The hated HST is dead. Soon its equally unloved cousin, the PST, will be dug up and pressed back into service.
Opposition parties and their allies are declaring victory, and corporations and their allies are predicting economic disasters.
The Liberals are in a tough spot - they can't decry the vote too much, since it was their arrogance and bungling that resulted in the whole mess. But they also have to stick-handle the change so that they can still tout themselves as the sound money managers they like to portray themselves as.
It is a remarkable victory for participatory democracy; never before have
Canadians managed to overturn government tax policy through petition and referendum. And perhaps that in and of itself is enough to celebrate.
After all, one can hardly blame an electorate for punishing the government - even if it does mean everyone will carry the bucket for it. But in a rational political world - if those two words can coexist in one sentence - emotions would not have played such a large part in the whole HST debacle.
In fact, the entire HST saga has been marked by decisions made in panic, arrogance, political envy, or in anger - from Gordon Campbell's lunging for the federal billions without consultation or even warning, to him later trying to right the ship by calling a binding plebiscite which required only 50 per cent plus one - none of which is in the exist-ing legislation.
Many voters also acted with their hearts, with the results splitting along obvious party lines. This should not have been a rerun of the 2009 election.
Tax policy is complex, which makes the debate vulnerable to abuse from both eggheads and rabble-rousers.
Friday was an immediate feel-good win for the populists. But it may take years, if not decades, to determine who will end up being the real losers and winners in the whole HST mess.