Gun Registry Continued

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Farmpunk
Gun Registry Continued
Fidel

Why does an asshole-deluxe like Iggy who supported the fascist invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan want to keep tabs on my long one? He's very good with US business. Why can't he mind his own though?

RedRover

This could be challenging for Jack et. al. given the diversity in caucus, and specifically the rural/urban divide.  This divide, in geography not ideologly,  doesn't seem to flare up much (at all?) outside of this issue.

All the same, the issue must be handled delicately with such a exagerated divide between urban and rural ridings (26-11).  It would be hard to discipline a large number of MPs - on either side - if they decide to break the whip or otherwise not fall into line with the Leader's decision.

Aristotleded24

[quote=RedRover]This could be challenging for Jack et. al. given the diversity in caucus, and specifically the rural/urban divide.  This divide, in geography not ideologly,  doesn't seem to flare up much (at all?) outside of this issue.[/quote]

Where's the divide? Regardless of arguing the merits of the gun registry itself, I don't see that members of the NDP Caucus can do anything other than agree to disagree and move onto other areas.

RedRover

You don't think voting different ways on the same bill is a divide on that bill? 

Put another way, you disagree that the caucus is divided on the issue of the LGR?

There is quite a body of evidence that says otherwise, but thankfully the divide is limited to one government policy (LGR) and not ideology, competing interests, or personal animosity - which frankly create more numerous and severe divides in the other parties (particularly the Libs).

Augustus

It will certainly be interesting to see the NDP explain it to the anti-gun voters in their ridings in the big cities if the Conservative bill ends up passing because of NDP support.  Will it harm the NDP with the pro-gun control voters in their constituents? 

Aristotleded24

[quote=Augustus]It will certainly be interesting to see the NDP explain it to the anti-gun voters in their ridings in the big cities if the Conservative bill ends up passing because of NDP support.  Will it harm the NDP with the pro-gun control voters in their constituents? [/quote]

I doubt it. All they have to do is say, "as your MP, I voted to keep the registry but some of my colleagues respectfully disagree."

Augustus

But it will still mean that it was the NDP' support of the gun registry that led to its abolition.

Sean in Ottawa

I think this is an important issue and the caucus should not be divided at this point -- it does not look good at all.

The issue of it being a private members bill is a red herring.

The final vote could leave the party divided because that is a more specific thing out of the control of the party but the party should be able to unite behind a position including any required amendments-- if those amendments are not passed then there could be splits but at this point when the bill can be amended I think there is far to much space where the party ought to be able to find common ground. To not do so is a cop-out.

Unionist Unionist's picture

[quote=Aristotleded24]

[quote=Augustus]It will certainly be interesting to see the NDP explain it to the anti-gun voters in their ridings in the big cities if the Conservative bill ends up passing because of NDP support.  Will it harm the NDP with the pro-gun control voters in their constituents? [/quote]

I doubt it. All they have to do is say, "as your MP, I voted to keep the registry but some of my colleagues respectfully disagree."

[/quote]

And in the anti-control ridings, all they have to say is, "as your MP, I voted with the Conservatives to scuttle the registry, although some of my colleagues who pander to urban voters respectfully disagreed".

It does make for unity of a kind.

KenS

Unless something has changing or changing, then I think that all or most of the NDP MPs who voted against the registry will do it again this time.

I'm only guessing and reading tea leaves, but both from what has been said and not said, I suspect that Stoffer and some others have said ahead of time they will not vote for it, period. Then it becomes a question for Jack and others how much damage you are willing to take to have unity on the issue.

For discipline, all that could be done to Stoffer is throw him out of Caucus. His House roles were already pared so far that he has little to lose from having those taken away.

The number of Liberals ill disposed to the registry is a much smaller proportion withing their Caucus. And all or most were around when the registry was brought in by their government- so if they never liked it they had to make their peace long ago. So that with preparation this time around, its feasible for Iggy and Cuzner to enforce discipline without creating the kind of nasty consequences you would get within the NDP Caucus.

Sean in Ottawa

However, the party ought to be able to find enough common ground to imagine an amended version they could support-- only when those amendments fail does the disunity come. The party should not be all over the road without some unifying amendments.

BTW, I understand there are New Dems who want amendments and a smaller number who want to kill it regardless. This might get enough votes to defeat the Cons attempt at killing it while securing some important amendments-- even if a few New Dems either don't vote or even vote against in the end.

RANGER

Everything Ignatieff touches turns into shit, Jack's best bet is to get as far away from this idiot as possible. 

Fidel

When the 95% large majority realize that they far outnumber the elite handful few comprising the oppressor class, there will be sweeping changes to the political landscape in Canada and USA.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Geez, Fidel, there you go again! Laughing

Farmpunk

If there's sweeping to be done, I'll lend out all my brooms and keep a gun for myself.

Iggy has whipped the Libs.  Does this affect the NDP and Layton who have left it as a private member issue?

I like Layton's approach better.  I think politically interested people enjoy free votes.  I know I do. 

It seems silly to scrap something that is established and currently running economically.  As a gun owner, I had no problem with the registry. 

 

 

Augustus

Chantal Hebert said tonight that this situation puts the NDP in the crosshairs and puts Layton in a difficult position.  If the bill passes, the anti-gun voters will be angry with the NDP.

Chester Drawers

I'm impressed with Jacks decision to let his caucus vote un-whipped.  Leadership is tough. 

However!  He was on John Gormley Live in Sask. today and either he was being patrinizing to Western Canadians or was caught up in the debate.  He said he remembered taking the family 22 out on the farm and shooting ducks.  Now he just admitted to breaking the law.  You can not shoot water fowl with anything other than a shotgun.  So he was either mistaken on the type of gun he used or he was trying to endear himself to the Western Voter with a manufactured story.  That was unfortunate. It reinforces the belief skeptics have that politicians will say anything to get votes whether it is the truth or manufactured.

Life, the unive...

No fan of the long gun registry.  HOWEVER, anyone who thinks that this is the biggest issue facing rural and small town Canada, is either just plain stupid, playing polititcs, or not paying attention or a combination thereof.

RedRover

It's funny, but the party could be strenghtened by allowing a free vote.

Rural MPs and candidates can say I did/will vote to get rid of it, while urban candidates can say I did/will vote to keep it. 

The same applies in reverse for the other parties though.  Can urban Cons say anything different than what Dear Leader has decreed they say?  The Cons stance may not go over well in urban BC, Ottawa, or even the 905. What could Iggy say when stumping in Saskatchewan or rural Manitoba or Ontario?

I think allowing a free vote for MPs is the right move democratically and electorally and respects the different cultures of rural and urban Canada equally.

Sean in Ottawa

Problem is this is being played as something for the police in order to get law and order types on line. In reality it is also about domestic violence.

If you register your guns and then have mental health issues, a history of abuse against your family or make threats the fact that they are registered would make it easy to take them away.

It comes, therefore, to a question of whether you consider safety of women and children to come before the inconvenience of the registry and right to own guns. Some will also argue that the right to own a gun should not be compromised based on a threat or spousal violence. Instead some people are trying to defend the registry based on police use alone.

We work based on some collective desire when it comes to law. Perhaps the law should be amended to require the registry of guns in highly populated areas since in those places most want it. I'd rather not make such a compromise but perhaps if the cause is lost for keeping it nationally there should be an option allowed for the parts of the country who want it to have it.

Snert Snert's picture

[quote]It comes, therefore, to a question of whether you consider safety of women and children to come before the inconvenience of the registry and right to own guns.[/quote]

 

That sounds remarkably similar to, say, right wing arguments for why we shouldn't get too upset over police profiling. "What's more important? A little inconvenience being pulled over, or THE PUBLIC SAFETY???"

Augustus

[quote=Chester Drawers]

I'm impressed with Jacks decision to let his caucus vote un-whipped.  Leadership is tough. 

However!  He was on John Gormley Live in Sask. today and either he was being patrinizing to Western Canadians or was caught up in the debate.  He said he remembered taking the family 22 out on the farm and shooting ducks.  Now he just admitted to breaking the law.  You can not shoot water fowl with anything other than a shotgun.  So he was either mistaken on the type of gun he used or he was trying to endear himself to the Western Voter with a manufactured story.  That was unfortunate. It reinforces the belief skeptics have that politicians will say anything to get votes whether it is the truth or manufactured.

[/quote]

What are the animal lovers going to think of Jack Layton?

RedRover

[quote=Sean in Ottawa]

If you register your guns and then have mental health issues, a history of abuse against your family or make threats the fact that they are registered would make it easy to take them away.

[/quote]

Correct me if I am wrong, but they don't open your health records before you are allowed to purchase a long gun.  Nor do they for driving a vehicle which could be just as deadly.  I may be wrong, but I don't think any government has the right to pry into health records for anything.

Also, I think if someone is found guilty of domestic violence or using a firearm illegally in the commission of crime then a judge can ban ownership of such weapons.  Even with that though, if someone really wants to own a gun then will simply buy it, store it, and use it without registering it.

I get what you are saying, but I don't see how keeping the registry (at least in its current form) helps in the situations you describe.

Farmpunk

The registry still has resonance in my circles. 

I like free votes because they introduce a chance for elected reps to step outside party boundaries.   

West Coast Lefty

[quote=Aristotleded24]

Where's the divide? Regardless of arguing the merits of the gun registry itself, I don't see that members of the NDP Caucus can do anything other than agree to disagree and move onto other areas.

[/quote]

That would be an acceptable position if Jack Layton and the 36 other NDP MPs had run for the national debating club in October 2008. In fact, they were elected to Parliament to make decisions on legislation.  There is no such thing as "having no position" or "agreeing to disagree" on bills before the House of Commons.  The NDP caucus will either save the gun registry or kill the registry, it is entirely in their hands assuming Iggy is able to whip his caucus this time. More specifically, Jack will either permit his caucus to let the Harper bill pass or he will lead them in defeating it (which is Jack's personal position and that of the majority of the caucus). 

When Iggy's Liberal MPs couldn't support their own bill on maternal and reproductive health, and those who voted against the bill were not punished in any way, it proved that the Liberals are not a pro-choice party and that voters outside Quebec can only count on the NDP to defend a women's right to choose.  It's the same principle on the registry - if Jack allows a free vote again on 3rd reading with no consequences to those MPs who vote to kill the registry, it means Jack can live with that outcome and the NDP doesn't support gun registration.  Period.  You can argue the merits of the registry, but please, let's dispense with the "NDP has no position" and "we'll just move on to other issues" fantasies.  Voters won't buy that crap for one second and rightly so.

I will post separately on why I'm convinced the NDP will not allow the Harper bill to pass, and why that is the correct strategy substantively and politically.

West Coast Lefty

[quote=KenS]

Unless something has changing or changing, then I think that all or most of the NDP MPs who voted against the registry will do it again this time.

[/quote]

I disagree and I'm quite convinced that Layton will either issue a formal whip to defeat the Harper bill, or through negotation, ensure that enough of the 12 anti-registry MPs switch their vote so that the bill is defeated.  If the Liberals were still divided, Layton might have stayed with a free vote but there is simply no way politically that the NDP can allow themselves to be the sole reason why Harper will get his way and kill the gun registry.  For starters, they would be ensuring Mulcair's defeat in Outremont and killing any chance of winning other Quebec seats as the BQ and Libs would be slamming the NDP on gun control every day in Quebec.  It would be a huge vulnerability for every NDP candidate in urban ridings outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan and would result in many female voters switching to the Liberals. 

Most important, Layton is personally supportive of the registry and helped to found the White Ribbon campaign for men to speak out against violence against women in the wake of Polytechnique - he is not going to preside over a caucus vote that kills the registry.  As for the 12 anti-registry MPs, I saw both Gravelle and Cullen on Power Play this week and neither of them committed to voting the same way on 3rd reading.  Gravelle said his vote was to send the bill to committee only and Cullen said he was looking for a compromise solution on the issue.  Cullen has been particularly adamant about hating the registry so his change of tone was striking.  Apart from Stoffer and maybe 1-2 others, the rest of the 12 will go with Layton's directive on this bill if Jack takes a strong position. As for Layton, he has not said there will be a free vote on 3rd reading:

NDP Leader Jack Layton had allowed his MPs to vote their conscience on this issue - 12 of them did just that last November. Yesterday, however, he would not commit to allowing a free vote again when the Hoeppner bill comes back to the House. "Well that's a big if. I'll address it then," he told reporters when asked if the NDP MPs who voted against it were not satisfied with the changes to the registry that he wants to bring in.

Having another caucus split on the gun registry won't help the NDP with urban voters or pro-registry voters in general, obviously.  But it won't help the 12 NDP MPs either - the Conservative attack machine will still say that you can't count on the NDP to kill the registry and the Cons will take credit for pressuring the NDP members to split with their leader.  Apart from a rabid but small core group that not only wants to kill the registry but also votes on this issue alone,  and they vote massively Conservative, most voters just don't care about this issue.  The Cons used the PMB to try to revive interest in the registry to fire up their base and the NDP fell for it hook, line and sinker.  Remember, every Ontario NDP MP who voted to kill the registry is from a riding the Liberals won in 1997 and 2000 when the registry controversy was at its peak. 

Let's defeat this bill and kill the issue for good, and let's not let the Conservative attack machine scare a third of our caucus into betraying our values again.  If the registry is flawed, let's fix it but we don't want the NDP to help usher in an NRA-type agenda into Canadian politics.

 

Augustus

I agree with West Coast Lefty.

And I think that if the NDP remains divided over this bill that it could hurt their image with the public and in the media.

In fact, over the past few days I can already see the media getting ready to go after the NDP as being divided on this issue.

Sean in Ottawa

[quote=RedRover]

[quote=Sean in Ottawa]

If you register your guns and then have mental health issues, a history of abuse against your family or make threats the fact that they are registered would make it easy to take them away.

[/quote]

Correct me if I am wrong, but they don't open your health records before you are allowed to purchase a long gun.  Nor do they for driving a vehicle which could be just as deadly.  I may be wrong, but I don't think any government has the right to pry into health records for anything.

Also, I think if someone is found guilty of domestic violence or using a firearm illegally in the commission of crime then a judge can ban ownership of such weapons.  Even with that though, if someone really wants to own a gun then will simply buy it, store it, and use it without registering it.

I get what you are saying, but I don't see how keeping the registry (at least in its current form) helps in the situations you describe.

[/quote]

Actually you only have half the process. Your health professional can take action to remove a license for your safety and others and in the case of guns can have them removed.

If you have a registered gun, for example and you start discussing suicide your medical professional can take steps to ensure the removal of the gun.

There are criminals who have sources for unregistered guns but to pretend that this is the only source of gun violence is dishonest on the part of gun advocates. Many people who might want a gun and should not have one do not have such connections to unregistered guns.These include otherwise law-abiding people with no contact to the criminal element but who are distressed and who are not safe with them -- including some teens. For gun shops it does make it harder to deal illegally on the side so it makes it more likely that all over the counter sales are legitimate. Sure the criminal importer will still be in business but at least the market most can see will have to do things correctly. People forget about that angle. Who here thinks that under the table transactions do not occur by so-called legitimate businesses. A registry makes that much harder for those who legally sell guns to let one go under the table to someone who does not have a license-- and it does so without great inconvenience to the other vendors.

Registered guns is about knowing where they are, protecting them and about authorities knowing you have them. For the paranoid this is threatening but it is a necessary part of licensing. Just like with a car you have to have a license and you then register what you have.

Those who register a gun are also legally committed to the safekeeping of that gun. This provides some extra responsibility in terms of what happens with that gun. Weapons used by the criminal element in our society may have been once owned by legal licensees or imported legally. The registry makes it somewhat harder for domestic legal weapons to fall in to the hands of those who are not licensed.

No it is not a catch all policy but few are.

The majority of gun deaths of women have time and again been proven to be from weapons that the registry covers. Let us never, ever, forget the purpose of the registry which is to reduce violence against women in particular. It was not as some claim some pointless venture. And it does not have to be perfectly effective in all instances to be worth while. How many lives must it save to be worth it?

Interestingly one of the chief arguments against its effectiveness has been a lack of full compliance-- from the same government that has discouraged compliance-- can't be too cynical.

Another post suggested I was using the right wing argument about convenience. To compare the national security threats to deaths of women is ridiculous. How many women were killed by guns last year? How many due to threats to national security that were acted on? The rights people talk about setting aside-- like security of the person, freedom from torture -- how do these compare to having to register a gun? The argument is one of balance. In both cases the right wing have it wrong-- for even the vaguest national security threat (or read excuse half the time) we are to upend a persons entire civil rights to their freedoms, to their body and excuse crimes like torture, but it would be considered too much to ask legal, law-abiding gun owners to register them like they would a car. If you can't see the gulf of difference between these two then you are not looking.

The registry does not take guns away arbitrarily it does make it easier to remove them if there is cause to do so and it does provide a tracking onus on whomever has them that they need to keep them safe and safely. The idea that this is too much for the law and order crowd boggles the mind.

The role in the added cost of the sabotage to the effort initiated by the current government is not small either. And mistakes in spending were made. Now of course the right wing wishes to pretend that the registry is an ongoing boondoggle which it is not. Once set up its maintenance costs are quite low. That argument is a little like arguing to tear down the parliament buildings because it cost too much to put them up.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The optics of the NDP having a few (is it 12?) MPs who could help the Cons defeat the long gun registry are simply untenable. I doubt the party would ever live it down.

Aristotleded24

[quote=West Coast Lefty]I disagree and I'm quite convinced that Layton will either issue a formal whip to defeat the Harper bill, or through negotation, ensure that enough of the 12 anti-registry MPs switch their vote so that the bill is defeated.  If the Liberals were still divided, Layton might have stayed with a free vote but there is simply no way politically that the NDP can allow themselves to be the sole reason why Harper will get his way and kill the gun registry.  For starters, they would be ensuring Mulcair's defeat in Outremont and killing any chance of winning other Quebec seats as the BQ and Libs would be slamming the NDP on gun control every day in Quebec.  It would be a huge vulnerability for every NDP candidate in urban ridings outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan and would result in many female voters switching to the Liberals.[/quote]

Yet somehow the pro-gun Conservatives took a seat from the anti-gun BQ in the latest round of by-elections? As for the point that the Ontario NDP MPs represent seats the Liberals had when the gun registry was a hot item, remember that even some Liberals broke with their party on the issue.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If worse does come to worse, and the Long Gun Registry is defeated by the Conservatives with help from some NDP MPs, then I can see Harper, every time he rises in Question Period, saying, "I want to thank the NDP for helping me defeat the Long Gun Registry".  Does anyone really want this scenario???  Frown

Stockholm

"But it won't help the 12 NDP MPs either - the Conservative attack machine will still say that you can't count on the NDP to kill the registry and the Cons will take credit for pressuring the NDP members to split with their leader."

I'm not so sure about that. Most of the 12 NDP MPs who supported the bill to get rid of the registry are in remote ridings where the main opposition is from Liberals (ie: all of northern Ontario, western Arctic, Churchill etc...). It would probably be a boon to the NDP's chanmces of keeping all those seats if Iggy whips all Liberals to vote against the Hoeppner bill, while some NDP MPs vote the other way. I also think you're drastically exagerrating the importance of this issue. My impression is that the people who oppose the long gun registry in rural areas are very passionate about it and for them it can be a vote determining issue. I think that most people who support keeping the gun registry (apart from a few advocates like Wendy Cukier) think its "nice to have if push comes to shove" but not all that big a deal and will be a long forgotten issue by the time the next election rolls around.

As for the politics of various outcomes. For the NDP, probably the best thing that could have happened would have been for the private members bill to pass with some NDP and Liberal support. That way the issue is off the table. You see for the Tories, as long as the gun registry remains in place - its the gift that keeps on giving. The scrapping of the gun registry is to the Tories like what promising national day care is to the Liberals - as long as there is no "closure" on the issue, they can keep re-using the issue in election after election after election. I think that the Tories are actually mortified that if they actually pass the bill and get the registry scrapped - they will having nothing to campaign on in rural areas in the next election!

The next best outcome would be if the gun registry bill be defeated despite a small number of NDP MPs voting for the bill. By my calculation, if the Liberals and BQ vote unanimously against the Hoeppner bill then that makes 125 votes compared to 146 Tories (including Guergis and Andre Arthur). For the bill to pass there would have to be about 8 NDP Mps who vote yes on it. Clearly some NDP Mps have stronger feelings on the bill than others and some campaigned hard to get elected on a platform of being opposed to the registry. Others among the 12 voted to send the bill to committee on second reading because they wanted to see what amendments could be done etc... but may not have ever intended to support the bill on final reading. Some (hellow Charlie Angus and Nathan Cullen) may have national political ambitions and may not want to take a position on the final bill that would be unpopular with the NDP membership (ie: the people who will elect the next leader).

So, I predict that we get the perfect outcome. The bill gets defeated, half a dozen NDP MPs vote to scrap the gun registry and its good for them in their ridings - meanwhile no one in the rest of the country really cares since the bill was defeated.

West Coast Lefty

[quote=Aristotleded24]

Yet somehow the pro-gun Conservatives took a seat from the anti-gun BQ in the latest round of by-elections? As for the point that the Ontario NDP MPs represent seats the Liberals had when the gun registry was a hot item, remember that even some Liberals broke with their party on the issue.

[/quote]

That seat was a rural ADQ riding where the NDP got ~5% of the vote - I specifically referenced Mulcair in Outremont, Boivin in Gatineau and other NDP target ridings in the urban parts of Quebec.  The BQ already ran anti-NDP ads featuring the gun registry in the Hochelaga by-election, IIRC.  You are correct that there are some regions of Quebec which are anti-registry, but those are the ridings the NDP will never win unless we have a 1984-style Mulroney landslide for the Dippers!

West Coast Lefty

[quote=Boom Boom]

[quote=Stockholm]So, I predict that we get the perfect outcome. The bill gets defeated, half a dozen NDP MPs vote to scrap the gun registry and its good for them in their ridings - meanwhile no one in the rest of the country really cares since the bill was defeated.[/quote]

You've just given Harper the perfect gift: he gets up in Question Period and thanks the NDP at every opportunity for helping him to defeat the Registry.

[/quote]

Boom Boom, I think Stockholm said that the bill would be defeated so the registry would be saved, but a few NDP MPs would be allowed to vote against the registry to allegedly remain popular in their ridings.  While this may indeed by a likely outcome, I don't see how those NDP MPs would be helped at all - if their constituents are so revved up about the registry, the fact that Jack convinced enough of the rest of the 12 to switch their vote to defeat the Harper bill would result in a massive campaign to defeat all of the 12 so that Conservatives could replace them and finish the job of killing the registry next time.  Every town hall and local riding event would feature Tea Party-style rallies pressuring the MPs to denounce Layton for his action to save the registry, which the MP him/herself just voted to kill! Not a good scenario, IMHO.

Stockholm

[quote=Boom Boom]

[quote=Stockholm]So, I predict that we get the perfect outcome. The bill gets defeated, half a dozen NDP MPs vote to scrap the gun registry and its good for them in their ridings - meanwhile no one in the rest of the country really cares since the bill was defeated.[/quote]

You've just given Harper the perfect gift: he gets up in Question Period and thanks the NDP at every opportunity for helping him to defeat the Registry.

[/quote]

No no no, the bill to get rid of the registry is defeated and the registry stays - despite half a dozen NDP Mps voting for the bill. My hope is that the gun registry bill loses despite some NDP members voting for it. That way a few NDP Mps can say "I voted to scrap the gun registry" while in the rest of the country the NDP can say, the 85% of our caucus who voted NO to the PMB helped to keep the registry - so it would be a win-win!

Stockholm

[quote=West Coast Lefty]

Boom Boom, I think Stockholm said that the bill would be defeated so the registry would be saved, but a few NDP MPs would be allowed to vote against the registry to allegedly remain popular in their ridings.  While this may indeed by a likely outcome, I don't see how those NDP MPs would be helped at all - if their constituents are so revved up about the registry, the fact that Jack convinced enough of the rest of the 12 to switch their vote to defeat the Harper bill would result in a massive campaign to defeat all of the 12 so that Conservatives could replace them and finish the job of killing the registry next time.  Every town hall and local riding event would feature Tea Party-style rallies pressuring the MPs to denounce Layton for his action to save the registry, which the MP him/herself just voted to kill! Not a good scenario, IMHO.

[/quote]

I think that MIGHT happen if the NDP whipped the vote and forced all 37 MPs to vote NO to the bill. But if half a dozen NDP MPs vote Yes to the bill and it still loses, I think that the flak will all be directed at the Liberals and Ignatieff as having forced all their MPs to vote NO - and the NDP will be quickly forgotten and/or given credit for "not declaring war on rural Canada". Its a tough issue for the NDP since there has never been a clear party policy on the Liberal Gun Registry. The NDP government in Saskatchewan was always opposed to it and refused to enforce it and when the gun registry was first passed in the mid-90s - only one NDP MP (Svend Robinson) voted for it - the other members of the NDP caucus at the time all voted against it (ie: Nelson Riis, Audrey McLaughlin, Bill Blaikie and five MPs from Saskatchewan).

West Coast Lefty

Meanwhile, Layton is setting the stage for a possible whipped vote on the Hoeppner PMB:

 

"NDP leader Jack Layton has not ruled out whipping his MPs to vote against the bill, said his spokesman, Karl Belanger. A loss of New Democrat support would kill the bill."

Stockholm, I agree the issue isn't huge right now, but if the Hoeppner bill passes due solely to NDP support, the headlines will scream: "NDP helps Harper kill gun registry" and I believe that would have a huge impact.

At a time when Layton is soaring in approval ratings and we have an historic chance to attract progressive Liberal voters, this would be a huge setback and a free political gift to Iggy, with little or no upside for any NDP MP.

I view the quote above as indicating that Layton is following Iggy's example of trying to craft amendments that will bring along the 12 anti-registry MPs in exchange for them agreeing to vote no on 3rd reading. If that doesn't work, Layton is leaving open the option of a whipped vote.

If it does come down to a whipped vote scenario, I predict 11 of the 12 will vote with Layton - Stoffer may abstain. The other 11 either have leadership ambitions, only voted yes on 2nd reading to send the bill to committee or realize that they got elected on Layton's coattails and that hurting Jack politically will do them no good in their ridings. Above all, nobody in the caucus, Stoffer included, will want to hand Harper such a huge win on a core Conservative issue. Even Stoffer may end up voting with the caucus in the end, he tends to walk right to the edge of party discipline and then come back.

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

[quote=Stockholm]So, I predict that we get the perfect outcome. The bill gets defeated, half a dozen NDP MPs vote to scrap the gun registry and its good for them in their ridings - meanwhile no one in the rest of the country really cares since the bill was defeated.[/quote]

Sorry I misread this the first time - now that I've read it again, you made an excellent point.

Memo to myself: don't doubt Stock!Embarassed

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

[quote=Stockholm]No no no, the bill to get rid of the registry is defeated and the registry stays - despite half a dozen NDP Mps voting for the bill. My hope is that the gun registry bill loses despite some NDP members voting for it. That way a few NDP Mps can say "I voted to scrap the gun registry" while in the rest of the country the NDP can say, the 85% of our caucus who voted NO to the PMB helped to keep the registry - so it would be a win-win.[/quote]

OOPS!! My apologies, I misread your post, Stock. My apologies. I'll edit my post.Embarassed

ETA: this is not the first time I've misjudged Stockholm - I blame it on early onset of old age (I'm 60...)

Aristotleded24

[quote=Stockholm]Its a tough issue for the NDP since there has never been a clear party policy on the Liberal Gun Registry. The NDP government in Saskatchewan was always opposed to it and refused to enforce it and when the gun registry was first passed in the mid-90s - only one NDP MP (Svend Robinson) voted for it - the other members of the NDP caucus at the time all voted against it (ie: Nelson Riis, Audrey McLaughlin, Bill Blaikie and five MPs from Saskatchewan).[/quote]

The NDP loses on the gun registry question either way. If they force a vote in favour of the gun registry, the Conservatives will paint the NDP as a Toronto-centric party out to get rural Western Canada. Under this scenario, several NDP MPs would be in danger of losing to the Conservatives, never mind picking up new seats. If they force a vote against the registry, the Liberals in urban areas will charge them with "caving into the gun lobby," and that threatens urban seats or the possibility of further gains there. I think, as Stockholm says, that the best thing is for the majority of the Caucus to support the registry while allowing those who disagree to vote accordingly. And if you check the recorded votes from the House of Commons, you will often find members of all political parties often vote against their respective party lines, so the claim that having no position hurting the NDP won't hold water. Actually, the official NDP position is in favour of the registry, but not everybody agrees.

Another problem for the NDP if the whip the vote, to which Stockholm alluded, is that it will reinforce the perception that the party leaders dictate where people are supposed to stand, not allowing elected representatives to vote on behalf of their constituents, and a population already feeling alienated from the political process will feel even moreso.

Stockholm

Its worth noting that I cannot think of a single one of the 12 NDP members who voted for the Hoeppner bill who I think would be in genuine danger of losing to a Conservative in the next election on this issue.

Peter Stoffer has a mostly urban riding and he wins by such sweeping majorities that its hard to imagine that his position on this issue would make any difference.

Nicky Ashton and all the NDP MPs from northern Ontario are in ridings where the main opposition is from the Liberals anyways, so while it might make them popular locally if they vote to scrap the registry - it probably isn't that big a deal since the Tories tend to be a distant third in all those seats.

Jim Maloway has a 100% urban seat in Winnipeg that should be unloseable no matter what - so i don't know what his problem is. 

Nathan Cullen has a pretty safe seat as well and with Tory support in BC in freefall he doesn't have much to worry about either.

That leaves two NDP MPs who may really have an issue. Dennis Bevington of Western Arctic who won very narrowly over a Tory last time and I think that we can all agree that he is a bit of a special case what with the riding he represents. and Malcolm Allen of Welland who won by only 300 votes over a Tory and gets a lot of votes from blue collar types who go moose hunting etc...

I tend to think that a lot of those MPs who voted for the bill on second reading genuinely, personally believe that the long gun registry is a crock and that it really isn't about their future electability.

I still think the best thing would be to allow just a couple of MPs who have really, really, really strong feelings to vote for the bill - but as long as its just a couple, the bill will still lose. Meanwhile, the NDP can still present itself as more of a "big tent" to rural voters than can the Liberals.

Augustus

[quote=Stockholm]

Jim Maloway has a 100% urban seat in Winnipeg that should be unloseable no matter what - so i don't know what his problem is. 

[/quote]

Why would you think it's unloseable no matter what?  It's not as safe for the NDP as it was when Bill Blaikie represented it.  Bill was a legend.  When he retired in the last election, the NDP vote dropped.

The Conservative candidate got 40.5% of the vote compared to 46% for the NDP.  The Conservatives got 12, 650 votes and the NDP got 14, 350 votes.

That's somewhat close.  It's a possibility that the Conservatives could win it.

Stockholm

Its a remote possibility, but compared to 2008, the Tories have no where to go but down and the NDP now has an incumbent running for re-election. In any case, if by chance the NDP were ever to lose that seat - it wouldn't be because of the gun registry.

Doug

[quote=Augustus]

It will certainly be interesting to see the NDP explain it to the anti-gun voters in their ridings in the big cities if the Conservative bill ends up passing because of NDP support.  Will it harm the NDP with the pro-gun control voters in their constituents? 

[/quote]

 

As a voter in a big city, I could really care less how the NDP votes on the gun registry. It doesn't affect the sort of weapons we really have a problem with.

Aristotleded24

[quote=Stockholm]Its a remote possibility, but compared to 2008, the Tories have no where to go but down and the NDP now has an incumbent running for re-election. In any case, if by chance the NDP were ever to lose that seat - it wouldn't be because of the gun registry.[/quote]

It's also a riding that would house many hunters, and is a different kind of "urban" riding than say Winnipeg Centre, Vancouver East, or Toronto-Danforth.

melovesproles

As a voter in a small town I think the registry should be reformed not scrapped.  Scrapping it at this point is just trying to score cheap points by playing to right wing populism.  It'll be interesting to see which rural NDP MPs have the integrity and courage to take a more nuanced and constructive position this time out.

Augustus

[quote=Aristotleded24]

[quote=Stockholm]Its a remote possibility, but compared to 2008, the Tories have no where to go but down and the NDP now has an incumbent running for re-election. In any case, if by chance the NDP were ever to lose that seat - it wouldn't be because of the gun registry.[/quote]

It's also a riding that would house many hunters, and is a different kind of "urban" riding than say Winnipeg Centre, Vancouver East, or Toronto-Danforth.

[/quote]

Exactly.

I'm not saying it WILL go Conservative.  I'm just pointing out to Stockholm that it's a possibility and that Elmwood-Transcona is not as safe a seat for the NDP as it was when Bill Blaikie held it.  The last election was proof of that - in 2006 Bill won the riding by 18 points.  In 2008 the NDP won it by only 5 points.  That's a big difference.

Image

I don't know why the Liberals want to keep this albatross on life support. Their agenda never was about 'public safety'. The Liberals tried to close two RCMP crime labs, for 'cost' reasons (a public and police backlash stopped them). They killed the Ports Canada Police Service--a useful asset in the interdiction of gun smuggling and organized crime--in 1997, citing 'cost' reasons. (Most guns used by gangs in Canada come over the U.S. border.) They strongly opposed arming border guards, for (you guessed it) 'cost' reasons. What is a fact is that the Liberals used to rely on Gun Registry contractors, like Honeywell and CGI, for campaign donations. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is in the blatant conflict of interest position of accepting sponsorship of their lavish conferences from Gun Registry IT contractor CGI. Even Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson doesn't think the Registry is useful. Funny how people who support the Registry keep saying that "the police want it": cops also would like warrantless searches and wiretaps--do you support that, too? And there still is no 'registry' of people prohibited from owning firearms (numbering in the mere thousands, as opposed to the millions of legal gun owners).

 

 

Aristotleded24

[quote=Image]Funny how people who support the Registry keep saying that "the police want it": cops also would like warrantless searches and wiretaps--do you support that, too? And there still is no 'registry' of people prohibited from owning firearms (numbering in the mere thousands, as opposed to the millions of legal gun owners).[/quote]

Front-line cops on the streets are always going to assume the worst anyways, registry or not.

RedRover

For those keeping score...resignation of JWL means that the 'status-quo side' must find one more defector from the 'get rid of it' side (assuming the vote comes after May 1).

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