Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Conservative "law and order" bizarro world

As the gun registry meets the axe tonight, the Conservatives are refusing to publicly release an RCMP report, dated 2008, which is likely to be supportive of the gun registry. How ridiculous. A key vote on the gun registry today, yet a report from federal police lies hidden from public view. Why might that be? Because it probably builds on the 2007 report which stated that the registry is "key to the safety of both police offers and the public, providing police with immediate access to the information they require in their investigations and operations." If you're not inclined to take the RCMP's views into account, you also have what was stated by Toronto's police chief today:
The registry is vitally important for police all across this country. As of June 30, the average daily rate of Canadian police queries to the Canadian Firearms Registry Online is 10,304, covering the entire spectrum of policing.
And the Montreal police chief. And Quebec's Public Safety Minister. Underscoring yet again the symbolic importance of the issue in Quebec. Yet such positions don't seem to be weighing heavily in today's considerations. It's a very bizarre "law and order" Conservative party. Our politics are so wedged that trying to turn this back on Conservatives is an unlikely prospect. They have their litany of p.r. named bills to parade out, they sloganeer it all.

Ignatieff is now looking forward by speaking of gun control that works for both urban and rural Canada, listening to various groups to come up with a bridging solution of some kind. It's not clear whether he's indicating this is going to occur here and now in the context of this bill moving to committee or at some time beyond this bill's passage:
Ignatieff downplayed the impact of a Commons vote that is expected to give "second reading" to a Conservative MP's private member's bill to repeal the registry.

"It's not the end of the firearms registration system tonight. It's only the beginning of a parliamentary process that will be pursued in committee and in the senate."
What that means, not clear. Keith Martin, who has said he's going to vote for the bill today is quoted as saying he could change his mind in a third reading vote, depending on what's heard in committee. So perhaps there's a plan to build a consensus for a "third way" on the registry and perhaps a changed Liberal stance for third reading? Who knows, it certainly sounds like a longer term project, a future Liberal government's to enact, whenever that might be and with moneys spent to date wastefully thrown under the bus. It all seems late in the day on the issue, a reactive stance to a tactically aggressive government that's technically a minority yet about to achieve a major victory on a social issue of dear importance to the Conservative base. Who knew they wouldn't need a majority government to repeal the gun registry. But I guess we shall see.