Mr. Layton is in a difficult spot: 12 of his MPs from rural ridings have told their constituents that they will oppose the registry. The votes of those 12 MP, when added to those of the 144 members of the Conservative caucus plus the two independents who normally vote along Conservative lines, would spell the failure of the motion to kill Ms. Hoeppner’s bill.
But Mr. Layton, who represents a downtown Toronto riding, personally supports the registry, as do other members of his caucus from urban constituencies. So he is proposing to introduce his own legislation – possibly in the form of a private-member’s bill – to address rural concerns.
You're kidding? A new bill wouldn't come up for a vote until the registry was dead and gone, so its useless. A private member's bill might never come up, so is less than useless. And, please, can we dispense with this silly argument about how Jack's being "brave" in allowing his back-benchers to "vote their conscience"? What a load of BS; the NDP knows how to march in lock step as well as any party in the Western word. Pretending that they've suddenly discovered the principle of local democracy is just too rich.
Update: Its to be a private member's bill. I've no idea how this is supposed to "stave off" a final vote on Bill C-391, and presumably neither does Jack or anyone else. Is the vote on C-391 supposed to be postponed until Jack's private member's bill slowly rises to the top of the parliamentary queue?
Update 2: Here's how:
Layton was pressed by reporters on how he expects this bill to become a reality, when Hoeppner's bill is lined up for a vote so soon after Parliament resumes. He suggested that if all parties come onside, they could use the bill as a basis to reach a solution — presumably meaning that Hoeppner's bill would either be amended or would die.
So Jack's compromise would require the Tories to *cough cough* dump bill C-391.