Gun-registry math frustrates NDP justice critic

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Debater
Gun-registry math frustrates NDP justice critic

 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Joe Comartin has been counting all summer and he’s not sure the numbers are there to save the controversial long-gun registry. He figures he’s three MPs shy of a win.

As the NDP’s justice critic, Mr. Comartin is tasked with trying to reason with his colleagues to vote against Manitoba Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private member’s bill to scrap the costly program.

But he believes there are as many as nine of his MPs who still support her bill, which passed second reading in November. She had help back then – 12 New Democrats and eight Liberals voted with the government.

The registry issue is once again on the radar. Its survival will be tested yet again on September 22.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/gun-registr...

 

Life, the unive...

The hubris of Liberals never ends.  The entire Conservative agenda has been implemented thanks to Liberals.  Yet they have the gall to make the kinds of comments they do in that article.  Liberals disgust me.

Debater

The point right now is that whether the gun registry survives may be up to the NDP.  If the Liberals vote against the Conservatives, but the NDP votes in favour of the Conservative bill, there could be some ramifications for the NDP in certain ridings with left-leaning voters.

This could be the biggest test for Jack Layton this year.

Pants-of-dog

I don't really see the need for a gun registry.

Fidel

The Tories are counting on NDP voters being as dumb and as easily manipulated as their own. I think herr Harper is in for a surprise. Just goes to show they view the NDP as the real opposition in Ottawa

Debater

Fidel wrote:

The Tories are counting on NDP voters being as dumb and as easily manipulated as their own. I think herr Harper is in for a surprise. Just goes to show they view the NDP as the real opposition in Ottawa

How so?  They aren't afraid of the NDP replacing them in government, because they know they don't have the numbers.

Fidel

Debater wrote:

Fidel wrote:

The Tories are counting on NDP voters being as dumb and as easily manipulated as their own. I think herr Harper is in for a surprise. Just goes to show they view the NDP as the real opposition in Ottawa

How so?  They aren't afraid of the NDP replacing them in government, because they know they don't have the numbers.

They would prefer a phony majority. And since our election turnouts are anemic, they need to scrounge votes from anywhere they can. The way our obsolete electoral system works is that a relatively small gain in votes has tended to lead to disproportionate numbers of seat gains for either of the two pro Bay Street parties in Ottawa. Therefore, the Tories are looking for a relatively small gain in voter support in order to reap more seats than they deserve in terms of percentage of total votes cast.

The Tories are scrounging. And what better votes to steal than from the party that votes against the Tories in House votes more times than any other party? Mathematically speaking, the Tories don't want to take votes away from parties they are more compatible with than the NDP, and so they tend to target the NDP whenever they can. The Liberals are not a real opposition party by any means with having voted with the Tories wrt confidence votes many more times than the NDP or Bloc. And this charade is partly why the Liberal Party itself has lost voter support over the years. Canadians are beginning to realize that the Liberals are just another wing of the same conservative party and friendly to Bay Street and foreign interests over and above the interests of Canadians. See http://www.fairvote.ca for a detailed description of the democracy gap that exists in our Northern Puerto Rico.

Life, the unive...

Debater wrote:

The point right now is that whether the gun registry survives may be up to the NDP.  If the Liberals vote against the Conservatives, but the NDP votes in favour of the Conservative bill, there could be some ramifications for the NDP in certain ridings with left-leaning voters.

This could be the biggest test for Jack Layton this year.

Thanks for the Liberal war room talking points but I call bullshit

The gun registry is not in any way shape or form a left-right issue.  It is much more an urban-rural/First Nations issue. 

Nice try at deflection though.

Unionist

[url=http://www.caw.ca/en/8182.htm]Save Our National Gun Registry[/url]

Quote:

After weeks of testimony at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety from groups representing doctors, police, police chiefs, unions, victims of domestic violence, and women's shelters - all in support of maintaining Canada's national gun registry - Members of Parliament are poised to vote on legislation to dismantle this vital tool that keeps our communities safe.

Extra pressure needs to be put on the 12 NDP Members of Parliament who voted with the Conservative government on Bill C-391 in November:

* Malcolm Allen (Welland) - T: 905-788-2204 Ottawa: 613-995-0988 Email: [email protected]
* Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) - T: 705-567-2747 Ottawa: 613-992-2919 Email: [email protected]
* Niki Ashton (Churchill) - T: 866-785-0522 Ottawa: 613-992-3018 Email: [email protected]
* Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic - T: 867-873-6995 Ottawa: 613-992-4587 Email: [email protected]
* Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) - T: (250) 877-4140 Ottawa: 613 993 6654 Email: [email protected]
* Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) - T: 705-897-2222 Ottawa: 613-995-9107 Email: [email protected]
* Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing) - T: 705-848-8080 Ottawa: 613-996-5376 Email: [email protected]
* Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North) - T: 807-345-1818 Ottawa: 613 996 4792 Email: [email protected]
* Jim Maloway (Elmwood-Transcona) - T: 204-984-2499 Ottawa: 613-995-6339 Email: [email protected]
* John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) - T: 807-623-6000 Ottawa: 613 992 3061 Email: [email protected]
* Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) - T: 902-861-2311 Ottawa: 613-995-5822 Email: [email protected]
* Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) - T: 705-673-7107 Ottawa: 613-996-8962 Email: [email protected]

 

ottawaobserver

In this thread Debater seems to be arguing that only the NDP has enough MPs to beat back this move.  In the other thread, he's arguing that the NDP doesn't have enough MPs to be taken seriously as an alternative government.  So, calling bullshit is perfectly appropriate.

But, here's the thing ... why aren't people going after the urban and suburban Conservatives who are being cowed by their own whip, many of whom don't want the registry scrapped?  Are we really saying that Conservative backbenchers in the Ottawa suburbs, Mississauga, Markham, Oakville, Burlington, Newmarket, Kitchener, and Winnipeg should be able to get away with voting against gun control?

ETA: I should add Thornhill and Halton here as well.

By buying into the Conservatives' framing squeeze against the NDP, the Liberals are undermining people who can actually take seats away from the Conservatives, while doing nothing to go after Conservatives in seats the Liberals can win themselves.  It's really short-sighted, not to mention that if a quarter of their caucus ignored entreaties to the contrary and voted down their own party's motion on maternal health and abortion, what makes us believe that Liberals against the gun registry in Labrador, rural Newfoundland, the rural Atlantic ridings, and Yukon will be any more likely to be whipped this time.

That's why this whole thing drives me right round the bend.  That, and the fact that if the Conservatives really wanted it dead, they could have killed it years ago.  But why kill the cow when they can keep milking it over and over.

What a big phony war.

remind remind's picture

hey perhaps someone could pop up the Cons email addys too.....

 

good post OO

ottawaobserver

Predictably right on cue, Unionist.

Thanks, remind.  I'm assuming we all know where to find those email addresses, but if not:

http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E

Unionist

[url=http://www.cep.ca/pub/open-letter-mr-layton-and-mr-ignatieff-defeat-bill... Letter to Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff - Defeat Bill C-391. Keep gun control and the gun registry[/url]

Signatories:

Quote:

Patricia DuVal, President, Canadian Federation of University Women

251 Bank Street Suite 305, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1X3. Phone: 613 234 8252

[email protected], www.cfuw.org

Susan Russell, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of University Women

251 Bank Street Suite 305, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1X3. Phone: 613 234 8252

[email protected], www.cfuw.org

Canadian Labour Congress

2841 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1V 8X7

www.onceandforall.ca

Wendy Cukier, Coalition For Gun Control

[email protected]l.com / 514-725-2021

www.guncontrol.ca

Lynne Kent, President, YWCA Canada

422-75 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2P9

Paulette Senior CEO, YWCA Canada

Ann Decter, YWCA Canada

Karen Dempsey, President, National Council of Women of Canada

Suite 506, Bank Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0L4

 

Rhonda Roffey, Executive Director, Women's Habitat

140 Islington Avenue, Etobicoke, ON M8V 3B6

www.womens-habitat.ca

Sadeqa Siddiqui, Coordonnatrice, Centre Communautaire des Femmes Sud-Asiatique

1035, rue Rachel Est 3è Étage, Montréal, Qc, H2J 2J5

Louise Riendeau, Coordonnatrice des dossiers politiques

Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale

http://www.maisons-femmes.qc.ca/

Kim Bulger, Executive Director, MATCH International

RebELLEs Movement - Mouvement RebELLEs"

[email protected], [email protected]

www.rebelles.org

Gisèle Pageau, Human Rights Director / Directrice des droits de la personne

Communications Energy Paperworkers Union of Canada/ Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’energie et du papier

301, avenue Laurier ouest / Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON , K1P 6M6

Andrée Côté, Women's and Human Rights Officer

Public Service Alliance of Canada

233 Gilmour St., Ottawa, ON, K2P 0P1

[email protected]

Sue Calhoun, President – Présidente, Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs

85 Brydges, Moncton, NB E1C 2E9 Canada

Razia Jaffer, President, Canadian Council of Muslim Women

PO Box 154, Gananoque, Ontario, Canada, K7G 2T7

Alia Hogben, Executive Director, Canadian Council of Muslim Women

PO Box 154, Gananoque, Ontario, Canada, K7G 2T7

Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy

Tracy Gierman, Executive Director, Canadian Federation to End Violence Against Women

Anna Pazdzierski, Nova House Inc.

Box 337 Selkirk, MB, R1A 2B3

Professor Martha Jackman, National Steering Committee

National Association of Women and the Law

[email protected]

 

Pamela Cross, National Association of Women and the Law

Viviane Doré-Nadeau, Director, ConcertAction Femmes Estrie

www.femmesenestrie.qc.ca

Pamela Harrison, Coordinator, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia

319-1657 Barrington St Halifax, NS B3J 2A1

[email protected] http://www.thans.ca

Odile Boisclair, Coordonnatrice, L'R des centres de femmes du Québec

Nicole Pietsch, OCRCC Coordinator, Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) 1515 Rebecca St, Suite 227, Oakville, ON, L6L 5G8

Leslie M. Tutty, Ph.D., RESOLVE Alberta

2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Alexa Conradi, Présidente, Fédération des femmes du Québec

Eileen Morrow, Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses – OAITH

Diane Delaney, Coordinator, Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan

2505 11th Avenue, Regina, SK S4P 0K6

Jeanne Landry, Executive Director, Société Inform'Elles Society

Jennifer Hagedorn, Provincial Coordinator, Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters, www.maws.mb.ca

Manon Monastesse, Directrice, Fédération de ressources d'hébergement pour

femmes violentées et en difficulté du Québec

2485, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal H2K 1E8

Nadia Fazio, Italian Women’s Center of Montreal

1586, Fleury east, #100, Montreal, Quebec, H2C 1S6

Shabna Ali, Executive Director, The Society of Transition Houses, BC Society of Transition Houses

www.bcysth.ca

Blanche Paradis, Coordonnatrice

Réseau des tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec

651, rue Bastien Saint-Jérôme J7Y 2X7

[email protected], www.reseautablesfemmes.qc.ca

 

Diane Heffernan, Coordinator, Quebec Lesbian Network

Louise Lagarde, Trésorière provincial, Les Cercles de Fermières du Québec

Nathalie Villeneuve, President

Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale

www.maisons-femmes.qc.ca/

Joey Edwardh, PhD, Executive Director, Community Development Halton

860 Harrington Court, Burlington, ON L7N 3N4

[email protected], www.cdhalton.ca

David Singleton, Coordinator, Montreal Assault Prevention Centre

Mary Zilney, Executive Director, Women's Crisis Services of Waterloo Region

Tzipie Freedman, Regional Director (Montreal)

Jewish Women International of Canada

Eleanor Summer, Executive Director, South Okanagan Women in Need

Penticton, BC

Elka Ruth Enola, Past President, Halton-Peel Humanist Community

Lise Gervais, Coordonnatrice générale, Relais-femmes

110 rue Ste-Thérèse suite 301, Montréal, Québec, H2Y 1E6

Norah Kennedy, Executive Director, Family Transition Place

20 Bredin Parkway, Orangeville, ON L9W 4Z9, www.familytransitionplace.ca

Brandi Hanterman, Executive Director, Fireweed Collective Society,

Fort St. James BC

Rheanna Sand, President YWCA Edmonton

Ginette Guay-Defiy, Directrice générale, YWCA Quebec

Kim Decker, Executive Director, YWCA Cambridge

Wendy Leeder, Co Executive & Shelter Services Director , YWCA Durham

Jim Bonk, CEO, YMCA-YWCA of Guelph

Catherine M Pead, CEO, YWCA Hamilton

Tanis Crosby, Executive Director, YWCA Halifax

Elizabeth Clark, Executive Director, YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo

Lynn Zimmer, Executive Director, YWCA Peterborough, Victoria and Haliburton

Heather McGregor, CEO, YWCA Toronto

Kristin Blakely-Kozman, President, YWCA Toronto

Marlene Gorman, Executive Director, YWCA Sudbury

Barb Macpherson, Executive Director, YWCA Saskatoon

Beth Ward, Executive Director, Community YWCA of Muskoka

Debbie McGee, Producer/Director, Distance Education and Learning Technologies

Memorial University of Newfoundland, A1C 2S2,

[email protected]

Professor Elizabeth Sheehy, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law

57 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N6

(613) 562-5800, extension 3317

Judy Rebick, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy

Ryerson University

Karen Vanscoy (mother of Jasmine, shot and killed September, 1996)

Murray Dobbin, Activist and writer

Mair Verthuy

Allyson Coogan

Stacey Johnson

Judy Goodings

Also on the list of addressees:

Quote:
cc. M. Duceppe

Ms. Irene Mathyssen

Mr. Joe Comartin

Mr. Malcolm Allen

Mr. Charlie Angus

Ms. Niki Ashton

Mr. Dennis Bevington

Mr. Nathan Cullen

Mr. Claude Gravelle

Mrs. Carol Hughes

Mr. Bruce Hyer

Mr. Jim Maloway

Mr. John Rafferty

Mr. Peter Stoffer

Mr. Glenn Thibeault

Mr. Larry Bagnell

Mr. Jean-Claude D'Amours

Mr. Wayne Easter

Mr. Keith Martin

Mr. Anthony Rota

Mr. Todd Russell

Mr. Scott Simms

 

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

In this thread Debater seems to be arguing that only the NDP has enough MPs to beat back this move.  In the other thread, he's arguing that the NDP doesn't have enough MPs to be taken seriously as an alternative government.  So, calling bullshit is perfectly appropriate.

That is a false analogy, ottawa observer.  The NDP doesn't have enough seats to become an alternative government - that is correct, and most people know that.

The NDP does have enough seats to make a difference in close votes in the Commons though, so I'm not sure why you are making this comparison.  ? ? ?

Fidel

Debater wrote:
The NDP doesn't have enough seats to become an alternative government - that is correct, and most people know that.

That sentence makes no sense. Of course they don't have enough seats to become an alternative government. Most Canadians knew it immediately after the last election was held.

And, Canadians are still reluctant to hand either of the two Bay Street parties the much coveted phony-baloney majority. It's all Harper and Iggy can do for now is stall for time and do nothing much in the way of governing with transparency or accountability until the next first-past-the-ghost election is held and mathematically absurd results announced by Elections Bananada. DAY-O!

Farmpunk

A contact from NDP circles told me that Layton has been quietly pressuring the party's anti-registry MPs over the summer.  I suspect that means he'll be standing by his decision to allow a free vote on this issue. 

I'm a fence sitter, myself.  The registry has been created and is running quite lean from what I understand.  It has never bothered me as a firearm owner in any way (other than some bizarre point of purchase rules early on that have been streamlined). But it's effectivness is dubious, at best, and I dislike the idea that any party crunches down on its MPs on free votes.  I suspect Charlie Angus knows his constituents better than Cromartin, and its MPs like Angus who'll have to get re-elected next time around.  I really doubt an MP of Angus' credibility is voting with Hoeppner to appease the gun nutz in his riding or court their support. 

Will any Libs break ranks?  How harsh is Iggy's whip?

Unionist

If the NDP by some happy miracle votes to keep the registry, and enough Liberals break ranks to kill it, then the Libs can kiss goodbye to Outremont besides most of the rest of Québec. The impetus for that registry came from here.

ottawaobserver

Discussing purely the politics of the registry, Unionist, (which like Farmpunk I slightly favour, but have heard from plenty of non-fire-breathing folks about its problems, and also remember the  urban-rural squeeze-play manner in which it was originally introduced by the Liberals under Chretien) ... if what you say is correct, the Liberals would have passed the NDP in the Hochelaga by-election, where everyone made a very big issue about the NDP's positioning on the gun registry, and yet the issue didn't seem to register at all (sorry, just realized the bad, unintended pun there).  You recall the very vivid signs the Bloc put up against the NDP on that issue, and yet Rocheleau grew the vote there and passed the Libs.  I conclude that the issue is already factored in to people's voting decisions, so long as they can vote for a pro-gun control candidate in their riding.

I hope Layton and Comartin are successful in their lobbying efforts, as I'm not keen on whipping votes on private members' bills, however transparent this one might be as a government initiative.

But mathematically, everyone would be further ahead to switch over a couple of urban Conservative MPs, or at least get them to abstain.  Every one of those that gets swtiched makes a 2-vote difference (i.e., one less for the government and one more for the opposition).  And also, they should be made to pay as much or more politically for supporting the party that launches this kind of divisive policy initiative.

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:
I conclude that the issue is already factored in to people's voting decisions, so long as they can vote for a pro-gun control candidate in their riding.

I have no and claim no expertise whatsoever in electoral predictions.The NDP leadership supports the registry, and that much has registered with voters that I know here. But if the registry is actually killed by failing to whip a vote - and if the numbers show that a few NDP members tipped the balance - it could be a significant blow.

Quote:
I hope Layton and Comartin are successful in their lobbying efforts, as I'm not keen on whipping votes on private members' bills, however transparent this one might be as a government initiative.

I have never understood this concept. If there's a private members' bill to ban SSM, and another Bev Desjarlais declares she'll vote the wrong way, is that supposed to be A-ok? If there's a principle of some kind involved here, it's way beyond me. And I repeat, if that "principle" is seen as a contributing factor to reducing gun control, it will not go well here.

As for debating the registry itself - no thanks. No matter how ineffective (or not) it may be, anyone who opposes it will have to explain to all the women's and labour organizations and others who will see this as a betrayal. Good luck with that.

Pants-of-dog

Unionist wrote:
If the NDP by some happy miracle votes to keep the registry, and enough Liberals break ranks to kill it, then the Libs can kiss goodbye to Outremont besides most of the rest of Québec. The impetus for that registry came from here.

Do we know what Mulcair's views on gun control are?

 

EDIT: It appears from news sources that he will be voting to keep the gun registry.

Stockholm

Unionist wrote:
If the NDP by some happy miracle votes to keep the registry, and enough Liberals break ranks to kill it, then the Libs can kiss goodbye to Outremont besides most of the rest of Québec. The impetus for that registry came from here.

I think you are grossly exagerrating the extent to which this is a vote determining issue in urban ridings. Especially since Mulcair will vote to save the gun registry and that's all that matters. It's hard for me to imagine that six months from now, ANYONE in Outremont is going to dsay to themselves "I am upset that the long gun registry was scrapped, therefore I want to vote against my MP who voted the way i wanted him to vote and wanted to keep the gun registry intact - just to teach a lesson to other members of his caucus from the Arctic who voted the other way". It just strikes and far too complex a line of argument and one that will have little resonance outside of a few die-hard Liberal bloggers (btw: are we all supposed to vote to defeat gay positive Liberal MPs because SOME Liberal MPs voted against same sex marriage?)

Farmpunk

I don't agree with your analogies, Unionist.  I tend to think voters, and supporters of parties, are capable of distinguishing issues like the gun registry from SSM, to use your example.  Supporting, or not supporting, one or the other doesn't necessarily colour the entire party forevermore... does it?  

I would like to believe that a free vote in the HOC is just that - free from party allegiances, and perhaps more subject to constituent realities.  In this case, I wonder if Angus personally supports the registry but has been influenced by the people in his riding, the voters.  A little more independence and leeway for politicians could go a long way towards getting them to act like representatives and less like party robots, subject to whips and watching polls to judge public opinion.  And I'd suggest that's what will pull apolitical people back into the political realm and possibly start a trend where individual members of the house can make moves outside of this juvenile party structure. 

 

Life, the unive...

Unionist wrote:

I have never understood this concept. If there's a private members' bill to ban SSM, and another Bev Desjarlais declares she'll vote the wrong way, is that supposed to be A-ok? If there's a principle of some kind involved here, it's way beyond me. And I repeat, if that "principle" is seen as a contributing factor to reducing gun control, it will not go well here.

As for debating the registry itself - no thanks. No matter how ineffective (or not) it may be, anyone who opposes it will have to explain to all the women's and labour organizations and others who will see this as a betrayal. Good luck with that.

Like a lot of people I am agnostic at best on the registry- and I say this as a firearms owner.  It is neither as bad as those opposed pretend, or does what those in favour suggest. 

The above quote is a perfect example of the misinformation both sides spread.  The gun registry does nothing for gun control.  Despite Liberal rhetoric it was never intended or designed to do so.  It is a simple registry of what firearms are out there.  It does nothing for actually blocking firearms owership.  That is done by other means -although the registry can tip off problems associated with firearms owners, but taht could be acheived without the registry as well.  Not one single gun is controled through the registry- Zero.

And please give the hyperbole a rest.  Placing same sex marriage on the same level as the long-gun registry just invalidates everything else you say.

ottawaobserver

Anyways, a vote has more moral suasion if it's not whipped.  It will therefore be a stronger statement.

Not sure if everyone's seen this clipping from Candice Hoeppner and crew's visit into Niki Ashton's riding, but apparantly no-one came out to the restaurant they visited in Thompson apart from the regulars.  On the other hand, she brought the entire federal Conservative Manitoba caucus with her from out of town.  If the local Conservative candidate's rhetoric is anything to go by, their less-than-subtle approach is starting to look a bit like overkill.

http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/article/20100818/THOMPSON0101/308189980/-1/thompson/hoeppner-discusses-bill-to-repeal-long-gun-registry

Quote:

Much of the federal Conservatives' Manitoba caucus was in Thompson Aug. 11. Part of their trip included a sparsely-attended meet-and-greet session at the Chicken Chef restaurant.

Wally Daudrich, the Conservative candidate for the Churchill riding, claimed the meet-and-greet had gone "very well ... We've had several dozen people arriving," he said, although Chicken Chef staff didn't believe anybody had come to the restaurant on that day wouldn't have been there had the politicians not been, aside from the politicians themselves. Daudrich said that he was glad to see people coming out and "chatting with members of the government, letting us know what their concerns are."

...

"One of the things that we're trying to accomplish with this tour across the North is that we as the government would like to do things here, in this riding, but we never hear from the member of Parliament, Niki Ashton, about any of the issues," Daudrich said. "Vic Toews mentioned today that not once has Niki Ashton ever come to him about anything. That is a tremendous loss for our riding. We need all kinds of infrastructure development, we need roads to a lot of our remote communities, and we haven't heard from our Member of Parliament."

"For almost two years, we haven't heard anything from her," Daudrich added. "What we do hear is her ranting and raving on issues that are of no importance, and issues that she does not even clearly side with. Take for instance the Aboriginal Healing Foundation ... she claims she wants to support this, but yet she votes against all the bills that would provide funding for it. Where I come from, we call somebody like that a hypocrite."

After a little over an hour of the scheduled three-hour event, the group departed Chicken Chef for a tour of the EnviroTREC cold-weather testing facility south of Thompson.

jrootham

Unionist, the NDP is split on the registry issue.  There is no democratic way to determine which side of the issue should be whipped.

 

ottawaobserver

I'm also realizing that the vote in September is a procedural one to not proceed further with the private member's bill before it can be amended.  People could easily abstain on that without needing to say that they supported the gun registry.  And if this is the best Hoeppner can do at ramping up the political pressure on the opposition members who had previously supported her bill, she is obviously weakening her case.

Unionist

jrootham wrote:

Unionist, the NDP is split on the registry issue.  There is no democratic way to determine which side of the issue should be whipped.

 

The NDP is split on every issue (whether you mean members, or voters, or caucus) - Afghanistan, SSM, Harper's omnibus crime bill... The democratic way is to discuss it thoroughly and vote. The undemocratic way is to say, "we'll leave it to individual conscience", when doing so will knowingly allow Harper to win. That's just my opinion, though.

ottawaobserver

Come on, Unionist ... not simply "individual conscience".  You do at some level understand that Canadians are also divided on it, and that many of those MPs are legitimately representing people in their area as well, right?  You make it sound like a petty vanity thing for those MPs in spite of how their constituents feel.

Also, why would you argue that party members should democratically discuss it, but not Canadians generally?

jrootham

That's not really true.  SSM has reached enough consensus that opposition means you leave the party.  Afhganistan has a convention resolution and whatever waffling has occurred has not really violated that resolution.  The crime bill is a horrible problem and a complete failure by the party leadership.

 

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

Come on, Unionist ... not simply "individual conscience".  You do at some level understand that Canadians are also divided on it, and that many of those MPs are legitimately representing people in their area as well, right?  You make it sound like a petty vanity thing for those MPs in spite of how their constituents feel.

Also, why would you argue that party members should democratically discuss it, but not Canadians generally?

That's such a weird and unfriendly post that I don't think I'll respond to it. For future reference, though, you could indicate where I said that Canadians should not democratically discuss the issue. I did think we were talking about the NDP arriving at a position.

ottawaobserver

Well, the implication that an MP would vote based on "individual conscience" is almost always shorthand for saying "individual conscience in spite of what their constituents believe".  So, when someone says

Quote:

The undemocratic way is to say, "we'll leave it to individual conscience"

it's a pretty clear charge that whoever would say they're voting their conscience is charging that they so at the expense of their constituents' views.

The way you constructed the issue indicates that the party's position and the determination of that position is the only issue.  But surely representative democracy is always a tension between personal, ideological, and regional tugs.

Those MPs who come from those areas: (a) likely share many of the views of the people they represent, and (b) were elected in large part to represent those views, although admittedly in light of (c) the views they were also known to hold themselves when they sought to be elected.

A free vote is not as much a vote of the MP's individual conscience, as of the right for MPs to represent the particular interests of people in the area they represent, as against some other overriding national (often urban) view that doesn't fit.

By ignoring that aspect, you cut the "canadians" out of the equation, is what I was arguing, and centre everything back on the ideology and party democratic processes for determining party policy.  Now, you say you were only trying to address the second question, so fair enough.  I didn't realize that's the approach you were coming from.

Sean in Ottawa

ottawaobserver wrote:

Well, the implication that an MP would vote based on "individual conscience" is almost always shorthand for saying "individual conscience in spite of what their constituents believe".  So, when someone says

Quote:

The undemocratic way is to say, "we'll leave it to individual conscience"

it's a pretty clear charge that whoever would say they're voting their conscience is charging that they so at the expense of their constituents' views.

 

I felt that this first sentence contradicted the rest of your post-- Voting their conscience means a choice between the three points of view when they don't line up: the personal, the party and the constituent. I have often heard when an MP votes in line with constituents against the party that this is a conscience vote so it is not always at the expense of the constituents-- it is sometimes at the expense of the constituents and sometimes at the expense of the party and at times even both (Wappel comes to mind). I think the rest of your post makes the point clearer.

I don't think it is anti-democratic all the time as MPs are expected to balance the three and be responsible as it is a representative democracy not direct.

ottawaobserver

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my feelings as well.

ETA: Also, thanks Sean for parsing some sense out of my last comments.

6079_Smith_W

A couple of points:

There is a difference between saying there should be no gun registry, and saying that the registry as it stands is deeply flawed and invasive, which is my opinion. That is the main reason why I never got one.

The confusion over whether the registry is a left-right or urban-rural issue has been there from the start, and parties have been using it to smear each other for just as long. In Manitoba's 1995 general election the conservatives (at least at the local level) tried to score points by implying that the NDP were in favour of the registry, even though it was a federal issue.

 

In the face of Harper's determination to kill it at all cost, and the fact that it is such a charged issue generally, it is unlikely that the flaws in the registry will ever be addressed.

My gut reaction - preserving the registry is almost secondary to the feeling that I hope they get the numbers to show Harper he does not control everything. It is sad that our political situation has come to that.

Sean in Ottawa

6079...

Can you help me out here? I don't have a gun and have only heard the rhetoric about what is wrong with the registry but little of the details. I am clear on the purpose. I agree that the distinction you speak about is there but the main argument I have seen is that it does not do any good and therefore is wasteful when I know it certianly ought to be useful.

If we could focus on what is wrong then we could right it.

Can you outline briefly what you think is the problem and what it would take to fix?

I admit this is a part of the overall policy tone that exists in this country where the Cons argue "this is not perfect so let's kill it"-- that's their approach to medicare as well for example. Medicare is of course the best option and the program as a whole is excellent. There are improvements that are required from better human resource management (relying on more full time positions and less overtime for example) to better cost management through a national pharmacare program and investments in home and long term care that would relieve the pressure on actue care. But the Con approach is to exaggerate the problems and then offer the only solution: they want to kill it. Sounds like Gun control to me, and almost every other national policy debate, in terms of the approach. At the other end when they want soemthing it is the same type of discussion -- we want security so we have to accept everything done in the name of security or be acussed of wanting to undermine it. Take-it-as-it-is or lose it mentality. Unbelievably arogant and an affront to the spirit of democracy as people get forced in to unecessary and inappropriate polarized positions between two unacceptable options.

So back to gun control-- can you bring this discussion away from the general good-bad argument to something prescriptive?

Sean in Ottawa

6079... I should add I totally agree with your frustration as it is indeed a limitation of political options we are seeing in the framing of these discussions: the cons want us to choose either between the status quo and an option they want to sell us or the status quo and an option they present as unacceptable-- all other choices including the best, most practical or compromise positions are removed from the table. Votes in cases like this are often meaningless when the framing of the discussion is this perverse and that can include House votes but for many people it even extends to general elections where if you believe the Cons there are in fact no choices.

 

Bacchus

remind wrote:

Life, I do not know about not preventing people who should not have access to guns from doing so.

Here in our small community there is a guy who cannot, ands should not, have  guns, and the only thing that is keeping people from selling him one is the registry.

 

Should that go, it won't be a good thing for is family.

 

For that reason alone I am against getting rid of it.

 

And this is something I have thought long and hard over,as originally I was against it.

Without or with the registry, you need an FAC to buy a gun. If you have it, the registry will not prevent you from getting one. If you dont, not having a registry wont mean you can get one.

 

You cant even buy ammo anymore without a FAC

6079_Smith_W

@ Sean in Ottawa

I don't want to sidetrack this into a debate about the registry itself. That could go on forever.

Here's the form though:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/form-formulaire/pdfs/921-eng.pdf

My concerns - asking personal questions about depression, drug abuse, emotional problems, bankruptcy, and whom I have had sex with (notice that the form provides for only one other "conjugal partner" in the last two years, even though that may not apply to everyone).

(edit)

Plus, you are supposed to go and ask all these people to sign the form for you - or the RCMP will have to inform them and they will certainly wonder why you have not taken that step.

Not that I think there aren't circumstances where this information might be necessary, but I think a lot of it is open to interpretation, which is a problem when you are filling out a form which could result in criminal consequences if someone thinks you have lied. That said, I do object to providing this information that might be available to the local RCMP, especially since it is asked of me even though I have committed no crime.

It is also only relevant as of the time you applied for the certificate.

Basically, I think the questions are just there for window dressing, of a very invasive design. I doubt they will ever stop anyone from committing an act of violence.

I don't think this ever made it into the law, but I know in '95 the proposed legialation included giving police the right to come onto your property at any time without warrant for the purposes of a firearms inspection, and that it would be against the law to refuse to cooperate. Even though I suspect this did not make it into the law, it certainly made the registry's introduction far more controversial than it needed to be to take a simple inventory.

But as I said, I don't want to sidetrack this into a debate on the registry.

Like I said, I am in favour of keeping the registry, and the principle of firearms registration although I oppose parts of the current law.

Life, the unive...

Sean- as I stated above.  The long gun registry is not gun control.  This is one of the basic problems with this discussion- the other being the rhetoric about it being the first step in taking away firearms coming from the other side. 

This is where the problem starts for those proponents of the registry- they think they are getting gun control when they are not.  Not even a little bit.  All the registry does is codify in a database who has (and I guess potentially who does not have) a long gun of some kind.  It does little more.  It does have some useful features in that stockpiling of weapons or ammuntition could cause a red flag to come to the attention of registry staff.  Not one single, solitary weapon is controlled in any way though. 

Gun control, including those deemed to be unfit to have a weapon, occurs through other means- it simply does not flow through the long gun registry.  The function of red flagging those attempting to purchase a weapon could be acheived through other means- a registry is not the only way to do this, so that function is a matter of how it is currently used- not an issue of it must be used that way.  That is a bill of goods the Liberal sold to try and look like they were doing something to appease mostly urban voters.  But the simple and plain unvarnished fact is that the long gun registry doesn't actually do what people think it does. 

Like Smith_w I see no real reason to be against a registry in and of itself, however, the particular animal we have now is a beast in and of itself that does not serve the end of gun control and takes up valuable public debate space and resources.  It does help the police in some limited ways to suspect a weapon is on a premisise but that is about it- and they already do that even if nothing shows up in their registry check.

The real problem is that we have issues in our society where weapons are used to threaten, control and kill primarily women and children.  (Handguns being an exception but most of those are illegal and outside of the scope of a registry too).  The registry does not stop this and protect women and children in abusive situations- we have wasted a decade arguing over the long gun registry and the polictical games of politicians and doing almost nothing to deal with the real problems and issues.  At least that's my view.

 

ETA

By the way I share the frustration that the 'debate' (and it is hard to call what we have a debate) is so polorized.  We seem to not be allowed any middle ground which is telling I think- that this is mostly about political advantage and not good public policy.

Life, the unive...

Yeah- that's what I meant by the current long gun registry can be a tool, but it doesn't have to be.  The FAC is the determining factor.  At a gun shop they would not have access to the registry database.  They are determining their actions based on the possession of an FAC. 

remind remind's picture

Life, I do not know about not preventing people who should not have access to guns from doing so.

Here in our small community there is a guy who cannot, and should not, have guns, and the only thing that is keeping people from selling him one, or getting bullets for the ones he has stashed, is the registry.

 

Should that go, it won't be a good thing for is family.

 

For that reason alone I am against getting rid of it.

 

And this is something I have thought long and hard over, as originally I was against it.

6079_Smith_W

Again. I'm not against a firearms registry, and despite my objections I would rather see the law as it is than not have it at all.

Here's a question though. Should a non-straight person be legally required (on pain of criminal consequences) to out his or herself in order to own a firearm? That's the law as it stands.

It seems to me there might be an easier and less invasive way to do things.

 

remind remind's picture

Talking here mainly about person to person sales btw.

 

if people think a gun cannot be traced back to them, they are more than willing to sell it to whomever. Same goes for bullets.

Bacchus

Ah ok, that makes sense

Bacchus

Tho if they originally bought it from a store, they are fucked if anything goes bad with the gun they gave away

Life, the unive...

Again that's not the registry- that's the FAC that tracks sales.  You have to have a FAC even in person to person sales, or at an auction or what have you.   And if they are willing to try to get around that stuff- especially if they bought the gun through a store or something- then the registry is probably not going to really be much of a hinderance for them because the FAC does most of the tracking already.  And they will be in serious trouble is something bad happens with that weapon, or even if it is just discovered.

I'm not saying the registry is all bad, but it simply does not accomplish the majority of things people think it accomplishes.

remind remind's picture

Many people, at least here and other places I know, have never registered their guns and are more than willing to sell, for whatever reason.

the FAC means nothing to them, though the registry does.

 

 

Life, the unive...

Yikes. They really don't know much than, because the real power is the FAC process.

Bacchus

Especially if they never registered their guns

remind remind's picture

LOL, think you hit the nail on the head Life.

 

Bacchus many have "registered" some they held before the FAC became a reality and after the registration was implimented as they felt registering some, after getting a FAC, was their cover.

In fact, many only got a FAC after the forced registration occurred. Someone would always buy them bullets.

But perhaps we have stumbled onto to something here about lack of knowlege that it is the FAC that is really  the kicker.

Bacchus

True, not having a FAC and posessing ammo will result in a stiff jail sentence and fine

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