A quick response (via Puerto Vallarta) on Justine Hunter’s story in The Globe. Key quote:

Ms. Clark said the referendum would take place next November in conjunction with municipal elections and she won’t engage in shaping the outcome.

“The people will decide. People will need to do their homework to make sure they get the answer that is right for them, but I’m not going to try to decide for people what their answer should be.”

No, no, no. She mustn’t opt out. This is, after all, her idea.

More importantly, the future of the region – the province’s economic engine and job generator – is at stake.

But her own Minister has given the essential reason why the Premier must be involved, why her political capital must be spent to achieve a win.

(Transportation Minister Todd Stone) said … “It is imperative to get this right, to win this referendum.”  (He) reviewed the past 63 transit-funding referendums held across North America and found three-quarters of them won the required public support for more spending. … Those transit referendums that were successful “were largely run like political campaigns, with a semi-co-ordinated attempt to get the vote out.”

Precisely.  All political representatives, at all levels – municipal, regional, provincial – will have to be united and committed, pulling together, and led by a strong leader determined to achieve victory.  If the Premier says, ‘well no, it’s really all up to the people, don’t expect me to take a position,’ then why should any other politician?

Why should a mayor, for instance, facing a tight election with a ‘No more taxes’ challenger, spend political capital defending TransLink, arguing for a significant tax increase that may not even directly benefit the voters in their part of the region – while the leader who imposed all this on us is sitting it out in Victoria, abdicating responsibility for the future of half the province’s population and its economy.

If the Province’s first minister isn’t going to lead this ‘political campaign’ to get a yes, then one can only assume she is perfectly happy with a no.

And Todd Stone is talking bafflegab.

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