Justin Trudeau has taken a policy stand, one calculated to trigger condemnation from the Harper regime. Pushing on an open door, Trudeau has come out in favour of not just decriminalization but outright legalizing of marijuana possession and use.
Even Paul Martin wanted to get marijuana possession and use out of the criminal realm. If memory serves, Martin's proposal would have permitted adult Canadians to grow up to three plants to meet their personal needs. Then again, I've known people who could grow a pot plant almost the size of the White House Christmas tree.
The majority of Canadians, it seems, are onside with Trudeau's views especially after we've watched how far U.S. states have gone without succumbing to a stoner crisis or crime waves. Besides, Harper's approach is a proven and complete failure. He can't stop people growing it, he can't stop the public buying it, he can't stop ordinary, law-abiding people using it. What he can do, however, is maximize the income stream of organized crime. Steve, they love you, they really love you.
I'd like to credit J. Trudeau with a brilliant strategy except it's not brilliant, it's obvious. It's not novel either. All he's done is take a stand that ensures Harper will have no choice but to break from the views of the majority of Canadians. That's not brilliant. That's not novel. That's a no-brainer.
And for those who think the opposition parties must not risk revealing policy in advance of last minute, 6-week election campaign, this shows why you're simply and utterly wrong. Harper is on the wrong side of the Canadian electorate on just about anything remotely progressive. By ducking issues like this out of fear of the dreaded, big, bad, Harper all you're doing is not staking unclaimed turf, not differentiating yourself from this rancid, clapped-out regime, not speaking to issues that resonate with the Canadian public but go unmentioned.
Harper wants to play centrist, a moderate. Draw him in, make him take stands, force Stephen Harper to show that he's anything but moderate. This chump has been leading with his chin for years and has triumphed thanks to an opposition too timid to take a swing.
For Canada's sake, J.T., don't stop now. Mix it up, draw some lines. That's how you push phonies like Harper back out to the radical right where they really lurk. Fill the centre with progressive centrist policies. With the political compression that set in during Iggy's watch you either have to reinflate the Liberal centre or get crushed into irrelevance from the left and the right.
J.T., I'm not a believer in such things, but if you could just somehow manage to channel a bit of your old man, you could be whipping Steve Harper like the proverbial red headed stepchild.