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OMG, if we dont vote to kill the registry, we give the Cons a majority! (snort).

Don Martin believes that if the NDP’s leader Jack Layton is correct, and he has swayed enough enough of the rural NDP MP’s to defeat the “private members bill” designed to kill the long-gun registry, the Cons have been handed an issue to win themselves a majority government. He says so right here.

This is where I’m supposed to start quaking and saying and acting like this, right?

Hardly. Why am I not shaking in my boots? The Cons have just as much to lose in Quebec and urban Ontario and urban BC in seats for voting to kill the long-gun registry as they might pick up in rural Canada. (Have you looked at those rural NDP seats by the way? If you were to look at the previous election results in 2008, in most of them the Conservative candidate finished 3rd. There would have to be a massive 3rd party swing to them and past the 2nd place Liberals to win the seats – and that’s nowhere near a given).

So, are the Conservatives going to make the long gun registry THE issue for them to finally achieve majority election success?

If they thought so, I believe they’d have made this “private member bill” (in name only) an actual official government bill, and then they would have declared a vote against it would be a declaration of a vote of non-confidence (despite it not being a money or budget bill, but thats not stopped them before). But they haven’t, and so my conclusion is they did this so-called private members bill stunt as a way of trying to get this thing passed via trickery, knowing if it was introduced via the official government bill route, it would face defeat.

Elections are rarely over 1 issue, and in the next election, I have my doubts the gun registry is THE issue to hand the COnservatives their elusive majority.

By the way, if Jack Layton is correct, and he’s swayed enough votes to help defeat C-391, bravo to him. And yes, I’d be extremely ticked off if a couple of Liberals defy the whip or didnt bother to show up to vote and allowed C-391 to pass (if indeed Layton is as good as his word). Those defying the Liberal whip on this should be immediately disciplined – even thrown out of the party – if they do so. I’m assured though that this won’t happen. We’ll see.


21 comments to OMG, if we dont vote to kill the registry, we give the Cons a majority! (snort).

  • DPeddle

    The thing about this bill is that it’s a private member’s bill and so members of parliament should not be whipped. Both the CPC and the LPC have whipped, while the NDP has not. For this, Layton has stuck to his guns by allowing his caucus to vote as they chose, while also going around his caucus and trying to convince those opposed to the registry to see if they can be convinced to hold off killing the bill in the anticipation of third reading amendments that Layton has said are in the works to improve the issues raised during the debate over the bill. I think this is a fairly common-sense approach given the demographics of each party. Libs hold mostly urban ridings (making a whipped vote largely free of blowback) while the NDP have strong support in rural ridings in Northern Ontario, NFLD, the North, BC,etc. while also having support in urban centers too. NDP could have been throwing their election hopes out the window had Layton whipped them into defeating the bill. Ostensibly, this would give Harper is majority, though as it was pointed out on CBC early last week, one of the pollsters found that this issue resonates so poorly with the majority of Canadians that it would translate to less than a 1% shift in NDP held rural ridings, while those same ridings have a +10% lead over the Con candidate. As a result, the NDP likely won’t be hurt as much as the Cons are trying to suggest. An example would be Bruce Hyer who has faced intense pressure from both sides, PM held a press conference and party function downtown Thunder Bay, yet Hyer defeated the Cons (who came third) by just over 10% of the vote. This may change with a Comuzzi family member running against him in the next election, though the Comuzzi name might not be enough to win the seat back from Hyer.

    This is pretty much a non-issue being trumped by the CPC to sow division amongst Canadians.

  • James Bagan

    This seems like alot of fancy rationalizations for lying politicians. NDP MPs said they would scrap the registry when they knew it would win them votes from rural voters, now they’re going back on their word. Where I come from, a promise is a promise, and a man is only as good as his word. Kind of makes me think that I wouldn’t want to visit wherever it is you come from.

    • Redrum

      @James Bagan, ah, grow up. (‘But you _praaw-missed_ me a lollypop, Mommy,’ pout, pout!)

      but I guess it’ll turn out to be a long, dirty, mud-slinging election w. each party throwing the other’s broken pledges in their faces in attack ads:

      ask the CAITI people about their long list of grievances with the Cons: no, we won’t change the taxes on income trusts; no, we won’t run a deficit; we won’t raise payroll taxes; we’ll have an open, transparent govt……

      bring it!, if you must. But don’t pretend you have anyone’s best interests at heart, except the gun lobby’s.

      • Redrum

        , and, oops, re: the no lollypop, I shoulda said, and Mommy replied, “That was before I found out it was made in China and has lead in it, so, no, you can’t have one. Here, have an apple, instead: it’s good for you.”

        (and tell me your parents never did something similar: changed their mind and broke a promise to get or let you do something after they found out how harmful or dangerous it could be, and then tell me how you’ve disowned them for “not being as good as their word.” sheesh, trotting out the ‘code of the West’: that’s only a Hollywood-ism. You wanna live life by comic book credos?)

        • James Bagan

          @Redrum, So you’re ok with the income trusts decision? I’m not.

          ““I will be voting to abolish the registry. No shifting, no sliding.” (Smithers Interior News, July 8, 2009)–Nathan Cullen”

          Cullen wins his riding with a little over 10% margin. It used to be a Reform Party seat. If he wants to try to explain this one away, good luck to him.

        • Redrum

          @James Bagan, re: income trusts… I’m not sure; it did seem like a potentially huge tax evasion leak that probably should have been plugged, but I confess I don’t know much about it at all. And no, I don’t rep. any party’s views on this: I was just throwing this back in your face assuming from your ealier mocking (rural gun crimes) stance and threats of punishing those who changed their voted that you were a COn., not a Dipper: so for that I guess I own an apology…. to Shiner (whom I told was wrong in thinking that pro-gun Dippers can’t be reasoned with).

          But if you’re from the Bulkley Valley and are just worried about Nate Cullen changing his vote, don’t, he’s pretty dug in, and nothing that gets said in blogs like this will change his mind, so you’ve just been wasting both our time.

          But if he _did_ change his mind, he could say that now that he’s a new father (of twins!) he sees things differently, and he doesn’t want to do anything that would make the world less safe for them. Which it will be, if you gun nuts can build up and swap arsenals with impunity, once there’s no system to track individual long guns.

  • the NDP can truthfully say they’ve got reasons for the ones that changed their vote: they saw some value in it from the RCMP report & didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, & had a new plan to modify some of the most objectionable aspects of it

    Because the constituency at play here is one that cares about reports? When you consider the brouhaha over the gun registry, rational thought isn’t what I’d call a central theme.

    • Redrum

      @Shiner, but we’re talking here about whether the people who vote _NDP_ are going to switch their vote over this, and most of the gun nut fear & loathing types you’re talking about didn’t & wouldn’t vote NDP in the first place; it’s quite possible that Charlie Angus et al. who changed their vote will be able to succeed in explaining to their base why they switched, in rountables & their local media.

      • James Bagan

        @Redrum, this is where you don’t understand rural Canada. Many people opposed to the registry would have voted for the NDP if they believed that the MP would kill the registry if given the chance. Now that these MPs have been given the chance, they’ll be forced to defend the registry, their votes, and their lies in previous campaigns. Do you condone lying from politicians?

        • Redrum

          @James Bagan, No, not really. But do you condone politicians putting their own self-interest ahead of what’s in the enlightened best interest of the whole country, including their own region?

          Climb down from the hysteria, for a second: there’s nothing outrageous about what’s being required of people, here. Most of them would — or should — have already registered their old guns, by now, which only has to be done once, unless they sell it. And it’s no more onerous than filling out a form to describe the weapons and record the serial no. Hell, I had to do that just for a _bicycle_ as a kid. And it’s free, now! So put down the pitchforks and torches, villagers: enough of the hissy fits, already.

          And there’s a big difference between _lying_ and _changing your mind_ about something.

          One of the hallmarks of a Progessive — as opposed to a Conservative — party is the willingness to engage in Evidence-Based Policy Making.

          Here, there’s been a combination of hearing of the ongoing utility of the database (both by doctors alerting the cops of suicide risks, and by the cops, once they take the trouble to learn how to use it properly and actually do so: that’s what Marty Cheliak was doing: touring the country, tutoring them, and making converts along the way, which is why they gave him the hook); finding out about the reasons for the cost overruns (it was the whole FIrearms Program, not just the LGR, whose costs have stabilized now); and shortly, learning about the new studies and data which show that it _does_ save lives; and finally, the parties finding ways to modify the legislation to remove some of the most unpalatable aspects of the current program (by modifying the penalties, e.g.)…

          …well, given all that, the MPs can honestly say that a lot of their previous reasons for objecting to it no longer apply, and some of their beliefs about it may have turned out to be false (some of it thanks to NRA-inspired propaganda and misinformation), and now they cannot in good conscience continue to oppose it, even if it means reversing their previous position and disappointing a lot of their constituents.

          A lot of pols have had to make those tough choices b/w what’s right and what’s expendient, and rightly chose what they now believed was right (like on big files like Free Trade, Wage & Price controls, the GST (or Bush Sr.’s “Read my lips: NO New Taxes,”) income trusts, Rae Days, No Deficit spending, etc. etc.)

          Sure, some people will never forgive them or their party for such things; but even if people didn’t agree with them, and even if their new beliefs turned out wrong, some of them were acting from a genuine sense of integrity and higher principles than just a simplistic, “Never lie.”

          But is it really your position that a promise must always be kept, regardless of the consequences or costs?

          (Even at a personal level? So, no one who took a traditional vow should ever divorce, no matter how miserable they make each other? (Or no one break up, if they said “I’ll always love you?”)

          If so, I hope you never get into office, because the naive views one comes in with may turn out to be completely wrong for one’s overall aims, once more facts are known or situations change, and a stubborn resistance to those new facts or circumstances can be disastrous to both the country and a party (ask Tony Clement, in a couple years).

  • I’m with Martin. Remember that people voted for the CPC in the last election when they said they were going to get rid of the gun registry. Why would you think that their urban vote would evaporate now that they’re still going to get rid of the gun registry. On the otherhand, the NDP has been forced to come down hard on the issue. The NDP’s position is the only one that’s visibly changed, and they’ll pay for it.

    • Redrum

      @Shiner, except that 1) the NDP can truthfully say they’ve got reasons for the ones that changed their vote: they saw some value in it from the RCMP report & didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, & had a new plan to modify some of the most objectionable aspects of it; and

      2) the Cons. were either screw-ups, or bait & switch hypocrites trying to milk the issue or trot it out when they needed to change the channel about their other screw-ups, for not being able to accomplish their promise to kill the registry _years_ ago, already, by slipping it into one of those omnibus confidence bills the Libs didn’t have the gumption to vote against: but no, the Cons killed their own bills on this several times when they dissolved Parliament for an (ahem!) illegal election in 2008, and then when they prorogued, and now (if this is defeated) when they pretended it was a private member’s bill & stick handled it so badly by their usual BS & attempt to bully & steamroll over anyone not 100% onside.

      • James Bagan

        @Redrum, several NDP and Liberal MPs said outright that they would vote to kill the registry if given the chance. If they do not do so in the coming days, then that means that they lied to their constituents. It’s really that simple.

        Ask Gordon Campbell what happens when you lie to voters.

        • danielmartin

          @James Bagan, Why ask Gordon campbell? Let’s ask Stephen Harper, who bald-faced lied on so many of his promises and principles during his first term as PM that the people almost revolted, oh wait.
          Harper’s a whiny, cheap cheating punk who doesn’t neither courage nor conviction to stand for something. He’ll get his comeuppance in due time.

  • Wow, Don Martin must not have had his morning coffee when he wrote this article. Anyone who thinks that after failing to get a majority after the sponsorship scandal and the poor showing of Mr. Dion, Harper can get a majority by the defeat of one bill on the long-gun registry is suffering from serious hallucinations.

  • Louise M.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I’m presently a Conservative supporter. Scott, if the Conservatives lose this vote, I doubt they will push the issue. I also doubt the gun registry is presently uppermost in the minds of Canadians. It’s still about the economy. This vote seems more important to politicians and the media than to mainstream Canadians.

    And Gayle, are you so sure about the sentiments of mainstream Canadians vis a vis the police? IMO, many Canadians today are not that enamored with our law enforcement authorities. And no, I don’t think the Conservatives will use this angle in a campaign. The Conservatives will probably focus on economic issues.

    • Gayle

      @Louise M., I am pretty sure the conservatives want to position themselves as being on the side of law and order, so it cannot help them to attack the police chiefs.

  • Gayle

    I think that the people whose vote depends on the gun registry already vote for the conservatives. I cannot see how this issue will become a winner for them.

    In fact, is it not possible that the conservatives overplayed their hand here? It is one thing to quietly disband the gun registry, it is quite another to go into histrionics about the opposition supporting it. That drew far more attention to the issue, which means people were paying attention when the police chiefs started talking about how important it is to them. We have already seen popular support grow for the registry in just this short period of time.

    Do the conservatives really want to campaign on an attack on the integrity of our police forces?

  • Anon ABC

    If Harper really thinks that losing the Hoepnner bill is going to win him a majority, as Don Martin is saying, then Harper should simply tell all his MPs to vote with the Libs, NDP and BQ to ensure his own defeat next week. Then this issue will be a win-win for everyone: the leftists, socialists and separatists get to keep their registry, Harper gets his elusive majority, and everyone gets to “ooh and aah” as to how smart Don Martin is for predicting this will happen.

    Scott: Happy that Jack is able to swing the votes but, like you, am hoping that the LIbs come through.

  • kwittet

    Nice article you linked to there Scott. And from the Tabloid Post to boot.

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