couple MIGHT live next door!
Here in BeeCee the BC LIEberals, and for today's discussion Ida Chong and Phil Hochstein, successfully sing from the same Karl Rove copyrighted playbook to the devastation of most of the people in the province, including their own supporters and/or members.
Ida Chong lies almost as easily as she breathes when she tells the folks of Oak Bay -Gordon Head that the recall campaign launched against her is an NDP plot or that it has nothing to do with removing the HST. For starters, the current NDP couldn't run a successful plot to take over a cub scout troop and besides, nobody can or will even say where the party (at least under the James Gang) stands on the HST or what they would do about it if they had the power to do anything. Ida does speak the truth (it must be an accident) when she says that all a successful recall in her riding will do is vacate her seat and force a bye election. However this is Bill VanderZalm and the anti-HST forces strategic next step in trying to eliminate the hated tax. With the government having ignored the wishes of the people, Mr. Fantastic is now moving to pick off LIEberal MLAs one by one until they smarten up and actually act on the wishes of the 700,000 who signed the petition or until the government falls by attrition. Personally I think there are better reasons to take down (and arrest and prosecute) the Campbell government, but hey, I'll go along with whatever works.
Phil "I wish I could make piles of money in construction without having to pay any construction workers at all" Hochstein is an even more nasty piece of work, making Ida seem almost seem like some sweet girl guide. He has picked up the mantle from his predecessor Kerkoff and spends every waking hour trying to destroy unions and degrade the quality of life for working people everywhere. But the following press release from the anti-HST group clearly describes the despicable depths of duplicity and outright betrayal of his own dues paying members that he will go to in his effort to have British Columbia be the first jurisdiction in the western/developed world to return to a feudal society. As I often can't seem to refrain from doing I will highlight parts that I find particularly illuminating.
FIGHT HST LAUNCHES BOYCOTT OF INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
Vander Zalm: Business lobby group is targeting canvassers and voters in smear campaign in a bid to try to stop Recall and save the HST
VICTORIA (December 9, 2010) – Fight HST Leader Bill Vander Zalm is calling for a province wide boycott of the businesses and members of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC (ICBA) for their attack campaign directed at the canvassers working to Recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong.
Vander Zalm says the ICBA, led by their president Phil Hochstein, are trying to smear canvassers in the riding and intimidate voters from signing the Recall petition with deliberately misleading comments in an advertising campaign funded by their members from across BC. He says a series of ads, together with a web site called “stoprecall.ca” encourages voters not to sign the petition because doing so “means giving your name, your signature, and your phone number to people you don’t know”.
“That is a ludicrous statement given that Elections BC requires this information and given that canvassers are required by law not to use the voters’ information for any other purpose but Recall,” said Vander Zalm. “It’s just pure intimidation.”
Since I posted this piece, a commentor pointed out just to what degree these venal excuses for humans, especially Hochstein, will distort, twist and downright turn the truth on its head to suit their venal agenda.
Conveniently forgotten in the Phil Hochstein claim that peoples' privacy is "at risk" with recall petitioners is the fact that Elections BC gives a voters list to recall proponents after they file.
They already have the information.
And are bound by the law to keep it confidential.
Back to the press release:
Vander Zalm says the ICBA goes further by smearing the citizens conducting the Recall, describing them as an “army”, “disgraced”, “fringe”, “defeated”, and “opportunists”, and then saying “Do these sound like the types of people you want to hand your personal information over to?”
“It is unbelievable that the members of the ICBA would see fit to attack the citizens of BC by funding a massive advertising campaign to stop Recall and to try to save the HST,” said Vander Zalm. “Especially when many of their contractors, roofers, new home builders, renovators and trades people who sell directly to the public have been hurt by the HST and our efforts are actually helping them.”
“You’d think they would be cheering us on, but instead they are spending mega dollars to attack the democratic process with misleading ads and deliberate smears designed to scare people.”
Vander Zalm says his group has published a list of the members of the ICBA on the Fight HST web site and will be sending it out to the Fight HST supporters list of over 7,000 members with instructions to create a viral campaign across BC using the internet. He is encouraging all British Columbians to cancel any jobs or contracts they have lined up with ICBA businesses and to seek alternative companies to work with.
“Companies like Able Roofing Contractors; Gabe’s Painting and Decorating; and Howell Electric in Kamloops, Canpro Construction; Four Flower Enterprises; PBS Contracting and Soare Contracting in Victoria, as well as hundreds of others around the province are supporting this attack campaign,” said Vander Zalm.
“We don’t have the big money of these groups, so we can only counter their efforts by suggesting a boycott. Hopefully, the ICBA members will come to their senses and let Mr. Hochstein know they don’t agree with the use of their membership dues for such a purpose.”
Vander Zalm says the ICBA has donated over $325,000 to the BC Liberals since 1996. “We challenge Mr. Hochstein to tell British Columbians just how much of his members’ money he is planning to spend to defeat the Recall.”
Vander Zalm notes that Hochstein has gone on record saying there are no limits on his groups’ spending against Recall.
“They’ve found another loop hole in the Recall legislation and are using it to act as a conduit for the BC Government to attack the Recalls. The big business lobby went to bat for the BC Liberals during the petition by trying to strike it down in court and lost. Now they’re trying again with a mega bucks ad campaign designed to subvert the ‘equal spending’ rules for proponents and opponents.”
Vander Zalm is calling on all of the BC Liberal leadership candidates to say where they stand on what he describes as an “abuse of the Recall process.”
“It is totally unfair and undemocratic. The ICBA must be held to account by the people, and refusing to do business with ICBA member companies is the most effective way to do that,” concluded Vander Zalm.
To see the almost sixty page list in .pdf format, click on the live link or paste in the actual link below.
ICBA Members List: http://fighthst.ca/media/ICBAMembersList.pdf
Except for the really big construction companies who build bridges, highways, dams and other big money infrastructure, more and more of which come from outside of BC if not Canada and profit more the less they can pay the workers (temporary virtually indentured foreign workers being the most desirable when possible of course)- the HST hurts most smaller contractors and will force even more residential construction and reno work underground. I always felt there was a real correlation between the beginning of the major attack on union, especially construction/trades unions, in the Bennett the Lesser years and the leaky condo crimes that too many people are still having to deal with and of course today we've gotten to the point where new bridges need to be shut down and repaired with in months of opening (Hi Kelowna!).
There are only a handful of companies on the ICBA list in the Kootenays and most of them are in the far eastern part that may as well be part of "right to work" Alberta. The only two I could find to boycott in the Central/West Kootenay region are:
E. Verigin Consultants
Esteem Administrative Services
Services: employment services — specialty services
But then around here we almost never send treasonous BC liaRs to Victoria to represent our interests, because we learned in 2001, with Air Blair Suffredine that they only represent the interests of Gordon Campbell and his Howe Street constituency!