Ida Chong HST recall organizers admit defeat

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      Recall petition organizers say they have failed to collect enough signatures to potentially unseat B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong over the harmonized sales tax.

      Since Elections B.C. issued the petition in early December, canvassers have been scrambling to collect signatures from at least 40 percent of registered voters in Chong’s Vancouver Island riding.

      Organizers of the recall campaign today (February 3) admitted they have fallen short of that target after only gathering around 8,800 unverified names, according to a news release.

      According to Elections B.C., support from more than 15,300 eligible Oak Bay-Gordon Head voters would have been required by the February 4 deadline to unseat Chong.

      Under B.C.’s recall legislation, the collection of enough valid signatures would lead to an MLA byelection.

      Chong, who has represented Oak Bay-Gordon Head in the legislature since 1996, released a statement today thanking constituents, anti-recall volunteers, and Liberal party colleagues for their support.

      The recall organizers have blamed a number of factors for the unsuccessful petition.

      Among them, they claim some voters were reluctant to sign because their names would become public and others simply could not be reached.

      They also suggested an out-of-date voters list has not reflected the smaller number of potential signatories available in the riding.

      But organizers have also claimed a degree of victory. They say the recall bid made the HST a key issue in Liberal leadership race and the petition possibly played a role in Premier Gordon Campbell’s resignation.

      Meanwhile, Liberal MLAs Terry Lake and Don McRae still face recall campaigns in their ridings.

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      More to come.

      Feb 3, 2011 at 12:41pm

      "We're working on some excuses for our failings. There have to be some concrete reasons why this failed, other than people not wanting to actually repeal the HST in this manner."

      Ken Lawson

      Feb 3, 2011 at 5:09pm

      Do not worry this is only the first test and Ida Chong will not be re-elected and a smart Premier would send to the back bench, but the other question is will we end up with a smart Premier

      Just Business

      Feb 3, 2011 at 5:47pm

      This whole thing was meant to fail, consider that!

      glen p robbins

      Feb 4, 2011 at 8:21am

      It's interesting that the press - Palmer, Smyth et al have taken this loss as evidence that Recall is futile. (Even the very best get stale after a couple of decades).

      The BC Liberal leadership candidates (including now Clark) have all said they will move up the Referendum for June - and Elections BC says they can't get a Referendum up and running without a Cabinet Order for 9 months which takes it to or past Campbell's time table.

      The press doesn't mention this, not a word - because they are trying to maintain control of the political debate and want to keep it between the 2 parties that have money (BC Liberals and NDP) and who will be able to guarantee them revenues - status quo as it were--and digestable to a kindergarten level of intelligence.

      If the next BC Liberal leader cannot produce the June 1 Referendum - the low numbers for the BC Liberals will not be propped up by the popcorn polls the confederate polling firms of the news media are trying to sell. The promise of the Referendum was the relief that mitigated for Ida Chong.
      Why hold a by-election if the problem that caused the by-election were off the table--with the solution of the Referendum? Well, apparently that Referendum isn't likely coming folks -- is the news talking about that?

      No - because they treat the political news of BC Liberals and NDP like it is a Friends episode - these are our actors and this is our script. It's become old pablum.

      The public isn't paying attention to the leadership race of the BC Liberals and BC NDP - has virtually no idea who is running for what (that's the reality) even if they know the name of a candidate which is seldom -- its keystone cops in public opinion - don't let the press con you.

      The BC Conservatives are selecting a leader this spring and BC First is acquiring names and neighbourhoods by the score. Put a federal election over top of this//this spring -- and Chris Delaney might get more woman voters -- simply because the public thinks he's a she -.

      This is wide open - and the press wants to close the door on circumstances they cannot control like the Recall. If Recall was so meaningless why would Campbell let Terry Lake handle the dog genocide inquiry? Because he's a vet? Please help me Rhonda.

      News folks - its like Mick says "Baby ---- your out of time". Time to change the whole works and make political life interesting again--once upon a time in the west.

      Second Nation

      Feb 4, 2011 at 9:08am

      Now maybe the NDP leader, Bill vander Zalm, will move on to another issue.

      glen p robbins

      Feb 4, 2011 at 10:42am

      Second nation - Bill Vander Zalm is head of the Fight HST. What issue would he be moving onto---Fight health and education?

      Fan'o Truth

      Feb 4, 2011 at 11:48am

      Among them, they claim some voters were reluctant to sign because their names would become public and others simply could not be reached.

      It's been said before that the 5,000 or so BC Govt employees who lived in the Oak Bay district were particularly reluctant to sign. They feared on the job retribution if they did.

      What does that say about the line, still peddled by some Liberal spokespeople, that it's the NDP that tends to politicize the bureaucracy? Perhaps these Liberal promoters need to sit down with their "professionals" in the Public Affairs Bureau and come up with a less ludicrous talking point. Admittedly, the PAB staff may be very busy writing political screeds that will then be signed by "intellectuals" and later appear as contributed op-ed pieces in the major newspapers, but I am sure they can find a minute or two.

      glen p robbins

      Feb 4, 2011 at 1:07pm

      BC First and Chris Delaney need to talk about gutting the PAB - and getting rid of senior officials--starting fresh - in 10 years Egypt will be ahead of us.

      Don't laugh