Saturday, February 04, 2006

Timing is Everything

Unquestionably, one of the biggest political fumbles of the past election was Martin's response to the issue of handguns. Martin's immediate call for a handgun ban was interpreted as political opportunism at its worst. The Liberals took a hit in the polls and editorials, allowing Harper to take the high ground on this sensitive issue. I wonder how Martin's proposal would have been received, if this story came out during the debate:

Forty handguns including tiny Derringer-like pocket pistols discovered stolen from an Oshawa house yesterday could have disappeared anytime within the past 12 days, says the man who spent a lifetime collecting the weapons.

Ken Foster, 67, said he arrived home from hospital yesterday to discover the back door of his Front St. home kicked in and the gun and ammunition cabinets upstairs broken open and emptied....

The incident is believed to be the biggest known theft of handguns in recent Ontario history.

This story demonstrates how timing is everything in politics, wherein events dictate perception and reaction. Had Martin made his handgun ban proposal within the context of this story, it would have been debated on merits, rather than political posturing accusations. At the time, Martin did attempt to stress that stolen guns were an issue, but this assertion was lost in the noise. This story would have focused the debate and afforded Martin the opportunity to make his case with perceived clear motives.

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