Whatever else it demonstrated, last week’s vote over the long-gun registry has shown Yukoners the true priorities of Larry Bagnell.
In voting to preserve the registry, Bagnell made it very clear that, when push comes to shove, his loyalty to Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party is more important than standing up for the unambiguous wishes of his constituents.
Until this latest round of votes, Bagnell has been consistent and unwavering in his opposition to the registry. He has voted against it in the past and been vocal in his criticisms of it as a waste of money and adding nothing to the well-being or safety of Canadians Ã accurately reflecting the vast majority of those who have historically voted for him.
But, as he explained to the press after the vote, to have defied the Liberal Party whip on this vote would have cost him his place in the Liberal Party. Thus demonstrating that, when push comes to shove, being faithful to Ignatieff is a more pressing concern than being faithful to his constituents.
True, Ignatieff might have tossed Bagnell from the Liberal caucus. But imagine Ã the pointless long-gun registry would have been on its way to the scrap heap and Bagnell, perhaps as a newly minted independent, would be able to stand up proudly as the champion of his constituents. But not now.
Bagnell is correct that there is more to life and politics than what we may now call Bagnell’s long-gun registry.
But now we know where things really stand.
Irrespective of what Bagnell may say in the future, his fundamental commitment is to Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada.
When it comes to making hard choices, it is not Yukon priorities that will come first.
Barrett W. Horne, president
Yukon Conservative Association