Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Say no to the Dark Side, guys!

There’s Niki Ashton, NDP from Churchill. There’s Scott Simms, Liberal from Bonavista. There remain a handful of MPs, young and under tremendous pressure from the Conservative fear machine and conflicting local opinion, who seem still uncertain regarding how they’ll vote later today on the Long Gun Registry.

The natural place for them to be this afternoon is hunting down bloggers for advice. So, please guys:

– Harper is pouring millions into pressure groups, radio ads, and doing everything he can to make you believe your re-election depends on an outright scrapping of the registry. Don’t buy it – rural or urban, Canadians can agree that a compromise on the registry is possible and desirable, and you can vote for that compromise.

– The NDP and Liberal Party are staking themselves on this legislation, in different ways. Ignatieff has whipped it, so it’s a fundamental test of his leadership. Layton has taken the persuasive, pleading route, so it’s a fundamental test for his character. If they fail in their efforts, their leaderships will be thrown into such doubt that all the gains against Harper over the summer will, I imagine, fade away.

– Common sense says: it’s a gun. We register dogs, cats, cars, computer software, every day of our lives. It’s a fringe view that any of this is controversial or conspiratorial. If the long gun registry is imperfect, then it needs to be fixed. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Canadians, rural and urban, aren’t libertarians like a lot of the militia folk in the U.S. The great majority of us – a safe majority of us – don’t criticise the long gun registry on principle – they criticise its cost and effectiveness. Please address those concerns.

– Looking beyond the registry issue itself, the great majority of Canadians are longing for an opposition with the verve, confidence, and the capacity to shut Harper down when he tries to impose legislation we don’t want. A victory today could be the springboard to exactly that energy we need to dump Harper good and proper-like on election day.

Ready, aim, fire, as they say!

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