In October 2010, the bill was killed by an opposition motion, which passed by a slim margin of 153-151. The motion was supported by 75 Liberals, 48 Bloc Quebecois and 30 New Democrats. Two Independent MPs sided with the 143 Conservatives.So never mind the explicit recognition that NDP MP's weren't compelled to vote according to a party line at all. If the story demands that one be made up in order to declare that some MPs "broke" it, then so be it.
Six NDP MPs broke with their party and voted with the government to scrap the registry. This occurred because NDP leader Jack Layton allowed his caucus to vote their conscience by not "whipping" the vote, or compelling them to vote according to the party line.
But have no fear. This mixup will be corrected by...outsiders decreeing that independent MP thought will not be tolerated in the future:
Hicks said Layton can't afford to allow much internal disagreement on the issue because he must demonstrate to Canadians he can control his caucus.Of course, the Libs were able to allow free votes on the gun registry not only in opposition, but also while in power. But now that the NDP has improved its place in Canada's political party standings, the rules have changed - apparently based on little more than spin from the parties who have been left behind.
"When you're leader of the Opposition, your ability to control your caucus becomes a test of your competence as leader," he said. "Now that Jack Layton lives at Stornoway, this is something he has to tackle in a way he didn't before."
And all this while the Cons have the votes to push through their legislation without any opposition party support. Suffice it to say that once they've rendered the issue moot by doing so, this kind of hackery won't be missed.