Gun-registry continued

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Life, the unive...

Stockholm wrote:

Of course, if I were to accept the Liberal line that I should vote against pro-gun registry New Democrats to protest the fact that a smll minority of other NDPers are anti-gun registry - then I guess that means that no matter how pro-choice on abortion the Liberal candidate in Trinity-Spadina might claim to be - I should deny that person my vote because they sit in the same caucus as about a dozen Liberal MPs who are anti-choice fanatics!

I would love to see those who are trying to use this issue to attack the NDP address this issue.  To me choice is a far bigger issue in terms of women's health, their safety, even their lives and involves actual priniciples as opposed to a policy difference- so why the MASSIVE double standard eh?

Stockholm

There are a handful of delusional Liberals who are hoping and praying that the gun registry gets scrapped because they have some convoluted fantasy that they can then use it against pro-gun registry New Democrats in places like Outremont or Trinity-Spadina. We all know that there is a segment of loony-Liberals who think that winning back Outremont from the NDP is more important that defeating the Tories nationally and regaining power in Ottawa! That's their problem.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

How about this: "the gun registry would still be alive today if the Liberals under Ignatieff didn't walk away from a coalition with the NDP in January 2009 and then spend the next two years keeping Harper in power in exchange for nothing"!

It's true - but it still won't explain to Olivia Chow's voters why her party let the registry die when it could have saved it. Look, you asked how it could be used as a "wedge", and I've told you. It really isn't rocket science.

But I personally don't care about the "wedge" stuff. As some here have said, the registry is a pathetic excuse for gun control and there are lots of other issues. Trouble is, there is absolutely no way that Jack Layton will ever be able to explain why, on this issue, his caucus couldn't take a unified position. If he gets lucky and some Cons bolt, great. But that will not happen, will it?

ottawaobserver

The Bloc and Liberals certainly tried to make a big issue of the rural NDP MPs' votes on the long-gun registry during the Hochelaga by-election.  The NDP's vote share went up in that by-election, you'll recall, and we took second place, while the Liberal vote dropped.  The registry story was a one-day wonder in the by-election.  I'm not saying it will continue to be that way during a general election, but I'm guessing it won't be a vote-determining issue in the NDP/Liberal marginals.

Unfortunately for the Liberals, it will be a bigger deal in seats they're trying to win back from the Conservatives in two-way fights, like West Nova, Egmont, Haldimand-Norfolk, Simcoe-Grey, Simcoe-North, etc., etc.

This is why their gamesmanship with the issue, while very satisfying to the young Liberals on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is really short-sighted.

Stockholm

I think there is a very simple explanation for why the NDP caucus doesn't have a unified position on this issue. It is a very emotional issue that creates a big rift between MPs from rural seats and everyone else. The NDP has never had a unified policy on the gun registry - the NDP provincial governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba opposed it every step of the way and refused to implement it - the two other major candidates for the NDP leadership against Layton in 2003 (Blaikie and Nystrom) were both implacable opponents of the gun registry every step of the way. Face it - this is an issue where good people can have a difference of opinion and the NDP is the only party that is willing to be a big tent and allow some dissenting voices. Jack Layton is not Joseph Stalin and can arbitrarily force a third of the caucus to vote a certain way or face exile to Siberia - the party operates on consensus. There is no consensus here.

There is no reason why its the NDP's responsibility to pick up the pieces for a Liberal failed policy that was managed so incompetently that it set the cause of gun control in Canada back by a decade. Hopefully after the next election, the Liberals and NDP can come up with a new policy on guns that will be a fresh start - and get away from the poisoned well of the Liberal gun registry - which has been a total flop in every sense of the word.

 

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

The registry story was a one-day wonder in the by-election.

Why not pause and listen for one second, please:

Maybe it was a one-day wonder because it was hypothetical.

Maybe people won't like it so much if it is actually killed and could have been saved by NDP votes.

Deal with that please. I may be wrong, but at least recognize the risk.

Life, the unive...

But why is there no risk on the issue of choice for Liberals certainly that should matter too- oh wait it isn't a way you can slag the NDP.  I get it now.

Stockholm

The byelections in Nov. '09 were held literally days after the PMB passed the house and there was saturation publicity - yet there is still no evidence that it had any impact on the vote - excpet that the Tories won a Quebec seat away from the BQ as a reward for getting rid of the registry - which is probably just as unpopular in rural Quebec as it is in the rest of rural Canada. Once the gun registry is dead - a handful of people will weep for a day or two and then it will be an OLD ISSUE. By the Spring of '11 when we are likely to have an election, it will be ancient history and no one will care and the campaign will focus on whatever it will focus on.

The last thing the Liberals will want to do in the next election is make the resurrection of the dead gun registry a centrepiece of their campaign since that will be poison across rural Canada. Apparently Ignatieff has made some noises about his "solution" to the gun registry whereby it will become voluntary (like the census). Some explain to me what could be more totally useless than a VOLUNTARY gun registry that no one in their right mind will want to participante in?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Unionist wrote:
I wonder why Jack Layton is publicly pressuring his MPs to vote to save the registry. Does he not understand that this will cost him seats and hand Harper a majority? Should Layton be replaced as leader if he's incapable of the elementary analysis served up in this thread?

 

Layton is advocating for the position he holds - and allowing that other reasonable progressives may disagree with him.

Rather like Tommy Douglas in October of 1970.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Stockholm wrote:

How about this: "the gun registry would still be alive today if the Liberals under Ignatieff didn't walk away from a coalition with the NDP in January 2009 and then spend the next two years keeping Harper in power in exchange for nothing"!

 

One could also point out that the registry might well have survived had the Liberal Party at any point over the last 15 years been prepared to accept any amendments which would have addressed the legitimate concerns of moderate and responsible gun owners.  Unfortunately, the Liberals are just as absolutist as the Conservatives and neither party gives a rat's backside about effective regulation of firearms.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

accidental double post

ottawaobserver

Quote:

Why not pause and listen for one second, please:

Maybe it was a one-day wonder because it was hypothetical.

Maybe people won't like it so much if it is actually killed and could have been saved by NDP votes.

Deal with that please. I may be wrong, but at least recognize the risk.

I hear what you're saying Unionist, and I'm sure not advocating doing something or not doing something only because of the news value or the seat calculus.  Far from it.

There is a risk that people won't like it, as you say.  All the available opinion research and fifteen years of experience says that the gun registry issue is a vote-determining one for its opponents, but not for its supporters; although I concede there's no guarantee that won't change.

But to answer your hypothetical directly, if it did become a bigger vote determining issue for urban voters than any of the other issues they're mad at the Conservatives over, enough to punish their own NDP MPs who voted to keep the registry, then I guess we're at risk of losing 2-4 core urban seats in central Canada.  Meanwhile, we should be on track to keep our northern Ontario seats, and pick up some others in southwestern Ontario, maybe Kenora, certainly some in Saskatchewan and BC, and who knows, maybe even another one in New Brunswick (all from Conservatives, and with a collapsing Liberal vote over the registry).  Meanwhile, the Libs would risk losing Avalon, Labrador, Malpeque, Madawaska-Restigouche, Nipissing-Temiskaming, and Yukon to the Conservatives, and be less likely to win back the other less-urban Ontario seats they've been targeting, and need in order to increase their own seat count at the Conservatives' expense.

But I've seen things come way off the rails before ... thinking back to Meech Lake and Charlottetown, when the federal caucus tried to follow what the central canadian urban elites thought was important, and their western MPs got blown out of the water by Reformers back in their ridings.  This has the potential to be another one of those issues, and I imagine they're trying to learn from those previous mistakes in terms of how to approach it.

The movement folks who are fighting to save the registry seem to be putting all their eggs in the NDP basket.  If they don't want to talk to Conservative MPs themselves, then the Cdn Police Association should be dispatched to meet with the 25 I listed above.  Remember: I'm trying to propose a strategy that will actually work to save the registry, not accept the way the prime minister has tried to structure the debate.  You may say that no Conservative will vote against the government, but no-one's even tried to see if that is a possibility ... especially not in seats where they only won by narrow margins.  What if the phones in their riding offices start ringing off the hook, and people start walking up to them at public events and complaining loudly about it?  At this stage, we only need one or two of them to stay home, in order to win the vote.  They need to be made to feel the same amount of pressure as the rural opposition MPs, is what I'm saying.  I imagine that caucus is already quite restive over some of the PMO's boo-boos, and there may be more fireworks going on behind closed doors than we realize.

ottawaobserver

Stockholm wrote:

Some explain to me what could be more totally useless than a VOLUNTARY gun registry that no one in their right mind will want to participante in?

A voluntary census ?

remind remind's picture

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Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing.

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