Breaking! MPs represent their constituents

…instead of toeing the Party Line.   Imagine that:

The House of Commons dealt a major blow to the federal long gun registry last night as 20 Liberal and NDP MPs broke ranks with their leaders to endorse a Conservative bill that would bring the program to an end.

The vote exposed clear splits among Liberals and New Democrats along rural and urban lines, as the 12 NDP and eight Liberal MPs who voted with the Conservatives were primarily from rural ridings.

The long gun registry was wrong from the start: a bloated, hideously-administered monstrosity of a government white elephant, it was little more than a shakedown of responsible gun owners. (And the registry paperwork was no different — I found it so onerous that I tossed it in the woodstove and ignored the whole thing completely until now.)  There are all kinds of arguments for and against the registry, but let us not dwell on those.   What’s interesting  to me is that for once, MPs were willing to break rank and vote according to their constituents’ wishes rather than in partisan lockstep.

And they’re smart to do so.  Just as there are people who vote on the abortion issue and nothing else, out here in the sticks there are an awful lot of people (though I’m not one of them) who vote solely on the gun registry issue — abolishment of the long gun registry is sort of the R v Morgentaler of Canadian gun owners.

And while there’s no guarantee that “going rogue” on Bill C-391 will help the Liberals and NDP in rural areas, it certainly can’t hurt.

13 Responses to “Breaking! MPs represent their constituents”


  1. 1 Torontonian Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    MPs represent their constituents.

    Yes, but only if you’re not a Conservative.
    Then, you have to vote the way chunky tells
    you to.

  2. 2 If only Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    The headline is a joke on many levels, few of them funny.

  3. 3 hemmingforddogblog Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Who pissed in your Cheerios?

  4. 4 Phatbiker Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    How many billions where wasted on this? Didn’t stop the gangs from getting guns, just a pain in the ass for us rural folk.

  5. 5 Bleatmop Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Agreed totally. This is the type of wasteful spending that initially made me a BT.

  6. 6 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Torontonian

    Yes, but only if you’re not a Conservative.
    Then, you have to vote the way chunky tells
    you to.

    😆 Yes indeedy.

    But I still think it’s significant that MPs from other parties, who seldom deviate from the party line on this issue, are actually going against it and voting according to their constituents’ wishes. That’s a good thing.

  7. 7 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:31 am

    SQ – Not me 😯 Piss in my Cheerios at your peril!

  8. 8 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Phatbiker

    How many billions where wasted on this? Didn’t stop the gangs from getting guns, just a pain in the ass for us rural folk.

    For sure. The money would have been better spent on securing the border to slow down the influx of illegal weapons from stateside, which is where most of these guys get their weapons.

    Some people claim there’s no urban/rural divide on this issue, but that doesn’t jive with my anecdotal experience. City people don’t get how guns are tools as ubiquitous and useful as ballpeen hammers. (If a cougar gets into your pasture, try hitting it over the head with a ballpeen hammer.)

  9. 9 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Bleatmop

    Agreed totally. This is the type of wasteful spending that initially made me a BT.

    Yes, well apparently my views on this issue make me somewhat “unprogressive” so maybe I should be looking at dropping out of Progressive Bloggers and joining the BTs, eh? 😆

  10. 10 Naked Ape Friday, November 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I think that proximity to stoplights increases ones tendency to see the registry as a good thing. It’s part of the whole beige sub-urban mindset. Many city dwellers think “What good is a tool like a rifle when you are living in suburbia with tract houses every 15 to 25 feet away?”. Unless they hunt, most of the citified don’t enter rural environments or in fact venture off pavement.

    Most of the urban supporters of the registry that I have met seem to actually know SFA about it and many mistakenly believe that it is about handgun control. My rural friends (who are all non-supporters) are not kooky NRA “Wouldn’t it be great if everybody had a gun!” types, they just live in environments where rifles and shotguns are actually common useful tools and they are none too fond of the cash grab associated with this bureaucratic clusterfuck.

    I think the long gun registry does not do much of value, I say out with that and in with a handgun registry, and public crucifixion for anyone caught with an unregistered handgun.;)

    (You need a strong opening position since the inevitable negotiations tend to scale everything back.)

  11. 11 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Naked Ape – Agree 100%.

    The long gun registry is one of those government programs that gives the *appearance* of doing something, so it makes people *feel good* about it, when it actually doesn’t do much at all. Unfortunately, it’s an extremely emotional issue, especially for people who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence. I just don’t see how having the perp’s name on a database somewhere (and spending millions of $ to maintain it) will stop him from pulling the trigger.

  12. 12 Phatbiker Friday, November 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    The long gun registry came about because of the mass murder in Montreal 30 years ago, Lepine could have obtained a rifle legally under the new rules. 90% of the guns used in gang crime in Canada (and Mexico) are smuggeled in from the USA.

  13. 13 JJ Friday, November 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Phatbiker – That’s why it’s such an emotional issue for some of its supporters. It was a horrible crime, but the LGReg wouldn’t have stopped it. Nothing short of a complete ban would have stopped Lepine, and maybe not even that since there’s so much cross border gun smuggling. The money that was blown on the long gun registry would have been a lot better spent in securing the borders against the influx of illegal guns from the states.


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