Thursday, November 05, 2009

Keep your eye on the puck!!

The Conservatives have had a terrible month. It began with accusations of using stimulus funds for partisan purposes and using taxpayers funds for partisan advertizing. The partisan use of stimulus funds was backed up by independent observers. More recently, it has become increasingly apparent that the Conservatives have FUBARed the roll-out of the H1N1 vaccine. Again, independent observers, including the Auditer General, have backed up that assertion and the intervention of the AG even puts paid to any accusations of the Opposition politicising this issue.

Considering all of this would it be smarter of Liberals to keep hammering away at the government on these issues or to self-immolate themselves ONCE AGAIN over some silly issue, like for example, Liberal Members voting to support a Bill to scrap the gun registry?

It would appear for some Liberals that they would prefer the latter.

The reaction from some Liberals has been quite over the top. Accusations of violating Liberal principles, claiming that those who voted with the Conservatives last night are not "real" Liberals and taking pot shots at the party leadership for letting it happen.

Talk about misplaced priorities and an overreaction. Those Liberals need to take a pill for many reasons.

1) It's a freaking private members bill. The lowest of the low of bills in Parliament. It took months to go from first reading to last night's vote and it will take months more to complete the parliamentary process, probably dying on the order paper in the Spring when we have an election.

2) It was second reading. There is alot of time left to modify this bill in committee.

3) This could be an opportunity for the Liberals to exploit a law and order issue that the Conservatives consistantly find themselves on the wrong side, provided the Liberals play it right. The Conservatives used a back door method to make this attempt and they whipped the vote, including forcing a Member to vote despite H1N1 concerns. That gives the Liberals a golden opportunity to again make gun control an issue. There is a reason why the Conservatives chose this method. They know they are vulnerable on this issue so the Liberals should be exploiting that vulnerability. Incidentally, Mr. Ignatieff looked like he was trying to do just that last night but it was lost in the cacophony of recriminations from some Liberals. If Liberals really want to save the Registry make it uncomfortable for the Conservatives to continuing to back this bill. That is going to take a disciplined communications strategy, involving independent observers and experts over the next few weeks and months. Degenerating into recriminations and accusation is probably the best way to embolden the Conservatives to continue on their present course and speed up the Registry's demise.

4) To claim that someone who disagrees with you is not a real or good Liberal is hubris of the highest order. Such assertions indicate that you believe you are the only ones with the right answers. That is the hallmark of an ideologue and an extremist. It is not something I have come to expect from Liberals.

Many Liberals proudly claim that the Party is a big tent party. Well, if that is what you want the Liberal Party to be then you better be prepared to tolerate those who disagree with you.

5) In politics expediency sometimes trumps principle. That is just the way it is. If you cannot accept that fact then I would suggest you find another interest besides politics. You will live longer.

I find it kind of funny that many of the same Liberals who ridiculed the NDP for taking the expedient route of supporting the government are now complaining about expediency within their own party. Many of those Liberals gave NDP supporters the advice that they should just acknowledge that the NDP is like any other political party. I would suggest that they take their own advice.

As well, do not assume that the Liberals who voted with the Conservatives made their decisions because of expediency. The creation of the Register was controversial amongst Liberals from the beginning because not all Liberals agreed with its creation. Some of these Members might have made this decision because they thought it was the right thing to do.

Again, if you believe their principles are somehow inferior to your own I would suggest that is the height hubris as well. It is that kind of hubris that eventually leads to the fall of governments. It is disconcerting that we are seeing it among some Liberals before the Liberals have won anything.

6) The days of the Registry were numbered as soon as the Conservatives won government. The fact it has survived this long is quite amazing and a testement to the fact it is supported by the majority of Canadians. To make certain that it continues to survive until the Liberals win an election Liberals are going to have to be smart about opposing the government on it and they are going to have to avoid complacancy.

If Liberals really want to save the Registry they are going to have to win an election, full stop. That is the only way to secure it. So Liberals have to stop handing their opponents the gift of disunity over what the Party says or does. It is the right thing to do politically and it is the right thing to do for a party that claims to tolerate different viewpoints and ideas.

22 Comments:

Blogger CanadianSense said...

Great post. I agree with allowing dissent with the party and the senate will "study" it.

I think the H1N1 posturing will backfire as will the Olympic "conspiracy" charges.

BTW I hope they don't stop accusing the CPC of flu deaths and taking over the logos.

Best of luck on those by-elections.

November 05, 2009 8:09 PM  
Blogger Tomm said...

Ottlib,

Sorry man, but the Liberal's are continuing their death spiral.

Firstly, no Canadian, excepting partisan's, are blaming the Federal government for the H1N1 outlay line ups. They didn't do anything wrong and despite all the smoke and mirrors, Canadian's still don't think the Feds did anything wrong. Craig Oliver browbeating the Federal Health Minister on Question Period was just ugly. If she wasn't a lady...

The Liberal's are wearing this flu business. Body bags... delays causing deaths... emergency debates... they are hysterical and Canadian's see right through their faux outrage.

Secondy, the Conservative's timing with the long gun registry was masterful. Talking about keeping your eyes on the puck. The Tories lose no votes or seats with this, but force the Liberal's to play ball in committee and in the Senate or lose more face. They also deliver for their rural voters... and Liberal and NDP rural voters too. Wendy Cukier's 15 minutes of fame are finally up.

Thirdly, the leader of the official opposition had to fire his chief of staff for incompetence. Let me say this again, Michael Ignatieff, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada had to publicly fire his Chief of Staff for incompetence. He replaced him with a Toronto pollster with a Chretien tattoo on his left buttock.

Sorry Ottlib the collapse of September was replaced by the swoon of October and is now moving into the ********* (you pick) of November.

Nice that you are seeing the glass as half full though.

November 05, 2009 9:38 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Tomm,

A piece of trivia for you.

When the AG broke the Sponsorship Scandal the Liberal polling numbers did not move. They stayed in majority territory for weeks afterwards. They were still there when Paul Martin called the 2004 election.

It was only when that began and Canadians began to pay attention to it that Liberal numbers retreated.

These kinds of scandals and events rarely have an immediate impact on the horse race numbers. Instead they fester. In the meantime supporters of the party involved in these scandals get lulled into a false sense of security.

Like you.

Conservatives have been on the wrong side of the gun control debate for years. Can you seriously tell me it is smart politics to bring it back as an issue?

Who cares who is the Chief of Staff for Mr. Ignatieff. I am a political animal and I did not know the name of the last one. No one who does not follow politics on a daily basis cares about the inner workings of Mr. Ignatieff's office. Indeed, the same can be said of the inner workings of the PMO.

November 05, 2009 10:11 PM  
Blogger Tomm said...

Ottlib,

Good point about tides of change as opposed to flavours of the week.

However, the long gun registry can't hurt the Conservative's. Not today, and not in an election campaign. The only place it has traction is in the uber urban areas of the big three cities. Places the Tories aren't expecting to get. Further, they are on the side of God and the Angels here. Canadian's don't want big brother registering and taking away their rights to long guns. They just don't. Long Guns aren't a problem in this country and have never been a problem. Assault weapons and hand guns are still fully controlled.

To claim that Gamil Rodrigue Gharbi (aka Marc Lepine) would have been stopped from his murderous rampage at Ecole Polytechnic by a long gun registry is very debateable (some would say silly).

This registry, and Allan Rock's sprited and arrogant defense of it, is also another thing that divides Torontonian's and other Canadian's.

There are just no good reasons for this registry.

November 05, 2009 10:53 PM  
Blogger Tof KW said...

“There are just no good reasons for this registry.”

So, say, the police checking the registry for firearms on the premises of 9-1-1 called domestic dispute …is not a good reason to keep it? Probation boards checking the registry before granting bail, or setting terms and conditions if granted …is not a good reason to keep it? Or Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair only just last week hailing the registry as being instrumental in the seizure of a 58 guns (I’m pretty sure not from law-abiding farmers and hunters) …is not a good reason to keep it?

“Canadian's don't want big brother registering and taking away their rights to long guns.”

Who says the government is taking away anyone’s long guns? That is unless you are involved in serious crimes, which exempts probably over 99% of gun owners. Are you also afraid the government is about to take away our automobiles since those are all registered with big brother too? By the way, we have no ‘rights’ in this country to gun ownership, just as we have no ‘rights’ to drive a car. It’s a privilege to own either, which can and should be taken away if you use either/or to break the law.

“To claim that Gamil Rodrigue Gharbi (aka Marc Lepine) would have been stopped from his murderous rampage at Ecole Polytechnic by a long gun registry is very debateable (some would say silly).”

Agreed it’s debatable and it probably wouldn’t have prevented it, but not silly. If it existed back then and this guy’s mental instability had been picked up by someone and called into the police, and they in turn checked the registry, there is a possibility (even remote) that his gun ownership would have ended before the fatal shootings ever occurred.

Look Tomm, I’ve come from rural surroundings and you make some very good points. Gun ownership in the country is practically essential and everyone should recognize this, and not just for hunting and vermin control. This may not sound very politically correct to big city dwellers, but when you’re living miles from the nearest inhabitation of any kind and you think you have an intruder in your home, if you call the police what kind of response time to people think you’d get? At least having a .22 around gives you some comfort.

The long gun registry as it stands now has serious flaws in it; such as the criminal severity of people who don’t register, or charging so much to try to get gun owners to flip the registry’s bill (it should be practically free in my books), or just reducing the cost of the damned thing in the first place. But it is irresponsible to just toss the long gun registry into the dust heap. Frankly this whole debate has taken on an us-versus-them philosophy not unlike a sports team rivalry, with both Liberals and Conservatives to blame for politicizing so much that important points both sides hold are lost in all the ultra-rhetoric. There is a middle ground that should be reached here, and I think that’s what all the police organizations are hoping for right now.

November 06, 2009 1:09 AM  
Blogger rockfish said...

"Canadian's don't want big brother registering and taking away their rights to long guns."

But Canadians want big brother to be watching them from streetcams, which is a big 'law-and-order' tool for conservatives, right? They also want to be forced by big brother to give a breathalyzer at the drop of a hat, and to give free search and seizure opportunities... The CONs have done a good job of turning issues into 'us vs them', but somewhere down the road they'll find themselves with the odds stacked against them. That's when Harper runs back to the G-G and begs for another (hey, three times lucky, right?) proroguation...

November 06, 2009 2:55 AM  
Blogger WesternGrit said...

I'm sure the anger some of us over here at W-Grit had about the "vote" was a bit "weighty"... but as people who faced REAL hazards knocking doors on the Prairies in the 90s, defending the registry; then watching angry, foaming-at-the-mouth Cons/Reformers; watching their seething anger... Just felt like it was time to give them some of their own medicine back.

The Liberals in our party will always be Liberal in a lot of other ways. We all stand in different places on different issues. We do tend to agglomerate around the center - making us liberal. Still, this gun issue is one of those issues that defines Liberals and Conservatives around the world - not just in our little corner of the world.

Some of us will still choose to boycott events that some of these MPs are appearing as keynote speakers, however, their being elected under the banner is still better than a Reform-a-Tory, or someone from the far left...

November 06, 2009 2:59 AM  
Blogger CfSR said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 06, 2009 6:53 AM  
Blogger CfSR said...

I'm not prepared to not to be angry.

There will be deadly consequences for vulnerable people if the gun registry is repealed.

That's just wrong. When we, as Liberals, put poltics ahead of worrying about the vulnerable, we've lost sight of the ball - we're not better than the Tories.

Frankly, I've got better things to do than collaborate in kids' deaths. Apparently, Anthony Rota, Wayne Easter and others don't. That's a shame.

BTW, It costs noting to register a gun now. That fee had been waived and then was eliminated in 2004 - by a Liberal government.

November 06, 2009 6:54 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...

WG and CfRS:

If you want to preserve the gun registry work to defeat the Conservatives in the next election.

That is the only way to secure it. As long as they are in power they will continue to try to destroy it and eventually they will find a way to succeed.

Losing that focus and getting all bent out of shape over the decisions of your fellow Liberals will be self-defeating and could very well accelerate the registry's demise.

November 06, 2009 8:09 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Tomm,

If the long gun registry cannot hurt the Conservatives why are they taking the back door approach to abolishing it?

Why not introduce a government bill and defend it?

Governments generally do not try to change the laws of the land by stealth unless they believe that trying to change it in a more open fashion will cause them political harm.

The very actions of the government you support contradicts your statements.

November 06, 2009 8:14 AM  
Blogger Tomm said...

Ottlib,

You said:

"...If the long gun registry cannot hurt the Conservatives why are they taking the back door approach to abolishing it?

Why not introduce a government bill and defend it?"

Because Ignatieff and Layton would whip their votes and ensure its defeat. The government wanted this bill to pass. They are in a minority and had to find the mechanism for its victory. They are a few Senate seats away from majority and could only assure passage this way.

If they wanted to lose this vote but gain partisan advantage they would certainly have made it a party vote.

Maybe they will do something similar with the Canadian Wheat Board.

November 06, 2009 9:44 AM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Nice spin Tomm you almost had me convinced that you believe it.

November 06, 2009 10:37 AM  
Blogger CanadianSense said...

Ottolib,

you are questioning the logic or strategy of the CPC in

a)allowing a private members Bill
b)supporting it


After being in office for over 1300 days taking turns in getting every opposition party to prop them up you are now suggesting this is some "mistake".

Are the CPC masters strategists or lucky checker players?

Are the opposition have a bad day, week or month?

This Private Members Bill has many opportunities to do a great deal of damage.

We are witnessing a couple of angry bloggers having a meltdown.

We are witness some pundits and groups in QC being "enraged".

Are those MP's who were NOT whipped going to be punished or allowed to vote on behalf of what they believe is in their own self interest?

A private members Bill is SLOW and is going to be used to

a) divide rural vs urban
b) free votes vs whipping
c) leadership capital


How many of these MP's are going to put all their "eggs" in the party basket of the leader to re-elect them?

Are these MP's oblivious to their constituents?

MP's are free to vote and pay a price.

Is MI capable of penalizing ANYONE in his party?

Jack Layton?

Removal from committee's? Refusal to sign endorsement for next election?

I don't think either of those two leaders are going to wield a hammer over this issue.

November 06, 2009 12:55 PM  
Blogger marie said...

ottlib, great post and I think someone had better send your post to the liberals. It might open their eyes and get them going in the right direction.

November 06, 2009 10:31 PM  
Blogger marie said...

I still think the long gun egistry is a good idea. The RCMP use it for such things as domestic disputes they are called for. At least they then know if there is a possibility of being blown away when they go to that location. I am sure there are many more reasons that they use it for and unless we walk in their shoes, who are we to dispute the reasons why they feel the registry should remain. We should be able to take them at their word and not the politions or their lazy supporters.

As for the liberals being whipped to vote, I see that not one Con voted against the private bill so open up your eyes and see which party is actually guilty of whipping their MP's.The only party guilty of what you blab about is Harpers reform Cons. Canadian Senseless, if Ignatieff and Layton had whipped their cacaus, the bill would not have passed right? Use a little common sense when you make those kind of accusations why don't you?

November 06, 2009 10:47 PM  
Blogger marie said...

However, the long gun registry can't hurt the Conservatives. Not today, and not in an election campaign. That’s your opinion and you may just end up eating your words. Tomm, when I see or hear anything about the Reform Cons, I don’t see the glass half full but I do see it empty.

I for one do not like having to pay for those idiots campaigning and I would think all of you wouldn't either because the facts are that all of us Canadians are going to pay through the nose for it through our taxes and social program cuts. So will our children, their children and their own children. Is that the future we want our off springs to have?

"Common sense" not senseless is very important to preserve the country that we love and respect. Not going around blind sited with partisan blindfolds without thinking a little about the consequences of our own actions.

This is not about what I think. It should be about what we all know to be facts before expressing opinions that are false and unproved. That especially goes for the Media as well. The problem seems to be that we are just to gullible in believing what they print or say because in our minds, it edify’s what we want to believe.

November 07, 2009 2:31 PM  
Blogger CanadianSense said...

Marie can you link me any proof how a gun registry has stopped a crime?

Can you show me the Policy Paper with statistics that was responsible for the introduction of the Gun Registry.

To date not a single person has been able to produce a Report why it was put into place with facts and figures.

After living through the Billion in cuts to Ontario from the 90's Liberals I don't need to fear the current government.

Keving Page has confirmed the biggest expenditure is restoring the cuts to health, education ans social transfers from the Liberals.

Every Premier on January got behind Harper and is dedicated to help magnify the spending on projects to help us weather the global meltdown.

The Liberals in opposition chose to offer ZERO ideas and ZERO conditions for rolling over. MI spent the break writing a book.

Sadly marie your blinder to historical FACTS and your partisan posting renders your entire creditibility ZERO.

The remaining few liberal partisans left on libblogs making excuses for their party.

November 07, 2009 2:58 PM  
Blogger marie said...

To date not a single person has been able to produce a Report why it was put into place with facts and figures. How about you provide a link while your at it. I did say that we should be using common sense but you just don't get it do you?

The Liberals in opposition chose to offer ZERO ideas and ZERO conditions for rolling over. MI spent the break writing a book. Wrong CS. He was all over Canada speaking but again the media didn't cover that and your just repeating Con talk.

Sadly marie your blinder to historical FACTS and your partisan posting renders your entire creditibility ZERO. Welcome to my world CS. Your credibilty ranks right there with what you accuse me of. Get a life and prove to us all how credible you really are in your own remarks. Common Sense!!!!!
Practice that yourself CS. You obviously don't have much of a life so don't get too lonely out there surfing all the blogs with your snseless posts.

I am so done with you. I will just skip over them in the future.

November 07, 2009 5:40 PM  
Blogger CanadianSense said...

Marie the Media are covering the Liberals and they are stating he is out of touch with Canadians.

The Polls reflect his policies and ideas make little sense and the Liberals are ignoring the good news in Canada and have decided to cherry pick and report only negative aspects to "scare us" from the current government.

That is why they have dropped another 3% in the Polls.

They have offered nothing in the HOC. The "free ride" liberals who support every single motion 80x?

One no-confidence vote in 4 years from the Liberals?

That Record of voting by the Liberal MP's is clear.

November 07, 2009 6:03 PM  
Blogger marie said...

Marie the Media are covering the Liberals and they are stating he is out of touch with Canadians.
Isn't that part of the proble. We all know where the Media stands on politics don't we. They are deeply embedded with the politicians looking for handouts no doubt. Don't believe all that you hear is my motto. Duffy is a Prime example of what the Media can do for a party that the Media doesn't support. CTV is probably the worse one and their word means nothing. I don't even watch them anymore. They are a complete joke. Owned by Canwest and its clear who they support.

Forget about the Liberals and how they voted. They obviously helped Stevie keep his job a few times all because the media kept saying that Canadians did not want an election.You should be thanking him instead of mocking him.BTW, show me where they dropped in the polls. Did you ever think that Canadians are honest when polled? I don't think so at all and besides, who do they poll when they want high results? They have never called me or my extended family ever in the past 65 years.Alberta would be my guess. Did you know that Carp did a poll in Ontario and if an election were to be called, 75% of seniors would vote Liberal. Scary for the Cons isn't it. The young vote Cons and on average they don't really take the time to go to the polls much. Offer them a beer or two and to hell with the polls. I should know because I have grandchildren in those age groups and politics are the furthest topic from their minds. Booze and Parties are more appealing. They haven't got time for Politics or the interest.

Now this is the very last time I will respond to your posts. You prove that what your actually saying is reality and not fiction and with links to prove your own words. Good bye.

November 07, 2009 8:56 PM  
Blogger CanadianSense said...

You can look at the Elections Canada Website under General Elections.

PM Martin 2004 the Liberals were at 37.6%. Two years later Liberal earned 30.3% 2006 after that we returned to the next Official Poll and we gave the Liberals the worst pop since 1867 26.3%-2008. Not a polling company but actual ballots counted.

Forget how the Liberals voted for the past four years?

Nope, it is your track record as well.

Please stop pretending your care about Canada or the truth. Your political bias notwithstanding is a big enough problem.

Your delusional understanding of historical FACTS is too great and I don't have the time or desire to help you. Try google or a public library.

November 07, 2009 9:17 PM  

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