Ok, this is partisan but not really. I thought it was really silly when Harper shut down parliament two times in order to disrupt the political process and not merely because the legislative mission had been accomplished earlier than expected (political scientists will get what I am saying here).
As long as I have taught Canadian politics I have always asked my students if they think party discipline helps or hinders the democratic process? The answer of course depends on what you think a representative democracy should be about. I have tended to hew closer to Rousseau: representatives represent their constituents right or wrong. If local politicians cannot convince their local constituents of the veracity of their or their party’s position then tough luck.
There are of course limits but the long registry does not to my mind come close.
Here are the brass tacks of the matter. I doubt very much that the long gun registry is a primary voting issue; it is more of an “and also issue.” That is to say, for most voters I suspect that the long gun registry is a non-mobilizing issue. For some segments of rural and northern Canada it maybe a primary issue but not really in the south. the reality of the situation is that the long gun registry is needlessly divisive and of dubious merit. A free vote is the way these things should be settled: if the majority of representatives vote for something it is passed as the majority will of their constituents.
What liberal bloggers really seem to want Jack to do is force his members to vote against their constituents desires as Iggy has done. I guess a strong leader is someone who believes they have the right to decide for others. The basic instinct of democracy says otherwise.