Join 3,379 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Goodbye Gordo
November 3, 2010 2:04 PM   Subscribe

The Honourable Gordon Campbell has resigned as Premier of British Columbia. Citing his spectacular unpopularity, his resignation comes after almost a decade in power. His tenure has been dogged by scandal, and most recently, a barrage of protest over the newly implemented HST. His most lasting legacy may prove to be the implementation of North America's first carbon tax.
posted by [expletive deleted] (89 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
damn. no Gordo to kick around anymore. guess he can start drinking again
posted by philip-random at 2:08 PM on November 3, 2010


9 percent approval rating? What did he do? Kick puppies, declare hockey immoral and burn down a Tim Hortons?
Consider George W. Bush bottomed out at 22.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2010


Best tweet thus far on his resignation; "He can't bear to govern a province with such strict anti-drinking/driving laws."
posted by Keith Talent at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2010


The only reason he's leaving is the HST - it's what killed his popularity. Remember this next time you wonder why politicians don't have the courage to lead public opinion and do the right thing.
posted by Dasein at 2:17 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


And here I was doubting my Mefi habit qualified as a good news source. Yipee!
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 2:23 PM on November 3, 2010


...or ignore public opinion and to the wrong thing.
posted by klanawa at 2:24 PM on November 3, 2010


Said Campbell, "ROAD TRIP!"
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:28 PM on November 3, 2010


Yeah, I'm vastly amused that of all the crappy things Gordon Campbell did as Premier, it was the HST that finally did him in. He's irritated me in so many ways over the years but tax increases don't bother me. Lying about them, as some feel he did, is a different matter but I'm happy paying for our social programs.

The 15% middle class income tax cut he announced last week seems even more like party vote pandering now.
posted by jess at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2010


Times like this, I all wish an econ primer was required before voting (take that with a grain of salt, I know there are all kind of practical issues with that).

It's really sad that a leader who raised consumption taxes (carbon and HST) and cut income taxes was rejected by the voting public. Hopefully he'll be replaced by someone charismatic who does little to change the policies implemented and announced so far.
posted by ripley_ at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


9 percent approval rating? What did he do? Kick puppies, declare hockey immoral and burn down a Tim Hortons?

Worse. He was the premier of British Columbia - possibly the most twisted, doomed seat in all of North American politics (not counting the innermost circle of political hell that is the office of the governor of Illinois). The office of B.C. premier clouds the mind so that even the most straightforward of policies becomes a distored mess. It corrupts everyone who sits in it, regardless of ideological stripe. You can only get out of it, apparently, by resigning in disgrace.

It's usually a surprise to visitors who gawk in wonder at the beauty of British Columbia and revel in the warmth of its fine populace to learn that the place has such batshit politics. I've spent months at a time in B.C. as a visitor and I still don't get it. As a curious neighbour, I'd love to hear some armchair theorizing. Is it the thin air? The B.C. bud? The ghost of James Cook?
posted by gompa at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


The problem with sales taxes like the HST is that they piss off everyone, left and right. The right hates taxes period, and the left resents the introduction of a regressive tax that is being used to pay for corporate tax cuts.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a curious neighbour, I'd love to hear some armchair theorizing.

The most plausible reason I've heard is The Vancouver Sun, our main newspaper. The editorial board essentially falls in love with various people, gets them elected, and then gets bored of them, at which point their coverage goes from hot to cold, white to black, up to down. When they feel they have little news to report, they say "Time to shake things up", and crucify the premier over some scandal or hot button topic, real or imagined.

My own experience with Gordon Campbell was to be crossing the street with my wife in one direction, while Gordo crossed in the other. He looked her up and down like a paying customer with cash to burn. When we got home, I hosed her off on the balcony while she worked the Brillo pad.
posted by fatbird at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


The most plausible reason I've heard is The Vancouver Sun, our main newspaper.

Nah, that's like blaming a rainstorm on the fact that everyone's carrying an umbrella.

Doesn't begin to explain how (for example) Glen Clark, after serving as finance minister - under the NDP banner, no less - and watching Mike Harcourt resign simply over his association with an MLA who was skimming money off a charity bingo to fund the party, would then take over the premier's office and just three years later get caught trading home renovations for a casino license.

I mean, that's a unique strain of hubris right there.
posted by gompa at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2010


BC voters are batshit.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


You can only get out of it, apparently, by resigning in disgrace.

QFT. For those keeping track at home, Campbell is the fifth Premier in a row to resign in disgrace, not counting the short stints of placeholders who were installed by their parties after their predecessor resigned in disgrace.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's Terminal City, gompa, where the Westward flow of the disenfranchised, the utopian, the batshit insane, or the simply alienated comes to an end in the crashing of the waves off English Bay*; where everything is either ancient or newly imposed on the landscape and nothing in-between; where Amor de Cosmos, our second Premier, died insane; where the city land, not the mention rest of the province, is actually unceded Native territory; where resignation from the Premiership is the accepted way of retiring from office. Pot smoke fills the streets while the lumber mills stutter to a halt in the face of the end of the old-growth rainforest, and the ghosts of a hundred communes-- which were going to bring about a new, perfect world-- linger around the Gulf Islands. Yep. Gordon's just the latest casualty, and though I treasure the memory of sharing a spot in a movie lineup with him one day many years ago, I'm not sorry to see him gone.

One thing you could say about the man: he took a decent mugshot.

*yes I know technically the west coast of Vancouver Island, but I'm going with the general belief of Vancouverites that the rest of the province is secondary to our glorious urban-ness
posted by jokeefe at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I dunno, why not just sit it out? At least getting kicked out at the polls would have broken the streak.
posted by GuyZero at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2010


"I have never seen such a low number," added Ruff, a political science professor emeritus at the University of Victoria. "One has to wonder, how low can it go?

Dude, you are a political science professor and you have never heard of a number lower than nine?
posted by dudekiller at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


Times like this, I all wish an econ primer was required before voting

The practical issue with that is, the libertarian view of economics isn't the only one, and not everybody believes that regressive consumption taxes are the best way to pay for public services.

Wishing that people could all be indoctrinated into the same Utopian cult before voting is as anti-democratic as anything I can think of.
posted by klanawa at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


The practical issue with that is, the libertarian view of economics isn't the only one, and not everybody believes that regressive consumption taxes are the best way to pay for public services.

It's not a libertarian view. At all. It's a very common view among economists.

The NDP could have lambasted Campbell for not introducing enough other targeted wealth transfers alongside the HST and carbon tax. Instead, they just attacked those very efficient taxes.

Wishing that people could all be indoctrinated into the same Utopian cult before voting is as anti-democratic as anything I can think of.

If it's anti-democratic to wish that the voting public was more informed and educated, then consider me anti-democratic.
posted by ripley_ at 3:49 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


the libertarian view of economics isn't the only one

Once more because this comment just blows my mind: if you think that high consumption taxes are libertarian, you should really take a look at Nordic social democracies.
posted by ripley_ at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


For those keeping track at home, Campbell is the fifth Premier in a row to resign in disgrace

To be fair, I think if Campbell was going to resign in disgrace, he'd have done it when he was busted for drunk driving. He resigned, but unlike his many predecessors, it was the result of an actual, above the line, political decision, not a personal scandal involving graft.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


BC is very nutty about politics. In 2001, the Liberals held all but 2 seats in the Assembly. The next election, the NDP won back 31 seats in a massive 20% swing. And then in 2009... pretty much status quo.

And that is the remarkable thing about Campbell -- his reign in BC has been the most stable in since Bill Bennet won three elections back in the early 80s. That and he managed to go down not because of some massive political scandal, only because everyone wanted him out.

Maybe BC needs to revive Social Credit. Sure doesn't seem like the NDP and the Liberals know how to govern that damn place.
posted by dw at 4:19 PM on November 3, 2010


gompa writes "I've spent months at a time in B.C. as a visitor and I still don't get it. As a curious neighbour, I'd love to hear some armchair theorizing. Is it the thin air? The B.C. bud? The ghost of James Cook?"

Everything else in BC is so good that only the crazy and idealistic bother to get into politics. The crazy are, well, crazy and the idealistic can't out last the crazy.
posted by Mitheral at 4:24 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


…it was the result of an actual, above the line, political decision, not a personal scandal involving graft.

Or he is departing before the BC Rail scandal is tracked back to his wallet.

The idea that Campbell hasn't been taking massive graft is laughable.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:41 PM on November 3, 2010


My brushes with Gord are too many. Both as Mayor McCheese and Premier. He is the perfect example of the how the press in Canada really does not like to discuss a politicians personal life.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 4:44 PM on November 3, 2010


I think the media loves playing Cult of Personality with BC politics. I mean - how else can one explain the re-emergence of the braying ass Bill Vander Zalm after he had to resign for selling his piece of crap theme park to an Asian gazillionaire while still Premier. For all of Gordo's short comings - I think alot of people projected alot of nastiness onto him - and he ran a competent governement. Carol James - the leader of the opposition - is the first NDP candidate that I could see myself voting for in decades. At least she seems calm and issue focused. But of course, she is dead in the water - the media has deemed her unelectable.
posted by helmutdog at 4:47 PM on November 3, 2010


The idea that Campbell hasn't been taking massive graft is laughable.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:41 PM on November 3 [+] [!]


Uh - how? Seriously - what's your proof? If you are going to make a statement like this, I'd like to see what kind of facts you have.
posted by helmutdog at 4:49 PM on November 3, 2010


My brushes with Gord are too many. Both as Mayor McCheese and Premier. He is the perfect example of the how the press in Canada really does not like to discuss a politicians personal life.

You can't drop something like without facts to back it up.

What is there to discuss?
posted by docgonzo at 5:08 PM on November 3, 2010


The problem with sales taxes like the HST is that they piss off everyone, left and right. The right hates taxes period, and the left resents the introduction of a regressive tax that is being used to pay for corporate tax cuts.

This lefty says "Sales tax? Yay!" Sales taxes are great. Taxing an extra percentage on every dollar spent affects everyone, rich and poor, proportionately.

The only people with any reason to oppose sales taxes (and occasional changes in how they're calculated) are business owners who might have to buy new cash registers and perhaps lower their profit margins slightly.

Income taxes are some crazy bullshit, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:10 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


This lefty says "Sales tax? Yay!" Sales taxes are great. Taxing an extra percentage on every dollar spent affects everyone, rich and poor, proportionately.

Proportionate to income, not to the disposition of the income. The poor spend every penny they make, so virtually all of it is subject to a consumption tax; what the rich spend that is subject to the same tax is virtually always a far smaller proportion of their income. That's why it's regressive: The poor actually pay a larger portion of their income on a consumption tax than the rich.
posted by fatbird at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


I miss Harcourt...

Don't miss-
Clark
Shihota
Stupach
Priddy
posted by qinn at 5:23 PM on November 3, 2010


The HST I can accept (it doesn't really add any new taxes, and was defanged with any number of exemptions), but the worst thing is his 15% income tax reduction. It blows a $500M hole in the budget. Where will these missing revenues come from?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:34 PM on November 3, 2010


The poor spend every penny they make, so virtually all of it is subject to a consumption tax; what the rich spend that is subject to the same tax is virtually always a far smaller proportion of their income.

Money that is not spent doesn't count for shit. Sure, it's kept away from the poor, but if the rich aren't using it, it's essentially kept away from them, too. At that point it may as well not exist. Eventually, though, it will be spent on something. So you tax that something.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:38 PM on November 3, 2010


jokeefe: Victoria is for the crazies who decided, having gone literally around the world, that they wanted to pretend they were in Cornwall. Saltspring is for the crazies who were too crazy for the other crazies.

Not an entirely unexpected move. Campbell's replacement might still turn this around, especially since gordo's left whoever gets the nod with a little over 2 years before the next election, so it isn't a complete hospital pass like Johnson faced in 91. Also there's Carole James, who you can't count out when evaluating the Liberal's chances. She's pretty much the reason why the NDP haven't been a threat, given that her personal approval rating is at 27%. In opposition. When the sitting government is less popular than killing kittens with hammers.

At this point? I'd say the Liberals still have a good chance of holding on to power.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:38 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


>> He is the perfect example of the how the press in Canada really does not like to discuss a politicians personal life.

> You can't drop something like without facts to back it up.

Campbell has allegedly been having an affair for years with Lara Dauphinee, his deputy chief of staff. I assume that's what Razzle Bathbone is referring to, since the other major scandal in Campbell's personal life (the DUI in Maui) was widely reported at the time.
posted by twirlip at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2010


Money that is not spent doesn't count for shit. Sure, it's kept away from the poor, but if the rich aren't using it, it's essentially kept away from them, too. At that point it may as well not exist. Eventually, though, it will be spent on something. So you tax that something.

I don't know what you mean here, exactly. The money the rich doesn't spend goes into investments or savings, and then they live off the interest. It's not "kept away from them", it's put to other uses that are simply unavailable to the poor.

One can argue that the regressivity of a consumption tax is then acceptable because the money of the rich is put to other valuable uses that either make up the tax revenue (e.g., capital gains) or are otherwise worthwhile (i.e., capital investment funds), but it doesn't change the fact that the poor pay a higher proportion of their money on a consumption tax than the rich do.
posted by fatbird at 5:47 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Docgonzo: a messy marriage and an even messier divorce with all the things that go with those two things. Drunken screaming matches at the Pan Pacific, various mistresses etc.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2010


Say hello to Premier Kevin Falcon
posted by KokuRyu at 5:53 PM on November 3, 2010


I like the HST. I wish the Liberals had been thrown out for some of the other stupid shit they've done.

Personally, I want to vote for anyone who promises to repeal the new drinking and driving laws that force you to sue the police if you're not actually guilty and wish to contest your punishment. The NDP voted for that too so fuck em.
posted by Pseudology at 5:54 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


When you consider what the second-ever holder of the office was named, you get the feeling that there's no one too weird to assume the title. Mr Campbell seems positively tame compared to some.
posted by Mike D at 6:34 PM on November 3, 2010


Victoria is for the crazies who decided, having gone literally around the world, that they wanted to pretend they were in Cornwall. Saltspring is for the crazies who were too crazy for the other crazies.

Victoria is for the people who want to live in BC, want to live in a somewhat urban setting, yet don't want to live in a hectic metropolis like Van, and don't want to live in the bible belt of the fraser valley.

That said, I'm not sure why I don't live in Kelowna, other than that the summers are too hot and the winters too cold.

The people who live on Saltspring not only are crazy, but they actively seek out crazy, and want to live with likeminded people. If you're a granola eating, hemp wearing artist who makes things out of birch bark, Saltspring is the only logical choice, because there are 10,000 others like you there, trapped on a remote island together.
posted by inedible at 6:36 PM on November 3, 2010


I'd like to note that one of the benefits of a progressive income tax -- one that sales tax doesn't offer at all, and in fact inhibits -- is the prevention of inequality. There's no good reason why anyone should be able to accumulate billions of dollars in personal wealth, but there are many reasons why they shouldn't.

Contrary to popular belief, the tremendous inequality in our society has nothing to do with the amount of effort one puts in. If wealth was proportional to effort, mexican gardeners would own California.
posted by klanawa at 7:06 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you're a granola eating, hemp wearing artist who makes things out of birch bark, Saltspring is the only logical choice

Hmm... checks off friends on Saltspring. Plumber, Fisher, Contractor, Teacher, Deckhand , Realtor, Boat-Builder, Tow Truck Operator, Engineer, Farmer.

None of them voted for Campbell though, if that's your definition of crazy.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:07 PM on November 3, 2010


It's funny... Before the announcement I noticed that several of my LinkedIn contacts (who work as executives in the Premier's Office) had higher than usual activity (updated experience, making new connections) and I knew something was up.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:16 PM on November 3, 2010


creep in, creep out.
posted by ecourbanist at 7:18 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Times like this, I all wish an econ primer was required before voting

He was elected a mere year and a half ago and the next election isn't until 2013. I don't recall the HST even being an issue in the election. This seems to me to have more to do with his failures as a politician and his inability to sell his policies to the public than any choice the voters made.
posted by Hoopo at 7:18 PM on November 3, 2010


I'd like to note that one of the benefits of a progressive income tax -- one that sales tax doesn't offer at all, and in fact inhibits -- is the prevention of inequality.

And I'd like to note a couple things in response.

1) The link in my first response to you completely addresses the concern that consumption taxes are regressive. You really should have read it. That's why they're generally paired with tax rebates for low income households, or other progressive redistribution schemes.

2) The HST does come with a tax rebate for low-income households. It might not be as large as you like, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - lobby to make it more generous instead.

3) The recent cuts to income tax brackets are structured in such a way that they are progressive (lower brackets were cut more than the higher ones). Don't believe me? Take Kevin Milligan's word for it (UBC Econ prof who is decidedly not right-leaning, read his other work)
posted by ripley_ at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2010


This seems to me to have more to do with his failures as a politician and his inability to sell his policies to the public than any choice the voters made.

Seems to me that he's getting out of the way in hopes that that voters will stop associating the Liberal party with him by 2013, but I could be wrong.
posted by ripley_ at 7:36 PM on November 3, 2010


He was elected a mere year and a half ago and the next election isn't until 2013

Um ... I could be wrong here, but isn't it a tradition that when this happens there is a party convention, a new party leader is elected, and then that new party leader seeks a mandate via an election?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:45 PM on November 3, 2010


Say hello to Premier Kevin Falcon

I agree he has a good chance, but good lord I hope not. What a vicious little puke that SOB is.
posted by Rumple at 7:49 PM on November 3, 2010


Hmmm ... maybe he will be succeeded by Steve Nash. (I haven't seen this story confirmed.)
posted by lukemeister at 7:49 PM on November 3, 2010


PareidoliaticBoy - BC has fixed parliamentary terms with fixed election dates. At times like this, when there is a good chance of a premier who initially won't even be a sitting member, this looks like a really stupid idea.
posted by Rumple at 7:50 PM on November 3, 2010


Um ... I could be wrong here, but isn't it a tradition that when this happens there is a party convention, a new party leader is elected, and then that new party leader seeks a mandate via an election

Not in the Westminster system. The voters elect a government, not a Premier. The Premier (or first minister) is whoever happens to lead the majority. Traditionally, governments in parliamentary democracies call elections when it seems they will win, or put off calling an election until the last possible second (like Gordon Brown and Labour).
posted by KokuRyu at 7:50 PM on November 3, 2010


Thanks, you guys. Fixed parliamentary election dates. Yipes. My bad. Was this changed at some point? I have a really vague memory of this. Am I just out of it?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:56 PM on November 3, 2010


KokuRyu: Say hello to Premier Kevin Falcon

at least it's not Kevin Krueger; it's bad enough that the (now-former, on preview) Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts has a fucking neckbeard 1, but if he was the premier I would seriously flip out and move to Montreal 2.

1. having seen it in person in the BC Media Centre during the Olympics (during one of the oddly frequent wine tastings, in fact,) I can quite conclusively say that was an expletive-worthy neckbeard and fuelled much mirth, later on.
2. I know Calgary's the trendy city to move to, but if I'm leaving the province in disgust, I may as well go for distance, no?

posted by heeeraldo at 7:59 PM on November 3, 2010


Nevermind, it was in 2001. Found it here.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:02 PM on November 3, 2010


ripley_, all I was getting at was that it's a leap from Campbell stepping down to "BC voters don't get economics," especially considering how the HST seemingly came out of nowhere so close after the election. It was bad politics, in my mind.

Anyways, I haven't really been in the province long enough to know how they do it out here. That 2009 election was my first election in BC.
posted by Hoopo at 8:05 PM on November 3, 2010


My 2nd year poli-sci prof would have my guts for garters for not remembering that.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:09 PM on November 3, 2010


The best thing about this is that GC is gone. The worst thing about this is that it likely means Carole James will form the next government, and she's more batshit insane than BC voters are.

Of course, I hold a grudge against the NDP since every day I drove right by the Fast Cat ferries, steaming about the ridiculous waste of cash they were.

.......


Since the BCers are likely to read this thread, we should have a meetup? I'm in Vancouver on the 15th to 19th. I don't expect a Quesnel meetup would be super-popular.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 8:21 PM on November 3, 2010


Since the BCers are likely to read this thread, we should have a meetup? I'm in Vancouver on the 15th to 19th.

Wouldn't work for me, as those are all work-days, and I live in the offland colonies. Besides, someplace like MeTa would be a better place to organize something like that.
posted by inedible at 8:28 PM on November 3, 2010


Campbell is the fifth Premier in a row to resign in disgrace

I never really viewed Mike Harcourt's resignation as something done in disgrace; more in disgust at certain key members of his own party for behaving stupidly, sleazily etc (coincidentally some of the same crowd who would later take over the party and effectively run it aground in the form of so-called Fast-Ferry).

For what it's worth, I've had a vote now in BC for over thirty years and never once had my "guy" win. So don't blame me.
posted by philip-random at 9:24 PM on November 3, 2010


The people who live on Saltspring not only are crazy, but they actively seek out crazy, and want to live with likeminded people. If you're a granola eating, hemp wearing artist who makes things out of birch bark, Saltspring is the only logical choice, because there are 10,000 others like you there, trapped on a remote island together.

The hempsters are balanced by the ultra rich building getaway cottages for the summer. When Lady FatBird and I spent a week there, we shared a bed-and-breakfast breakfast table with an older couple from New York who complained about the cost of shipping Italian marble over on the ferry for their mountaintop retreat. They were accompanied by an American woman living in Switzerland to oversee her daughter's schooling there, but decided they could both use a year of travel to relax.

Although, to confirm stereotypes, I also stood in a bookstores in Ganjes while a young woman came in and asked the proprietor "Where's the polyamory section?"

"Over by the anarchy shelf," she replied.
posted by fatbird at 9:46 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


The people who live on Saltspring not only are crazy, but they actively seek out crazy, and want to live with likeminded people. If you're a granola eating, hemp wearing artist who makes things out of birch bark, Saltspring is the only logical choice, because there are 10,000 others like you there, trapped on a remote island together.

Not even close. There are as many retired lawyers living on the Gulf Islands as anything else. The idea that the Gulf Islands are nothing but a hippie haven is ridiculously misguided.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:57 PM on November 3, 2010


Saltspring is the only logical choice, because there are 10,000 others like you there

Spelling correction: like us out there. I didn't mean to bash Saltspring, you're my people. Crazy is a valuable trait. Nothing wrong with crazy. There's nothing at all wrong with Saltspring or birch bark.
posted by inedible at 9:58 PM on November 3, 2010


Oh, we're just giving you a hard time, inedible. Here's a Ganges morning to make up. It is a bit of an enchanted place still, though. When I tell friends that the residents have honor-boxes with money in them at the end of their driveways, they are pretty taken aback. Selling things like lemonade, home-baked goods, and wild-flowers or honey to passing strangers who leave the required amount in a cookie tin might seem crazy to some; but it's my kind of crazy as well.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:34 PM on November 3, 2010


Proportionate to income, not to the disposition of the income. The poor spend every penny they make, so virtually all of it is subject to a consumption tax; what the rich spend that is subject to the same tax is virtually always a far smaller proportion of their income. That's why it's regressive: The poor actually pay a larger portion of their income on a consumption tax than the rich.

This doesn't make any sense. Every dollar you make you eventually spend. If you never spend it then your labour was essentially a gift to the government.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 10:37 PM on November 3, 2010


There are as many retired lawyers living on the Gulf Islands as anything else. The idea that the Gulf Islands are nothing but a hippie haven is ridiculously misguided.

Exactly. Hippies don't tend to have too much money (unless they grow pot), so they can't afford to live on the Gulf Islands anymore. It isn't hippies paying for multiple scheduled flights per day from Vancouver to Ganges Harbour.

Also, I know we like to pretend we got there first, but Quebec had a (small, pitiful) carbon tax well before we had our (slightly larger, but still pitiful) carbon tax.
posted by ssg at 10:54 PM on November 3, 2010


Thank God that twit finally had the good senses to step aside and let someone more competent (and just plain more likeable) take over. At least I hope, I haven't heard who the new leader is yet (I guess they'll be voting at their convention soon? Or did that already happen?). Of course, just as I finally leave this province, he finally steps down. Go figure.
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:04 PM on November 3, 2010


Hippies don't tend to have too much money (unless they grow pot), so they can't afford to live on the Gulf Islands anymore.

I spent most of the past year living on one of the Gulf Islands, and I am not rich. There are still a few hippies and other non-wealthy types around, although I think they're increasingly rare. Off-season rentals can be pretty affordable if you know where to look.
posted by twirlip at 11:39 PM on November 3, 2010


So is there a place that actually still is a birch bark hippie haven that hasn't been overrun by italian marble importers? Because even though I'm not a hippie and have never made anything with birch bark, I still sorta want to go to there.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:48 PM on November 3, 2010


Yep. Just not along the sunset waterfront anymore, really. Those days are pretty much gone. However, tourists can still camp on the ocean or boaters can anchor out for a low investment.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:04 AM on November 4, 2010


My mom, who's currently Mayor of my booming BC hometown (basically because she decided to run again), and has been for a total of about 14 years off and on when she was living in the town proper and not out in the sticks, has been asked over and over again by people she worked with in Victoria to run at the provincial level because she's damn good at what she does.

She's never bit, though I'm sure she'd have been successful, because she knows it gets dirty and crazy once you get out of the municipal level.

She's a smart lady. I respect her a lot for having the wisdom to stay where you are and try and do good on a smaller scale, because you know that's where you can be most effective.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:06 AM on November 4, 2010


So is there a place that actually still is a birch bark hippie haven that hasn't been overrun by italian marble importers?

There are lots of small towns with significant hippie populations, but gentrification doesn't just happen in the city.
posted by ssg at 12:23 AM on November 4, 2010


The idea that the Gulf Islands are nothing but a hippie haven is ridiculously misguided.

You have to head north. Quadra, Read, Texada. Lots of solar-powered cabins and pot farms. Even Hornby or Saturna are less gentrified than Saltspring; Saltspring hasn't been a hippie enclave since the 80s.

Maybe BC needs to revive Social Credit. Sure doesn't seem like the NDP and the Liberals know how to govern that damn place.

All the Socreds just changed their name, as I remember it... the BC Liberals are the same bunch, more or less. And they'll likely stay in power as well; I assume they pushed/encouraged Gordon to fall as he had become a massive liability for them. Once Gordon's gone, it will be business as usual.
posted by jokeefe at 1:05 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Graft? I figure BC Rail, the hydro power startups, etc. Any time government shifts big assets, really.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:31 AM on November 4, 2010


Campbell's claim to fame is the highest child poverty rate in the country.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:33 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Remember this next time you wonder why politicians don't have the courage to lead public opinion and do the right thing.

For those not entirely familiar with the issue, let point out the revisionism that lies in that statement;

March 25/09: BC is in the runup to the scheduled election of May 12. Ontario commits to the introduction of the HST. Various members of the BC government, including Campbell and his Finance Minister Hansen state that that there are no plans to introduce it in BC. Later emails obtained under FOI show that the Finance Ministry discussed this prospect with Ottawa the same day and a few days later sent a briefing to Hansen which he "doesn't remember" reading.

April 09; During the active election campaign, both Campbell and Hansen repeatedly state that the HST is not being considered as part of the their platform.

May 12/09: Campbell's Liberals are elected.

May 25/09: Campbell and Hansen announce that the HST will be introduced.

Nov 04/10: This chain of events is somehow interpreted as "the courage to lead" and "doing the right thing"
posted by Neiltupper at 7:38 AM on November 4, 2010


That's my most recent pissoff: not the HST, but the balls-out brazen lying about it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:49 AM on November 4, 2010


Saltspring is for the crazies who were too crazy for the other crazies.

Wait, there are islands between Van and Vic? says the Seattleite.

Campbell's claim to fame is the highest child poverty rate in the country.

And here's where the Canadians remind the Americans that the BC's child poverty rate in 2008 (10.7%) is still lower than Washington's (14.3%), though King County's is actually lower -- 10.2%.
posted by dw at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2010


I'm no apologist for Gordon Campbell. Let me just start with that. I've never voted Liberal, and would never do so. But here's my Gordo story...

In 2005 (I think, might have been '04) I was hired to run a meeting for the Premier's Office called the First Citizen's Forum. The FCF is an annual gathering between First Nations organizations, the premier and many members of the provincial cabinet. That year the theme was Aboriginal youth. I worked with a group of young First Nations leaders who were great facilitators and we crafted the meeting together. One thing they were very insistent on was having Dr. Martin Brokenleg come as a speaker. Martin is well known in indigenous youth circles for his model called the "Circle of Courage" which uses four core values of Belonging, Generosity, Mastery and Independence to describe indigenous parenting models. From those values, whole systems and public policy interventions can be constructed and the youth wanted to use that a a framework for the conversations on the day so we wouldn't be fighting with each other or clamouring over resources and money. They wanted humans to be in the conversation.

Martin does a really great presentation on this topic and he always shows a slide of his parents when he talks about the value of Belonging. His parents are very sweet looking people, and Martin has scads of stories about how they influenced him and how they loved him up when times were hard in his life.

During Martin's presentation I was sitting next to Campbell. We were at the top of a concentric circle, with everyone facing away from us, looking at Martin and the screen on the far side of the room. When Martin was talking about his parents, I heard a little sniffle and I looked over at him and noticed he had a tear on his cheek. No one could see him other than me. He looked pensive and reflective and I remembered that when Campbell was 13, his alcoholic father committed suicide. He was raised with his siblings by a single mom in a time when the shame of suicide haunted their social circle and limited their options. I realized in that moment, that despite his cultivated country club image, he had a lot in common with many of the youth in the room, and he shared something with them that many of his cabinet ministers did not share.

in that moment, I dropped my sense of "entitled taxpayer rage" and saw a human being underneath the veneer. A little while later when he was arrested for drunk driving in Maui, I had some context for that.

Gordon Campbell did lots of harm during his time as Premier of BC. But since that morning I have been left with a healthy cognitive dissonance between the man I saw steering the heartless conservative renaissance in BC and the son of father that left him just as he was becoming a young man, and who was still bruised 40 years later by the trauma of it. He never talked publicly about the emotional toll that took on him, but I saw it that day.
posted by salishsea at 2:14 PM on November 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


He coached my soccer team (I'm the same age as his son Geoff who was on the team) and his wife was our French teacher when I was a wee tike (~grade 2/3). I can get why folks are upset at being lied to about the HST, but as for the HST itself, I'm not particularly fussed about it (other than the low-level general extent to which nobody ever likes to pay more taxes). That money's got to come from somewhere and I'd rather pay more taxes than have, say, education cuts.
posted by juv3nal at 3:20 PM on November 4, 2010


That money's got to come from somewhere and I'd rather pay more taxes than have, say, education cuts.

Unfortunately, juv3nal, you're getting both.
.
Gordon Campbell's biggest enigma for me was how he started off his tenure with that godawful, mainly unconstitutional, referendum on aboriginal rights.

he then swung sharply to "The New Relationship" phase when I was surprised to see very well respected aboriginal leaders support him loudly. I thought at that point that he must have somehow crossed the "sincerity test" with those leaders, and salishsea's comment gives me some insight into how that might have happened.

Unfortunately, he lost focus on that issue and really drifted into a kneejerk reactionary mode where some of his less savoury cabinet ministers were shooting off their mouth, a lot (De Jong, Coleman, Bennett, Falcon), revealing the inner used car salesman which has been near the heart of the Socred-Liberal party for over 50 years.
posted by Rumple at 3:36 PM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah the New Relationship I also have to give him credit for. he took a bevy of Supreme Court cases that BC kept losing on Aboriginal title and turned around 180 degrees to champion reconciliation. It hasn't always worked, but no government in Canadian history I think has ever made the strides his has made, and opened the doors they have opened. So much of it is geeky and deals with things like child welfare policy and recognition legislation and tax room on post-treaty fiscal relations, and health governance, that it falls way below the dumbed down radar of the mainstream. But they have been remarkably progressive on that file, even as they have blown huge holes in society as general.

So yeah...I'd never vote for him, but on the other hand, credit where it's due. Infuriating to have politics show some modicum of complexity.
posted by salishsea at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


he took a bevy of Supreme Court cases that BC kept losing on Aboriginal title and turned around 180 degrees to champion reconciliation

Well, when you keep losing, eventually it might sink in that perhaps it's time to adopt a different strategy.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:20 PM on November 4, 2010


Razzle Bathbone: He is the perfect example of the how the press in Canada really does not like to discuss a politician's personal life.

I think that's a good thing, actually. I also get the feeling people might not really care that much. After Campbell's drunk driving arrest, his approval rating dropped, but only to 36% (vs. 9% after the introduction of the HST).

juv3nal: I can get why folks are upset at being lied to about the HST, but as for the HST itself, I'm not particularly fussed about it --

Yeah, same here. On nearly everything, HST makes no difference: the GST was 5% and the PST was 7%, and the HST is now 12%. There's specific sectors (restaurants, some services) that are affected; on the other hand, Ottawa gave BC a billion dollars as part of the deal, which is nothing to sneeze at.

What I have more of a problem with is the 15% income tax cut. That's going to make it more difficult to balance the budget over the course of the business cycle in the future. (You want to have temporary spending increases or tax cuts when the economy is down.)

Confession: I voted for the BC Liberals in the most recent election, as a direct result of the carbon tax and the NDP's opposition to it. I was relieved to see that the NDP dropped their opposition after the election.

jokeefe: All the Socreds just changed their name, as I remember it... the BC Liberals are the same bunch, more or less.

Someone described them as an uneasy coalition of federal Conservatives, federal Liberals, and the old Socreds.
posted by russilwvong at 7:33 AM on November 6, 2010


Man, Campbell really is a dick. Total scorched earth policy. It's a sad day when a jackass like Bill Bennett is the sole voice of reason in a pack of Stepford wives.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:24 PM on November 17, 2010


I'm laughing my ass off.

Next the secrets start to leak. I so hope to see some high-ranking corrupt politicians go to jail.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on November 18, 2010


weird part is, it's probably going to be on bestiality charges.
posted by philip-random at 11:14 PM on November 18, 2010


« Older Synergon...  |  Rejection Therapy is the real ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments