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KEEPING IT REAL: Campbell AND the Liberals are going, going...

If anyone had any doubt it is game over for Premier Gordon Campbell, the latest Angus Reid poll spells it out in black and white.  But what’s worse are the figures that also show that, even with a new leader, the Liberals are heading for an election disaster.

That will be Campbell’s political legacy, barring a miraculous turnaround.

The poll, commissioned by The Vancouver Sun, predicts the Liberals, under Campbell, would garner only 27% public support, compared to 48% for the NDP, 13% for the Greens, and 6% for the Conservatives.

It wasn’t in the Sun, but I’ve heard Campbell personally had only 14% support among respondents.

And not even Carole Taylor or Dianne Watts, as leader,  would make much difference: either would boost Liberal support to only 34%, says the poll. 

The public’s anger goes beyond Campbell and even the many regarded by many as his primary henchman, Finance Minister Colin Hansen.   I warned earlier on this blog that any Liberal MLA who hopes to have a political future would do well to separate themselves NOW from their leader.  This poll bears that out.

The camel’s back is now broken, and the straw that did it was NOT the HST itself, but the despicable way and the timing in the way the government brought it in.

The public in Canada is used to being lied to by politicians of all political stripes.  But the way the HST’s introduction was handled so soon after the election was just too much. And the fact that the tax shift also gives massive breaks to big business while imposing significant tax increases on consumers  added insult to injury.

What were they thinking?

Apparently Campbell, Hansen and the government had little respect for the voters and an absolute belief we would gripe, but do little more.

And then along came Bill Vander Zalm.

The media pundits and government-friendly broadcasters chuckled, mocked and denigrated the former premier and suggested that any petition process would be so onerous he'd have almost no chance to succeed.  But they underestimated the public anger--and Vander Zalms’ ability to harness it all.

This latest poll is Vander Zalms’ revenge … Part One.

Can’t wait to see Part Two!

Reprinted by permission of Harv Oberfeld. This article first appeared on his blog, Keeping it Real.