In a desperate move to distract the public from Dion's lack of leadership and his flip-flop on the Green Shift, the Liberals issued a press release accusing the NDP of having a secret deal with the Marijuana Party.
The accusation is of course, ridiculous. The NDP's (very appropriate) response was:
"This is pure fantasy," campaign spokesman Brad Lavigne said. "The New Democratic Party has made no such deal with any other party or with any individual ... This is nonsense, absolute nonsense." -CTV.ca, Sept 20, 2008I applaud Lavigne's restraint. My reaction would have been something like "What the @$#% have they been smoking over there?"
Just because Dion and the Liberal Party need to form coalitions with fringe parties to get elected, doesn't mean the NDP does as well.
And before they started throwing around accusations, the Liberals really should have made sure that their asses were covered on this issue.
The Dion Liberals just issued a press release entitled “Layton must come clean on Marijuana Party deal”. The same release, word for word, could have been issued raising questions of the Dion Liberals and their ties to the Marijuana Party.
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has not “come clean” with Canadians about the terms of his deal with the former Marijuana Party Marc-Boris St-Maurice.
The former leader of the Marijuana Party, who ran against Prime Minister Paul Martin in the 2004 general election, quit and joined the Liberals in 2005.
“I believe that if any party will ever legalize marijuana in Canada, it is the Liberals," St-Maurice said in a statement, “And I hope to bring my knowledge and expertise on this issue to help the Liberal Party develop new policies, programs and legislation which address the marijuana situation.”
(CBC.ca , February 28, 2005)
St-Maurice also donated $1000 to Stephane Dion’s leadership campaign. SOURCE
Aside from the blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Liberal Party, this whole thing is just bizarre.
I mean, they are attacking the NDP on marijuana? Really? There's no story here. There are no secrets. The NDP isn't hiding anything. The NDP policy on the decriminalization (not the same as legalization btw) of marijuana has been publicly available since it passed at one of our conventions (cannot recall which one). New Democrats, and a vast number of Canadians, don't think it's right that people should go to jail with gang-bangers and hardened criminals for smoking pot.
There are serious criminals out there (ENTER cocaine smuggler who supported Dion's leadership...double zing) who the police need to be able to focus on. I live in East Vancouver where my car gets broken into at least once a week (not an exaggeration unfortunately). I want the police after those people rather than some hippies who get together to smoke pot and listen to Grateful Dead records.
As for Dana Larsen and Kirk Tousaw, they deserve a lot of credit for stepping down as candidates to avoid doing what Marc Emery and the Liberal Party are doing now: sensationalizing the marijuana issue during a federal election to take attention away from issues that Canadians are actually concerned with.
While Canadians are deeply concerned about our economic and environmental future, they are not listing marijuana policy as one of their top vote-determining issues. But Marc Emery, leader of the Marijuana Party, desperately wants their attention. So, Emery the pot crusader teamed up with the Liberals to concoct wild stories about make-believe pacts with Jack Layton. Lay off the hallucinogens buddy.