EDITORIAL: HST question clear as mud

Barring slowdowns from the postal strike action, the harmonized sales tax mail-in referendum is underway across British Columbia.

Barring slowdowns from the postal strike action, the harmonized sales tax mail-in referendum is underway across British Columbia.

The packages include a ballot, instructions and three envelopes — and for those of you who generally toss out instruction manuals — don’t.

In typical government fashion,  though, the key thing to remember for the HST referendum is that yes means no and no means yes.

Feel confused? You are not alone.

The wording of the ballot reads: “Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (harmonized sales tax) and reinstating the PST (provincial sales tax) in conjunction with the GST (goods and services tax)? (Yes/No).”

Remember the wise words of high school teachers everywhere and read the question thoroughly before marking your answer.

Voting yes means you are in favour of scrapping the HST.

Voting no means you’d like to keep it around.

The cynic in us wonders if Premier Christy Clark’s government is counting on voter confusion as a way of boosting support for the tax at the ballot box.

This is much like how the Liberals were planning an “education” campaign on the HST, which has since turned into an obviously partisan attempt to sway voter opinion in favour of the new tax.

You may believe the Liberal’s change to a 10 per cent HST is the best choice. You may not.

How you decide to vote is up to you. But be sure you are marking your ballot with your true intention, not out of confusion.

– Salmon Arm Observer