Monday, January 17, 2011

Recall, is it done? Bill Vander Zalm, is he finally done?

As of Friday evening the Oak Bay Gordon Head recall campaign had 7500 signatures.    They have less than three weeks left now and the signature numbers are falling off dramatically.   At this rate I would be surprised to see them reach 10,000.  They have to average 400 or more signatures a day, or a rate that is 33% higher than during the start of the campaign when it was easy to get signatures.  (addendum at 3:45 pm, the organizer said on CFAX they are over 8000 signatures, this means the weekend was slow for them)

I think the HST is an important shift in taxation in BC but that does not mean I have a problem with the Anti-HST petition.  I did not sign it, but I fully support the right of people to petition the legislature and bring an issue to a binding referendum.   I am impressed with the Anti-HST initiative and how well it functioned.  That said, an initiative campaign is a very different beast than recall.  It does not surprise me the Zalm did not pay attention to the difference.

The only week that has not fit with my assumed regression model from the recall campaign was the second week when they managed to almost equal the first week.  Since then the numbers have been going in the way I thought would likely.    After my disaster in predicting the Victoria municipal election and referendum in November, I happy to see I am not completely out to lunch on what is likely to happen.   It says again to me that the Victoria election was a unique event.

Worse for the recall campaign is that only 90 people came out to the Vander Zalm event on Friday evening, I personally think this is FANTASTIC!   I really abhor the use of recall for partisan political reasons.   We have recall so that we can call MLAs that do not resign when they should.   We had examples in the past of MLAs sticking it out for a long time because there was no way to fire them.

The fact that only 90 people showed up says to me the steam is going out of the recall campaigns as a partisan political campaign tool.    The one thing that does make me happy about the politically dumb move of going for recall after getting what they asked for is that this should be the last hurrah for Bill Vander Zalm in BC.   He may be very entertaining and likely would be an interesting dinner party guest, I am hard pressed to think of any other premier in BC that comes close to having governed as badly as Bill Vander Zalm.

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For all you BC political junkies out there, the SFU Library political cartoon collection is really good reading.

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