I'm on the record as believing the HST is the right policy for British Columbia (and Ontario and elsewhere), despite the flawed implementation on the left coast. However, with the tide of anger against the HST in B.C. seeming to make its defeat in a referendum next fall almost inevitable, I support Christy Clark's proposal to put the HST to another vote in the legislature in the spring, which could see the HST killed sooner. My feeling is if the public will is clear, government should listen instead of prolonging the issue unnecessarily.
As the weeks progress, support for abolishing the harmonized sales tax (HST) continues to erode. More than half of British Columbians (54%) would still vote to extinguish the HST, but support is down 10 points since early December. One third of BC residents (35%, +5) would cast a ballot to keep the HST, while 11 per cent are undecided.
While women continue to support abandoning the HST by an almost 2-to-1 margin, the race has tightened considerably among men (48% would extinguish it, 42% would keep it).There was another recent poll that showed a strong desire from a lot of BCers for more information on the HST ahead of the referendum, which would seem to indicate both that people are becoming more engaged, and that they're not satisfied with the information they've gotten on sales tax harmonization from either the government, the media, or the anti-HST campaigners.
The one key change from early December is the erosion of support for the abolition of the HST. Men and respondents in affluent households are slowly coming on board with the idea that the tax should be kept, so the final decision on whether to proceed with a free vote in the Legislative Assembly—or hold the referendum at an earlier date—will be particularly important for whoever becomes British Columbia’s 35th Premier.