Justin Trudeau had barely finished taking his foot out of his mouth when he decided to cram it right back in there. Although this time, his foot is giving Canadians an involuntary gag reflex. After spending his years in Parliament defending the long-gun registry, and voting to keep the registry, JT decided he would call the long-gun registry a failure in the Conservative riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. Rightfully, his critics are calling out his hypocrisy.
Trudeau is no stranger to the controversial comment territory, although most of the time, he finds himself in trouble for his trademark lackadaisical, off-the-cuff remarks. From referring to Ministers as bits of excrement, to losing a Twitter battle to Jason Kenney over honour killings, and claiming that Quebecers make better Prime Ministers, Trudeau has never been one to shy away from his now archetypal flippant observations. His dismissal of the long-gun registry, however, is much more damning, as it demonstrates (1) apparent problems with his short-term memory, and (2) political pandering at its worst.
The notion that politicians pander to their given audience is of no surprise to anybody, but even the most naïve of voters can concede to the fact that Trudeau would have never made those remarks in the city of Montreal. In a city that is home to the Polytechnique massacre, the Dawson shooting, Valery Fabrikant and an assassination attempt on our current Premier just mere months ago, Trudeau would have to be either daft or supercilious to declare the long-gun registry a failure in the 514 area code.
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Although, it is important to highlight that Quebec does have a higher rate of guns per capita than other provinces, so it would be a mistake to assert that Quebecers of all stripes suffer from gun aversion. But that's not really the point. If Trudeau did indeed believe that guns make up a very important part of the Canadian identity, as he so stated, then I suppose it's a shame that he was forced to toe the party line that is so ubiquitous in parliamentary politics.
The argument that law-abiding hunters should not have to be responsible for increased gang-related gun crime in urban city centres is valid and is worth consideration. It's just too bad that Trudeau didn't think to consider it himself before this weekend. Voting in a manner dictated by your party is one thing, and going out of your way to make comments declaring that the registry indeed saves lives are another. At the memorial for the 14 victims of the Polytechnique shooting, Trudeau stated, "The Conservatives have tried to separate the gun registry from the issue of violence against women in a way that is not just unethical, but also completely counter to factual evidence," he said. "The gun registry saves lives. They are eliminating it."
Therein lies the flip-floppery.
Interestingly, this just might make him even that more electable. Recent polling has shown that Canadians are much more likely to vote Liberal with Trudeau at the helm, with some even suggesting that he could take down the Conservatives. With the Liberals in desperate need of resuscitation, appealing to rural voters in this manner does not exactly lend credence to the theory that the man is all hair and no brain.
A dynamic, young politician who likes his guns as much as he likes his lattés? Perhaps the Conservatives should be worried.