Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The big vote

It was a close vote tonight in a high drama House of Commons: "Long-gun registry survives tight Commons vote." 153 to 151 as we all know at this point. What else to say here?

Lots of spin making the rounds as to what this means for future election results, who's at risk due to their vote, etc. There are lots of avowals of living to fight another day but it's hard to say what life this one issue will have and what other pressing issues will intervene. In the 24/7 news cycle, it's very tough for any issue to predominate, it's more likely a narrative woven up into many issues that will prevail.

There was a lot of wishing on the part of Conservatives and NDP for the Liberal caucus to crack. That didn't happen. On that score, you have to call it a good moment for Michael Ignatieff who did take a risk in whipping the vote.

The biggest impact from this issue and this vote, to me, is a very general point. This has been a real gut check moment for parties all around. While the vote has been largely a divisive force in Canadian politics for many months now, I think that gut check has done some good, coming early in the fall parliamentary session as it has. It should be interesting to see what kind of momentum builds from it now.

Update (9:40 p.m.): Here was the vote: