Mike Hayes: Recalling Ida Chong is about honesty and accountability

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      The B.C. Recall and Initiative Act is quite unique in Commonwealth jurisdictions. I suspect that the politicians, who drafted it with strict rules and a high bar, never really expected it to be used. Well, they were wrong, as politicians can be. There have actually been 20 approved recall applications since 1995, of which four proceeded. Three of those four petitions failed, as they did not collect enough valid signatures. The other petition was halted during the verification process because the MLA in question, Paul Reitsma, resigned.

      Attempt number 21 is underway in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, a middle-class constituency straddling two municipalities in Greater Victoria. The eclectic group of Fight HST veterans organizing this campaign are confident of success. This is a well educated, politically savvy constituency where the voter turnout in the last election was 67 percent. Voters understand the issues, and anger over the deceitful introduction of the harmonized sales tax is very strong.

      While Ida Chong has taken out full-page ads claiming that this is nothing more than an NDP plot and an attempt to refight the last election, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the majority of recall committee members are deeply insulted, as they have never, and may never, vote NDP. This is a truly nonpartisan, grassroots movement, made up of people who feel that they have been manipulated and lied to. They are mad as hell and they are not going to take it any more. Yes, I am the recall proponent, and a long-time member of the NDP. But, more importantly, I am a long-time resident of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. The issue in this campaign is not about how I voted in the last election; it is about how Ida Chong has voted since the last election.

      The decision by the steering committee to be the lead recall campaign was not taken lightly. It is understood that, in being first out of the gate, we must not fail. The success of this campaign will be critical to the success of all recall campaigns that follow. The challenges were discussed in an open and honest conversation among people of widely differing political perspectives and experiences. In the end, the passion, strong and varied skill sets of the team, and commitment to 60 days of hard work made the decision surprisingly easy.

      While the HST remains the focus, this campaign is more broadly about holding government—this government and any future government—accountable to the people who elect them. This has been described as populist democracy in action, and that is the bottom line—this campaign will succeed on the energy and commitment of citizens committed to making it work. Happily, there seems to be no shortage of willing workers. On November 22, when the petition was filed with Elections B.C., over 150 canvasser applications were included, and more are arriving at the campaign office every day.

      The task before the steering committee and the canvassers is considerable. We have 60 days in which to collect 15,366 signatures, a number which represents 40 percent of the total votes cast in the constituency in the 2009 election. Interestingly, only residents who were on the Oak Bay-Gordon Head voters’ list in 2009 can sign the petition. Newcomers to the community cannot. Only those people who were in a position to elect Chong in 2009 have the right to un-elect her in 2010.

      I encourage you to visit the campaign website. If you can’t make it over to Victoria to lend a hand, donations, large or small, are most welcome. See the link on our website. We hope that you will join us in making political history in B.C.

      Mike Hayes is the proponent of the campaign to recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong.

      Comments

      9 Comments

      RonS

      Nov 24, 2010 at 6:03pm

      I wish you all success. We in Maple Ridge are #7 on the list and are anxious to get going. We to are being accused of being NDP and refighting the last election. Certainly there are NDP'ers on the committee and as well as volunteers but the vast majority aren't. That's what upsets the LIbERalS. They are trying to formalize a target, except they are targeting some of their own one time supporters. You're right when you say it's about the deceitful display of the budget and the HST. As well, there is a litany of other issues, from the corrupt sale of BC Rail, the piecing off of BC Hydro, Run of River projects and selling of their output at exhorbidant rates to BC Hydro, which will directly affect the rates we pay for our household consumption.

      Now we have the government allowing drug companies, who contributed heavily to the LIbERalS, regulating themselves. Talk about turning the wolf loose in the hen house. This government is piece by piece turning us into an American subsiduary. We must recall them to save our province!

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      glen p robbins

      Nov 24, 2010 at 7:24pm

      BC Liberal leadership candidates will likely want to start the ball rolling on a June 1, 2011 HST Referendum. Be pro-active - be smart.

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      AW

      Nov 24, 2010 at 8:49pm

      Give me a break...non patisan...no way..fool some of the people all of the time. all of the people some of the time...you are political hacks

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      Taxpayers R Us

      Nov 25, 2010 at 12:18am

      Partisan or not, I couldn't care less. The libs really fucked us over with this one.

      Anyone remember the announcement just prior to the HST? It said that medical services were to be cut, elective surgeries, etc.

      First thing through my mind: since the high taxes use health care as an excuse, does this mean our taxes get lowered?

      And then the HST announcement came.

      Recall Chong, recall them all. As for NDP, they would do no better.

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      glen p robbins

      Nov 25, 2010 at 7:53am

      People forget their abusers fairly quickly - once the abuse stops and the abuser goes away. A more compassionate and thoughtful BC Liberal leader - in a political environment where the next government BC NDP are politically fractured to some degree - with the HST gone - and the people satisfied that their democracy works ------- and you have a whole new ball game - in my (personal) opinion.

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      Ray I

      Nov 25, 2010 at 10:05am

      Mike what is your source for stating that the majority of the anti-HST volunteers and recall volunteers are not NDP supporters? Your crack dealer? Cuz you must be on the pipe. They are almost exclusively NDP supporters. I know since I have seen the team meetings and spoken to the volunteers. Just ask Moe Sihota. Shoddy journalism!

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      Ray I

      Nov 25, 2010 at 11:59am

      Mike, you are either foolishly naive or a poor excuse for a propagandist. I have been to anti-HST meetings and know people involved with the recall at a high level. They are almost entirely made up of pro-NDP volunteers. To say otherwise exposes your ignorance or agenda. Isn't it the misinformation that the BC Liberals that you claim is the main reason for the opposition in the first place? Now you are employing the same kind of misinformation. Do you hold the intelligence of the voters in such low esteem? You aught to be ashamed!

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      Willy

      Dec 1, 2010 at 11:02am

      Mike - why are you dis-obeying your leader's wishes in not wanting the NDP to have any role recall? Is it because you are one of the 15% in provincial council (which you sit on), that don't support Carole James?

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      crucial

      Feb 4, 2011 at 7:41am

      Mike. You are poor accountant, or a moron. Maybe both. Give Mr. Van Der Zalm a kiss for me. Now, quit wasting my time and money.

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