Monday, October 26, 2009

Jason Kenney's Reform Party Support Group Wants to Scrap Gun Registry

In their latest attack on the Canadian Gun Registry, apparently the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has drawn the short straw, in the battle of Reform Party think-tanks and phony advocacy groups.

In case you don't know, the CTF was founded by Jason Kenney as part of the army of the Reform movement, dubbed the 'Revolt of the Rich'. The Consumers' Association of Canada warned that it was nothing but pyramid scheme.

" ... the same tactic (as the National Citizens Coalition) was used to create another agent for the corporate elite, the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation. According to the CTF's mission statement, it's threefold purpose is to 'act as a watchdog on government spending, promote responsible fiscal and democratic reforms and mobilize taxpayers to exercise their democratic responsibilities.' Although this may sound reasonably innocuous in theory, the actual activities of the CTF have been anything but passive.

"The connection with the business elite in this second so-called grassroots citizens' movement is both as strong and as obscure as in the NCC. The CTF's own documents go out of their way to insist that it is 'not a lobby group.' Nor is it a special interest. 'Our role is to address government policy on the basis of efficiency and cost' .. 'What we are is a common interest group working for the benefit of taxpayers.' Obviously it has not occurred to CTF members that taxpayers themselves constitute a special interest. According to Andrew Hilton of The Lobby Monitor, the CTF avoids referring to itself as a lobby group specifically because it fears that this 'delegitimizes their desired status as a grassroots movement'."

The similarities with the NCC in terms of organization, decision making and memberships are striking. Like the NCC, the CTF in reality is neither a grassroots movement nor a democratically run organization. One critic has actually described it as 'more of a pyramid sales group than a bottom-up grassroots movement,' and an examination of CTF recruiting tactics explains why."Incredibly, the entire operation of the CTF depends on the recruitment of new members by some sixty-five salespeople operating on commissions .... In 1991 the Consumers' Association of Canada issued a warning about the CTF, noting that approximately 59.5 per cent of membership fees went to the CTF sales force ... (Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 416 - 417)

This doesn't mean that the likes of the Fraser Institute or indeed the National Citizens Coalition, won't be going into full combat mode, as they once again try to arm Canadians.

It's all part of this new so-called Evangelical 'Religious Right' that is neither religious nor right. Rolling Stone journalist, Matt Taibbi went undercover at a John Hagee boot camp for new converts, and included the experience in his book: The Great Derangement.

Hagee is partners with Charles Mcvety, the man who has more power over Stephen Harper than anyone else in this country. "The grown macho man unashamedly breaking into boyish tears in public is one of the weirder features of the post-Promise Keeper Christian generation, and Fortenberry -- himself a Promise Keeper, incidentally -- had it down to a science." Religiously pro-gun and pro-military, makes them anything but Christian.

Therefore, I guess it's fitting that since Reform-Conservative David Sweet brought the Promise Keepers to Canada, Jason Kenney might as well arm them.

Gun registry battle rages
October 26, 2009

OTTAWA -- A federal spending watchdog group is picking up arms in the brewing battle to kill the gun registry, but the pro-control side is fighting back.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is flooding its 60,000 supporters with letters today urging them to lobby MPs and party leaders to help abolish the 14-year-old gun registry. The debate is heating up before a scheduled Nov. 4 vote on private member's bill C-391 to repeal the registry.

CTF federal director Kevin Gaudet said fury remains strong among hunters, anglers and recreational gun groups across the country, who see the registry as an "unresolved festering sore." Others in urban centres hate it just as much for financial reasons.

"It was a stupid idea in the first place and a ridiculous waste of money on an ongoing basis," Gaudet said.

Conservatives are ramping up efforts to pass Manitoba MP Candice Hoeppner's bill to repeal the registry, running radio ads and dropping household flyers in targeted opposition ridings in the run-up to the critical vote that would send C-391 to committee for further study.

Karl Belanger, spokesperson for NDP Leader Jack Layton, said their caucus will be free to vote how they want.

"This is a vote to send a backbencher's bill to committee for further study and will not be whipped," he said, slamming the ads as proof the Conservatives are taking a "divisive" approach.

Jill Fairbrother, spokesperson for Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, said private member's bills are traditionally free votes and she does not expect this one will be any different.

Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control, said the ad campaign in rural ridings could be effective, but also carries high political stakes for the Conservative party trying to win over urban ridings, women voters and Quebec. She insisted the registry is not designed to prevent lawful use of guns but to enhance accountability and reduce the risk of weapons being misused or winding up in the wrong hands.

"If the Conservatives are successful, we will have more information about Canadian cats and dogs than seven million firearms," she said. "Without information about who owns guns and the guns they own, there is no effective control. Internationally, most countries licensing gun owners and registering firearms are moving to strengthen controls. This would be a huge step backwards."

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