In her inimitable prose style, Chantal Hébert delivers a magisterial thumping to any Liberal who would even think of opposing the implementation of a Harmonized Sales Tax for British Columbia and Ontario. The arguments make themselves: harmonized federal-provincial taxation is good policy; it is the preferred policy of two of today’s most important Liberals, Gordon Campbell and Dalton McGuinty, and of two significant legacy Grits, Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien; defeating it would help only Jack Layton, while exacerbating the Liberal rifts that Stephen Harper is in politics to encourage. I’d add only one more: if realigning taxation is unpopular, that’s partly (only partly) because Stephen Harper spent the 2008 election using all the ingenuity he could summon to argue that no rearrangement of the tax burden could ever be legitimate because they’re always really a tax grab. Liberals don’t want to be in the business of encouraging that belief.
Oh, and you federal Liberals from B.C. who snorted when I called Gordon Campbell a Liberal? Unless you have a plan for getting an endorsement out of Carole James, he’s the only Liberal you’ve got. Pushing him into Stephen Harper’s arms? Not brilliant.