A Simple Solution to the Gun Registry
It seems the opposition NDP and Liberals are dancing around each other, both wanting the same result yet shouting at each other about how to get there; and the Conservatives are providing the music they are dancing to.
The Liberals support the gun registry in principle, but would introduce legislation if they form government to modify to make it more fair and efficient. So they are whipping the vote to ensure rural MPs don’t support killing the registry before fixes can be made
The NDP, on the other hand, also support the registry in principle, but not more than the democratic principle that each MP should be able to vote their conscience. So they are letting their MPs vote as they wish, 12 will likely vote to kill it, but they will propose a new modified registry that makes the same changes the Liberals would have and would grant the power to municipalities to ban handguns if they chose.
So the Liberals want to save it now, fix it later. The NDP want to let it die now, and fix it or resurrect it later.
Is it just me, or is there a very simple solution here that would make both parties happy, hurt the Conservatives, save gun regulation and respect the advice of police, doctors, women’s right advocates and social workers who are all calling to keep the registry?
The solution is this: The NDP and the Liberal party make a formal deal, sign a contract, that they will introduce and support Jack Layton’s legislation into parliament, as soon as possible, in exchange for the NDP whipping this upcoming vote to avoid killing the registry. The contract could be fulfilled within a month or two the next time the Liberals or NDP get a moment to introduce legislation, unless Harper prorogues again.
Why would this be untenable? Could the rural NDP members really say they’d lose their seats for getting major improvements to the registry enacted? Is rural opposition so strong to the registry’s very existence in principle or the details of how it is run?
Citing that the registry costs $2 billion dollars to set up isn’t an argument by the way. Being excessively expensive to set up is no argument for scrapping it now when it only costs a few million a year and provides great benefit.
Can the NDP and Liberals really not trust each to follow through on a formal contract? Are they afraid of being taunted by the Conservatives for working together and practicing for a coalition? Surely they know Canadians want their MPs to work together.
So what’s the problem?