Monday, August 30, 2010

I swear I've heard this somewhere before....

Jack Layton seems to be playing catch-up with the Liberals:
NDP Leader Jack Layton is proposing a compromise on the fate the federal long-gun registry to address frustrations of northern, rural and aboriginal Canadians when Parliament returns next month.

... He said his party would introduce legislation in the House to make a first-time failure to register a firearm a non-criminal ticketing offence and to waive fees for new licences.

The proposed legislation would respect aboriginal treaty rights and allow municipalities to ban handguns, he said.

Very good, Mr. Layton. I think these changes are the first step towards creating a better, more fair system of long-gun ownership and registration.... too bad its not your own idea.
Under Ignatieff's proposed amendments to the registry, a first-time failure to register a firearm would be non-criminal ticketing offence, while fees for new licences, renewals and upgrades would be eliminated.
This was from last April, when Michael Ignatieff proposed the very same changes, and he didn't get a single hint of NDP support. Who's ahead of the curve now, Dippers?

Worst of all, Layton still refuses to whip his party on Bill C-391. Do the NDP not realize that it they stand to gain nothing yet lose everything with this vote? I'd even be willing to forgo the fact that if the NDP cause the loss of this registry, they'll lose a tonne of votes; it's worth it for them to keep their vote, if the registry can at least struggle to live a little while longer.


  1. The NDP Do not, can not, and will not whip a private members bill sorry. Private members Bills have never been whipped it is not unprecedented that the NDP will not whip it, it is unprecedented the Liberals will.

    There goes the only time a MP can actually vote the way their ridings them to. Sorry every other province in Canada Ontario wants something and all the MPs will be forced to vote the way they want. Welcome to the new democracy in Canada thanks to the Liberals.

  2. It seems to me, smart politics for Jack to distance the NDP position from the Liberal position. This is a Liberal burden and the NDP stand to gain nothing by picking up a corner.

  3. The facts of realpolitik disagree with you both.

    Private Members Bills may not be traditionally whipped, but we've seen already that the Conservatives do not share such a principle. It may go against Parliamentary tradition, but there is no rule against it, and in any type of warfare, including political, you have to be pragmatic, even if it means doing something people normally do not. The Opposition must react in a flexible way to the onslaught of the Conservatives, who will do anything to get their bills through.

    As for not tying themselves down to the Liberal position - what bullshit. If the NDP betray their progressive idealism, then what do they have left? A record built on provincial parties which are tellingly labeled as Red Dippers half the time? Do you really think the NDP can afford, again, to be left out everything, while the Liberals and the Bloc show themselves to be the real Opposition? Can the NDP be hypocritical, again, with their "we're the real Opposition!" claims?

  4. Name one private members bill which was whipped? Go ahead you can't claim they have been whipped with out an example. You wont find one the NDP has NEVER whipped a private members bill. It would be stupid and the Liberals knew it would never happen.

    IF the Liberals really cared they would have voted against the budget like the NDP and the Bloc and went an election. Instead they let 30 members sit at home instead of doing their Job. Sorry MPs job is go in and vote the way their constituents want I see Liberals don't feel that way. That has been apparent for sometime.

  5. You're telling me, Robert, that you think all 144 Conservatives, including the ones with urban ridings - and there is quite a few of them - are against the long-gun registry, and none of them would ever even dare to speak against that position?

    Bill C-391 is whipped, especially on the Conservative side. It's not hard to tell. What would you have the Opposition do - take a principled stand, yet lose the battle? This isn't the Alamo, bud.

    And I've already stated my opposition to the Liberal's budget fuck up. I agree with you there - but they're taking the right stand now, not the NDP.

  6. That is something you have to take up with the Conservatives. I think the Liberals (and the Conservatives if they are whipping the vote) and wrong to do so. This is one of those cases you think because it is a cause you support that you should sell out your morals. Sorry Private Members bills should never whipped. By the Cons, by the Libs, or by the Bloc. The NDP however is the only pary who has the back bone to stand for what is right here.

  7. I agree, Robert - PMB shouldn't be whipped. But that is not the reality of the situation, is it? The Conservatives are doing it, and if we want to keep this registry, the Opposition has no choice but to respond in kind, otherwise we will lose the vote. All three parties have to work together to do it. It's just the sad reality we face.

    So the NDP can take a principled stand, and then go out there to its voters and try and explain how sticking to their principles cost them a progressive program because the other guys decided to play dirty. What do you think they'll say? I'd for certain ask why the Hell they didn't do it back. Politics cannot simply be about the principle of the thing - sometimes you gotta bend.

  8. We live by the rules we want all people to follow.

  9. When the game changes, you don't stick to the same set of rules you had before.

  10. That is the problem everyone is willing to throw out the things they believe because "it is to hard." I am not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water because of one vote. 288 Private members bills have passed the house in Canada's history some of them good some of them bad. However almost all of them weren't along party lines. Once this happens there will be no going back and I am not ready to have my party be a part of that.

    We live by the rules we want everyone to follow. I wont limit someones right to build a mosque because Iran doesn't allow churches, I limit stop freedom of the press because China's GDP is growing faster then ours, I am sorry it is silly reasoning and a slippery slope.

  11. The Iran and China examples are nowhere near comparable; they're secondary things that won't change the outcome in any way, whether we do them or not. It's not going to cost us.

    The vote on C-391 will. This is about realizing that if we want to keep the gun registry, and I believe you do, we need to respond the only way we can - by ensuring all three Opposition parties have reliable support for a Nay vote.

    If we had the numbers and could do it without the NDP, that's different - you do what you want. But when it takes all three Opposition parties to outvote the Conservatives, a party which has whipped its vote to ensure that none of its members cost it this vote, then you must respond to that. You must be flexible. You must have exceptions. Criticize Iggy and the Liberals all you want, but we realize that we haven't a choice at this point. If we want the registry to live, we have to sacrifice this tradition, at least this one time.

  12. The problem is that if the Liberals and Conservatives start whipping Private members bills then those parties will play politics will all private members bills. It will kill a number of progressive issues. Like it or not the leadership of both parties is Conservative, and things like pay equity, climate change and Afghanistan don't stand a chance in this parliament with out a free vote.

    Those issues along with MPs voting for their constituents mean more to me. I don't think Liberals out of Toronto should be telling those from PEI how to vote. They don't represent those people. I am happy Jack wont let NDPers from Vancouver tell those NDPers from Northern Manitoba what they should think either. We are a diverse party both rural and urban and sometimes we wont agree. I am ok with that.

  13. So long as you're OK with it, that's fine. Your party can suffer the consequences from such a decision, and mine will do the same.

    However, in the interest of at least trying to save the gun registry, why not lobby those members for their support in a Nay vote? Why not try and change their minds, any way you can? Even if Layton has to strip them of their critic's responsibilities as a last resort, that should be on the table, if a whipped vote is not.

    If you must be rigid, and play a different game with the old set of rules, at least play within the rules you've arbitrarily set.

  14. No threats to MPs who represent their ridings. If NDP members and Liberals members cared this much about the issue they should have passed a resolution which tied the MPs hands at their conventions. None did.

    We are a diverse party as we are a diverse country. It is time to embrace that.

  15. How do you propose to govern this diverse country when your diverse party can't agree to work together to save something that protects a needed program?

    I'm all for helping members try and represent their constituents the best they can, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Leaders have to take into account that sometimes overriding the local interests is acceptable in order to save a program that is universally good.

    Playing to every single little need can be called a few things, ranging from grassroots, to coalition building, to lobbying. I'll even give you an example: here in Burlington, we lost our Pan Am soccer field because City Hall decided to bow to the interests of a few local residents who didn't want it built near their neighboorhood, and City Hall was afraid of crossing them, despite the location being the best for every other person in the city.

    Sometimes you need to step on people's toes. That's just reality. Principles are nice, but getting shit done is better.

  16. I propose to not force the will of the minority on the majority of the country. That is my point. If we think this is so grand we should convince the country not get pissed when people don't like it and tell those who are their voice they don't like it. The Liberals and the NDP lost the PR battle and failed to convince the country. The Liberals have had 15 years to convince Canadians this is a good thing and they haven't. This is the end game to that. Let's take it as a lesson and move on.

  17. I, for one, refuse to let a needed program die on the stand of Parliamentary principles. This is politics, not TV - we must act to protect our interests. If Canadians disagree, then we lose the next election, and so be it. Do what we can to save ourselves now, and take the lumps we deserve, if there are any.

  18. Got it you are always right and the majority always wrong. If you can convince the people then you might just be wrong.

  19. I never said that, Robert - just that the majority and the minority should not always be given priority interests. Even LBJ realized that when he sacrificed his party's future with civil rights, despite the biggest base saying they'd abandon him.

  20. Yah but you are kinda Ignoring that LBJ had to get close to 25 Republicans to vote for that Bill. See that Bill was not Whipped and both Dems and Republicans voted both ways. It isn't a very good example.

    PS the Dems won the Senate and Congress, and the Dems would have won the Presidency if LBJ stayed or if Kennedy wasn't shot. Nixon only won by like .8 %. That is something you seem to be forgetting.

  21. You're looking at it in the wrong context, Robert - I didn't say much about Congress, but I said everything about the party's base of support, and how it was lost afterwords. Different situations, different pages.

    Anyways, we will just have to agree to disagree, as our positions are rooted in our different outlooks on political reality.