Stockholm made the points I was going to make about Saskatchewan and also the free vote on the War Measures Act.
But Unionist also claimed that labour is united on the issue. I'd challenge him to verify that assumption with his western colleagues in the CEP, Steel, and even the BCGEU. When I worked on the Hill, we couldn't sell the long gun registry to labour out west any better than the CLC could sell its position on asymmetrical federalism out there at the time either.
The biggest problem with the handling of this issue is that the most passionate and reasonable advocates of each side have never really spoken with their counterparts on the other side, and truly listened to what the other was saying. When 6079_Smith says:
... it is almost like [the Liberals] designed it to fail. They certainly did their best to invite a backlash. It did not have to be this way.
... it hit the nail on the head. At the time, the Liberal government was in the throes of its pro-urban, run against Alberta strategy, directed by Warren Kinsella and others. Jane Taber claimed that they lost rural Ontario MPs over the vote, but that's factually wrong. Their seat count went up in both western (all urban, except for DMCR where the NDP member crossed the floor) and central Canada between 1997 and 2000. It only dropped after the right united, and in those rural ridings where the combination of the Reform and PC vote exceeded the Liberals' traditional strength.
The long-gun registry was introduced to drive a wedge, and the way its elimination is being proposed is also designed to drive a wedge. Our people are falling for the tactic by accepting the limitations of the "box" Harper has supposedly put them in.
Here are 25 urban Conservative MPs who should be in people's headlights, and who should be made to understand the painful political cost of their voting against the long gun registry:
* James Moore (Port Moody, BC)
* [Woman --->] Dona Cadman (Surrey, BC)
* [Woman --->] Alice Wong (Richmond, BC)
* [Woman --->] Joy Smith (Kildonan-St. Paul, MB)
* [Woman --->] Shelly Glover (Saint Boniface, MB)
* Ed Holder (London West, ON)
* Gary Goodyear (Cambridge, ON)
* Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, ON)
* Peter Braid (Kitchener-Waterloo, ON)
* Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills, ON)
* [Woman --->] Lisa Raitt (Halton, ON)
* David Sweet (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, ON)
* Mike Wallace (Burlington, ON)
* Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale, ON)
* [Woman --->] Lois Brown (Newmarket-Aurora, ON)
* Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges-Markham, ON)
* Peter Kent (Thornhill, ON)
* [Woman --->] Bev Oda (Durham, ON)
* Jim Flaherty (Whitby-Oshawa, ON)
* Colin Carrie (Oshawa, ON)
* Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton, ON)
* John Baird (Ottawa West-Nepean, ON)
* Royal Galipeau (Ottawa-Orleans, ON)
* [Woman --->] Sylvie Boucher (Beauport-Limoilou, QC)
* [Woman --->] Josee Verner (Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC)
There are more, if you want to throw in Kamloops, BC (Cathy McLeod) or Sarnia-Lambton, ON (Patricia Davidson), although my guess is that the local values are more rural than urban. Ditto for Edmonton and Calgary, and because of the stupid redistribution in Saskatchewan, there are no completely urban seats, not that it would matter there either.
9 of them are women. 15 of them are in seats that could be classified as less than safe.
If people honestly think it will be more productive to go after NDPers who ran saying they were opposed to the registry, and would lose their seats to Conservatives if they voted the opposite way, they may as well plan for a Conservative majority government now.
I'm suggesting people start to think outside of the "box" Harper has supposedly put us in, and find another way to win.