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Jack Got Lucky, Or Did He? Iggy On The Hot Seat. Bloc With Nothing To Lose. Stevie and Candy, Only Themselves To Blame–Some Last Thoughts Before Gun Registry Vote Tomorrow

Dear readers, let’s forget for a moment where we stand on the long gun registry and gun control for a moment–it’s not what this post is about.  It’s solely about leadership and politics that have led to this point. Really, for the sake of this post, we could insert a vote on any given issue. This one just happens to be about gun control.  When all will be said and done tomorrow night, as what promises to be a razor thin vote unfolds, this will be all about leadership and, of course, politics.

Gilles Duceppe

The only partry who really didn’t have all that much to lose whether the leader whipped or not, was Gilles Duceppe.  At the moment, the Bloc Quebecois happens to have a leader who supports the gun registry.  If Lucien Bouchard or some other more conservative thinking rural Quebecer were leading the Bloc, more than likely, the Bloc caucus wouldn’t have been whipped.

One common mistake columnists, pundits and bloggers write or talk about Quebec is, they seem to be talking solely about Montreal, which only represents half the province’s population. They don’t talk of rural Quebec, or even Quebec City, which is, in reality, a small town inhabited by civil servants.  Most of them  love their guns and don’t support the registry or at best, can take it or leave it.   All the school shootings on the Montreal Island are far removed for them. Another thing? Much the way most of western Canada hates Toronto, most of Quebec hates Montreal.

That said, they’re not as obsessed about keeping or scrapping the registry as they are about other issues. At least, nothing that I have found in the French language media suggests this.  Thus, whether or not the Bloc whips or not, I doubt it would change their seat count much, even in their seats on eastern part of the island of Montreal, as those people are largely in part, separatist, and that cause comes above all for them. For them, their culture, the French language, their interests come before all and the Bloc are the only game for them. Their seat count wouldn’t change all that much. Sure, the survivors of the Polytechnique Massacre & The Dawson College shootings, as well as other victims’ groups would lobby the Bloc just as hard as they are the NDP these days,  somehow,  due to the very  mandate of the Bloc, these groups wouldn’t make as much of an impact on them as they might, say the Liberals or the NDP (Thomas Mulcair).

Jack Layton

I had been reading the columns and blogs praising Jack Layton for convincing at least some of his 12 rural and northern MPs who originally voted along with mullet-head Hoeppner’s Bill C-391, to kill the long gun registry.  But does he really deserve all this praise?  Me thinks not. And yes, I would be saying the same thing if Iggy hadn’t whipped his caucus.

No, I think, more than likely, Jack got lucky, or did he? Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay seems to be the one who started the trend of  MPs who originally voted along with the Harpercons, now changing their minds. According to the media reports, it looks more like an email shotgun marriage (pun intended) proposal,  in a redneck style, only  Brute Breitkreuz can master , was what soured the NDP MP enough to change his vote more than any convincing Jack could have or would have done.   Other Harpercons in their redneck glory, like James Bezan riding onto YouTube glory on a silly horse with all the redneck glory he could muster certainly didn’t help neither.   Add the NRA’s involvement and rednecks  like Tony Bernardo who go on shows like Question Period, basically advocating for not only the scrapping of the gun registry, but the scrapping of gun control, altogether. Whether the NDP, as a whole is for the registry or not, surely, they must be for gun control.

But does the fact that his rural and northern MPs have changed their votes mean he was lucky? Was that really what he wanted?

He should have either whipped his caucus, as Iggy did, or at the very least, come out against the registry.  Throughout this debacle, he has shown himself to be nothing short of ambiguous on the issue. Remember how indifferent he was before the summer holidays?  Until nearly the last minute, he didn’t propose any compromises or any ideas on how to fix the registry, if it needed fixing, as Iggy had, before whipping his caucus. Layton is a smart man. I hardly believe that he would be gullable enough to actually believe that Bill C-391 was a bonafide private members’ bill.

Let’s say he did whip his caucus;  I don’t think he would have gotten the flack he did from the media, bloggers and pundits if he had.   In fact, I would say that the spotlight would have been most focussing on Iggy, given his leadership stumbles and divisions within the Liberal party.  The media would have concentrated more on those eight MPs who voted along with Mullet Head Hoeppner than Jack’s twelve, had they been whipped. Instead, for the most part, those eight MPs pretty much flew under the corporate media radar. Unlike Iggy, Jack’s leadership has never really been called into question.

There’s also the fact that before Charlie Angus even announced he was changing his vote, Stevie Spiteful was not exactly appreciative of Jack’s troubles for not whipping his caucus. In fact, he simply gave him a public smacking as if Jack had whipped his caucus, complete with mandatory paranoid rantings of the mythical coalition.  Jack was getting it from all sides. Yet, he refused to whip and one does have to wonder why after all that.

If, on the other hand, Jack had come out and said straight out that he was against the registry, sure his urban constituents would come out screaming, but guess what? They already are. Steve’s paranoid rantings of the coalition would certainly lose credibility.

Rob Silver seems to believe that Jack Layton was playing both East and west ; rural and urban against the middle, suggesting that Layton’s views on the registry is ambiguous at best.

Whatever Jack’s efforts or lackthereof, regarding maintaining or killing the gun registry, he is paying for this in the latest Harris-Decima poll .  Harpercons’ and Liberals’ numbers are remaining more or less the same since Iggy completed his bus tour.  Allan Gregg, usually a Harpercon shill, basically said that it was the NDP’s lack of a clear stand on the gun registry that has sunk their polling numbers.

“It really does look like it’s a disproportionately urban, female phenomenon, which really does point to the gun registry,” Mr. Gregg said.

Gregg also said that support in BC has gone down : supposedly those western voters who don’t support the registry, thus, suggesting Layton’s more ambiguous position on the issue would be the cause.

Jack may have gotten lucky, in the sense of the Harpercons’ redneck bad behavior leading to horrible packaging of Bill C-391, but he sure didn’t get lucky with his polling numbers.

Michael Ignatieff:

Other than the usual chiding from the Harpercons and Layton, as well as their supporters about whipping his caucus, as well as the NDP  and their supporters putting out there that at least some of the eight Liberal MPs will either blatantly vote against the whip or simply come down with a case of parliamentary flu. However,  not much spotlight has been put on that scenario by the corporate media or by much of the blogosphere. Honestly, more focus should have been put on them.

Iggy was clever enough to see right through this little tactic; that  Mullet head Hoeppner’s bill was anything but a private member’s bill.

Also, Iggy had no choice but to whip his caucus on this bill, not only because it is their own motion  & the vote has to do with scrapping a bill they, themselves, originally put out in 1995, but after that Maternal health initiative vote fiasco, where some Liberals voted against their own party’s iniative to include safe abortions in these maternal aid packages, Iggy clearly came out with egg on his face.  More reasons for his leadership to come into question.

There were also clear divisions within the Liberal party itself that was being played in the media; incidents like that rumoured coalition or merger  that looked more like a rouse to get Iggy out of the picture and to insert Bob Rae as leader.

Everybody, for the most part, is assuming that every Liberal MP, including all eight who voted with  the Harpercons the times.  Why not? There hasn’t been anything in the corporate media to suggest otherwise.  However, a letter to the editor in the Charlottetown Guardian from Wayne Easter pretty much tells us that they will all vote along party lines .  For those reasons, I, as well as many others, I suspect, are giving Iggy and the Liberals the benefit of the doubt until the vote or until something pops up that suggests otherwise.

Nonetheless,  this does put Iggy in the hot seat.  He is coming off fresh and more confident from his bus tour. His polling numbers are now competitive with those of the Harpercons from pretty much every polling firm.  He has shuffled his shadow cabinet.   However, everyone seems to be of the agreement that his real test will be how he handles himself in parliament.  I will go further in saying that the first such test will be tomorrow’s vote on the Long Gun Registry.  If all goes as planned and predicted,  Iggy passes his first test coming back this season. If something goes wrong, like one of those eight MPs coming down with parliamentary flu after the talk and the promise of delivering every Liberal vote, I suspect that Iggy won’t recover from this one so fast, if at all. In fact, I would even venture that Iggy would take even more of the blame than the NDP would if Bill c-391 were to survive, because of one of his MPs not going along with the whip.   For or against the registry,  what will be seen most of all is a leader who still can’t lead a party and a party that is still very much divided. After all, if the voters see that if the MPs of any given party clearly don’t respect their leader, then how are they supposed to respect the leader as Prime minister?

Steve Harper:

He has only himself to blame for this fiasco. Bill C-391, for openers, was poorly packaged.  After awhile, he didn’t even bother to attempt to hide the fact that it was not a private members’ bill.  When he has big mouths like Brute Breitkreuz and renegade redneck assistants who advocate for beating Iggy black & blue, or bodily harm on anyone, for that matter, who keep showing their redneck colours as well as the other Harpercon rednecks, saying and doing equally or even dumber things. Not to mention, instead of trying to sell C-391, he and his rednecks further alienated those opposition MPs who once supported the bill; probably even alienated their constituents. What did he expect would happen?

To add to this already poor package, enter Tony Bernardo and his NRA friends into the fray. Make no mistake, those people not only hate the gun registry, they wish for Canada to scrap gun control. Tony Bernardo pretty well said as much on last Sunday’s Question Period .

Presuming all goes well tomorrow, Bill c-391 will die and Stevie spiteful will use it to sell the need for a Harpercon majority. Yeah, right, Steve. Let’s examine this horrible possibility for a moment, shall we?  Stevie and the Harpercons are assuming that most of Canada actually wants the gun registry to die.  If this was true, or at the very least, if Stevie were so confident about this, why disguise this policy as a private members’ bill?  I mean, it was no secret that scrapping the gun registry has always been a part of the Harpercon agenda. Why did they not just insert it into one of those hideous bills he loves to pack so much stuff into? Or better still, why hasn’t he made this a confidence motion?  Lord knows he had every opportunity to do so.  Stevie Spiteful had more than enough windows of opportunity where his polling numbers were teetering in majority territory and the Liberals were significantly behind.

Furthermore, Stevie’s  busy trying to convince Canadians that the registry doesn’t work, but the police say otherwise.  If the police are to be discredited here; why hide the reports and studies? Why not let everyone see them and just let them draw their own conclusions?  Also, suspicious, why send Marty Cheliak away for French lessons he doesn’t need? In addition to police, Front line health care workers, women’s & victims’ groups also want the registry maintained. Why are their voices being stifled? That is not the behavior of a leader who is confident of his own policy if you ask me.

One also has to wonder why Stevie spiteful is so obsessed with killing legislation that he, himself, supported twice, when Chretien introduced it in 1995 .  I mean, it sounds like obsessing over something that he really doesn’t believe in himself.  It begs the question; why go to all this trouble, except to play divide and conquer games?

Another thing worth noting, killing the registry has always been Harpercon policy and no doubt, they must have campaigned on that very hard in the last election, yet 12 NDP MPs and 8 Liberal MPs were voted into rural ridings just the same. I seriously doubt that these 20 MPs campaigned with the slogan “Vote for me and I’ll help Steve kill the gun registry!” If that were the case, or if the constituents of those particular ridings really had a one track mind, they would have voted Harpercon in the first place.  No, I’m sure those MPs were voted in because they addressed other pressing concerns of these particular constituents.

Urban-Rural Divide

If there is a rural/urban divide in Canada, again, we have Stevie Spiteful to thank for this. He and his Harpercons are not only portraying them as hillbillies with single digit IQs, who live in plaid shirts and overalls day in and day out,  but reenforcing stereotypes. James Bezan’s  little  John Wayne wannabe performance, complete with Shirriff Roscoe’s strange giggle,  on Youtube accomplished just that. And yes, I believe in a backhanded way, that was precisely his intent.  Catch the video here .

Stevie’s creation of  this urban/divide is succeeding. We’re all forgetting that at the end of the day, we have the same concerns whether we live in the country or in the city:  jobs, health care, pensions, educating our children and yes, Stevie and flunkies, rural Canadians also like the mandatory long form census .

3 comments to Jack Got Lucky, Or Did He? Iggy On The Hot Seat. Bloc With Nothing To Lose. Stevie and Candy, Only Themselves To Blame–Some Last Thoughts Before Gun Registry Vote Tomorrow

  • Hopeful Joe

    I’ll give Iggy his props if he keeps Bagnal in line.
    It’s worth noting that it’s much easier to whip such an urban caucus. If you look at an electoral map of the country you’d see that twice as much of the country is orange as red, and that with half as many seats.
    I’d especially love to see Helena Guergis stick it to Harper by voting down C391.

    ck Reply:

    I wrote Ms Guergis about that; lessons in self-esteem. She’s still sucking up to Stevie Spiteful.

    It appears Bagnell would be the wild card. Iggy made him part of his shadow cabinet, I wonder if that was done to dangle an extra carrot in front of him?

    Last night, in the Globe, Keith Martin, out in Esquimalt Juan diFuca is going along with Iggy and his party, even though he won his seat only by 68 votes.

    Below is the rest of the article.

    ck Reply:

    Looks like Bagnell is voting with the Liberal whip. Apparently, wife suffered miscarriage, thus absence from HOC.

    I am sorry for their loss and after the vote, if he sticks to his word, we should send thank you letters.