Politicans in retirement: still clueless

I was just re-reading a news item from back in May at the time when the possibility of the Conservative government killing the long-gun registry was a big news story. The article quoted ex-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who said:

“There’s nothing to it … I don’t understand why we’re having a hard time getting people to register firearms — when people register their bicycles and pets,”

The article went on: 

Chretien also said he had little sympathy with anyone who suggests the registry should be scrapped because of cost overruns that are over $1 billion — and that includes Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “As with any program, there were problems,” said Chretien.

Now here’s a guy who was in charge when the federal Liberals wrote Bill C-68. Who was PM when the battle against the firearms legislation took place and when the government ran the costs of the program to over a billion dollars. Now he pops out of retirement to repeat the old bromide that they licence bicycles and pets so why would you not register guns? Did he not listen to anything over those years? Did nothing sink in to his brain? Well, obviously the answer to both questions is “no”.

And he passes off a billion dollar cost over-run as understandable because every program has problems? It’s scary to think that this guy was running the country for all those years.

It would be easier to take if he had come out and said that what he really wanted to do was get rid of all of the guns in the country. But I suspect that isn’t really the case. He may actually believe that the legislation jammed through by his government will reduce crime and violence and that he probably never really heard or understood any of the discussion and concerns that have gone on in the ensuing years.

Mind you, the fact that Chretien may be clueless about the ramifications of his legislation doesn’t mean that there aren’t people inside the bureaucracy that know exactly what they are doing and where they are going with gun control.

The concern is that when you hear the guy who was top dog and supposedly well briefed spouting nonsense you wonder what percentage of our elected officials have any understanding of the issues when they come before them in parliament. The sad truth to that is that they don’t have to understand, they just have to vote on the issue as they are instructed to in caucus.


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