A reader updates us:
I’m aware that Canadian political news doesn’t make much of a dent in the American news cycle, so I thought that you’d enjoy knowing the position taken by the leader of the federal Liberal Party. Justin Trudeau just came out in favour of legalization, going further than the party’s existing stance in favour of decriminalization.
Trudeau won the Liberal leadership in May. He’s the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and he’s been doing surprisingly well since taking the reins of the party. He’s a relative newcomer to politics (first won his seat in the 2008 election) and there’s been much speculation about his ability to lead a party given his youth and lack of experience. But he’s been leading in most polls since May, helped out majorly by the fact that the current PM, Conservative Stephen Harper, has been in power since 2006 and has now found himself in the midst of a few scandals that go right to his office, most prominently a spending scandal involving Conservative senators and the PM’s chief of staff secretly paying $90,000 that one senator was order to repay. But that’s another story.
The experience of Colorado and Washington will probably inform the debate up here, and if it looks like a positive experience, Trudeau’s position will likely only gain more traction in a country that’s already pretty pot-friendly. The Conservatives, on the other hand, have made “tough on crime” one of their central positions (despite all evidence that crime in Canada has been going down – even today, Statistics Canada announced that crime is at the lowest level since 1972). They already suffer from the perception that they’re a bunch of angry old assholes, and being rock-solid against softening marijuana laws will only harden that perception, in my opinion.