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Question: When should a free vote not be allowed on a private members bill?

Answer: When the governing party in power decides to put out a 10%’er ad and radio blitz to try and pressure opposition MP’s in rural ridings to vote to kill the long gun registry:

Ahead of a vote that could bring an end to the hotly debated federal gun registry, the governing Conservatives are running radio advertisements in select ridings, hoping to put pressure on potential swing votes. The ads, running predominantly in rural ridings, encourage citizens to call and e-mail opposition MP’s whose support would help the government pass a private member’s bill that calls for the gun registry to be discontinued.

Let’s be clear: this is a private members bill by a Conservative MP. This is not official legislation from the Conservative government. Yet, ads are being run as if it were an official bill, while at the same time, Conservative MP’s and Cabinet Ministers are publicly imploring Opposition parties to allow a “free” vote as traditionally done on a “private members bill”.

This is nothing more then a back-door attempt to kill the long gun registry – where apparently the Conservative government is resorting to trickery to try and get it passed. The opposition leadership should respond that the Conservative’s ad blitz effectively shows this “private members bill” is trickery, and the vote on November 4 should be whipped (that included you, Liberal Anthony Rota, and you, NDP’er Nathan Cullen) and this latest farce being used by the Conservatives to be defeated.

10 comments to Question: When should a free vote not be allowed on a private members bill?

  • It’s nice to finally find a web site where the blogger knows really well about his subject.

  • Jack

    As I see it the long gun registry is a BIG waste of tax payers dollars. The problem falls on Minister Alan Rock when he told the country her was going to make our streets safer by putting into law a mandatory 4 yr sentence onto any term served when a firearm was used in the commission of an offence… what he didn’t tell us was there was already a mandatory 3 yr sentence on the books.. Since that time the mandatory sentence has gone up to 10 yrs.. Have you ever heard of someone getting that sentence… Not likely,, because the Crown Prosecutors plea bargain to drop the charge for guilty pleas on the original offense. The question I ask the fearful public is “have you seen a difference in the street crime since the new mandatory sentences have been on the books?” NOT LIKELY. And it is not the long guns that are responsible. It is the thousands of smuggled handguns used by people who would not likely register any guns at any time. Its time we sit back and realize it is not the long guns registery that is going to solve the problem. Stop the crown prosecutors from plea bargaining away some thing that could be more of a deterent at making the streets safer and JQ hunter having to register is shotgun. Scrap the long gun registry and put our saved tax dollars to help fight crime and or evil. I am retired RCMP

  • dillon

    If this bill is defeated, there will be lineups across Canada to register all the illegal shotguns and 22.s. Canadians will be safe again.

  • wilson

    Not the Whip nor the Leader of a party sent MPs to Parliament,
    the people did.

    So go ahead and whip the people,
    they may just whip you right back, next election.

  • Quebec progun?

    A unanimous call from the national assembly to keep the gun registry is progun?

    Even Conservative fellow traveller and then ADQ leader Mario Dumont supported keeping the registry. Dumont was not elected from a large urban centre.

    And of the Tory MPs, 5 include significant chunks of urban Quebec City and its adjoining urban and suburban communities.

    Pro-gun? I doubt that American expression has much currency in those five riding. And not because it’s in English.

    In the spirit of the sort of free vote that the Tories say they want for opposition MPs to vote they constituents’ alleged views, Tory MPs should be allowed to do the same.

    And if the Quebec City MPs are voting their constituents’ values, they’ll vote to defeat Bill C-391.

  • Big Winnie

    This vote should be “whipped”. How can Conservatives support a bill that will eliminate a tool that police forces, from across Canada, use on a daily basis? Is this another part of their “tough on crime” bill?

    Where are the stats to prove that the registry isn’t wanted by the Police forces?
    Where are the names of Police Forces/Associations that want the registry eliminated?
    Since the inception, what are maintenance costs?
    If gun owners have nothing to hide, why don’t they register their guns?

    So what’s the problem?

  • Phil

    If it was a really free vote, Quebec Tory MPs would have already broken from the Reform Party’s legacy to oppose this bill and reflect the views of their constituents.

    Why? Quebecers are the second most populous gun owners in Canada. Those ridings ARE pro-gun.

  • Phil

    I think you guys should whip the vote. A number of those MP’s the Tories are targeting are in ridings they can pick up in the next election (ie. Sault Ste Marie, Western Arctic, Welland, Malpeque, Elmwood—Transcona, Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca).

  • Whip it… Whip it good…

  • That’s easy.

    When the government treats it as a free vote.

    If it was a really free vote, Quebec Tory MPs would have already broken from the Reform Party’s legacy to oppose this bill and reflect the views of their constituents.

    The government appears to be whipping its side.

    The opposition should too.

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