Monday, March 23, 2009

Stephen Harper thinks MPs have consciences?

Stephen Harper wants to loosen the gun-control laws. No surprise. He wants Parliament to pass a bill to that end. No surprise.

But Stephen Harper believes that MPs have a right to make up their own minds on important matters of public policy? Surprise!

Harper urged members of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to contact opposition MPs and pressure them to support legislation that would target the six-year-old program.

"We are looking to unite a majority of MPs in repealing the long gun registry," Harper told the group in a speech in Mississauga, west of Toronto.

"The leaders of the opposition parties continue to be against this. But there are MPs in all these parties that know what we know, that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem."

"I challenge you to press these MPs to follow their consciences."

'Course, when you read the fine print, it's the old scam. He wants opposition members to follow their consciences, and then he will attack the opposition leaders for being too weak to prevent them from doing so.

But the idea is sound. Imagine what a lively, responsible, useful place a Parliament could be if MPs said, "You know, what the party leadership wants is actually bad public policy. Some of us are going to urge something different. And if we can't change party policy, so be it. We'll agree to disagree on this one."

Bill Casey, Conservative MP, said essentially that last year. He's out of the Conservative caucus now.
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