In the same sinister fashion that the gladiator wielded the eponymous gladius, the attack ad is by far the politician’s most potent weapon—a must-have in any political campaign’s sludge-filled arsenal. One could say that it is a sawed-off butter knife, perfectly suited for stabbing purposes once buttering up an opponent’s adversary fails. With deadly efficacy, a well-placed series of attack ads obliterates all traces of common sense, human decency, and honesty, crippling all but the smuttiest of candidates. In short, it transforms an otherwise orderly political debate into a knuckle dragging “he said-she said” circus attraction.
While political lowlifes of all stripes generally rely upon this vile instrument of mass misinformation, none have owned up to this fact more in recent days than the Conservatives. Facing tough competition from the Liberals in the coming federal election, it would appear that Stephen Harper is finally giving up on trying to improve his own image. Instead, he is looking to win by smearing Justin Trudeau’s image with ridiculous accusations. This time, the focus is on everyone’s favourite taboo subject: marijuana.
In Justin Trudeau’s Brave New World, we will be forced to become addicted to marijuana from childbirth.
Within a single week, the Conservatives have launched three different attack ads targeting Trudeau’s pro-pot stance in an attempt to hammer home the message that a Grit-led government would inevitably lead to increased marijuana usage amongst kids. The intensive propaganda bombardment was conducted in anticipation of Marc “The Prince of Pot” Emery’s return to Canada following a 5-year reduced prison sentence for selling marijuana seeds south of the border. Having been shafted by current prohibition laws, Emery is coming back with a vengeance. Already, he has decided to endorse the Liberals in the coming federal election (the Green party never gets love from pot heads), and he is now looking to turn marijuana legalization into a key issue. This puts the Grits in an especially difficult situation since the party must now struggle to distance itself from Emery’s criminal record while sustaining hostile fire from the Conservatives.
During a visit to Saskatoon last week, Trudeau lashed out at the federal government over a recent Postmedia report that Health Canada had approached three doctors’ groups to sign onto an anti-pot advertising campaign. “We know that Canadian taxpayers are getting extremely frustrated with the fact this government tends to use public money for ads that do more for its partisan aims than for actual public service,” Trudeau said. Fortunately, the three doctors’ groups that were approached—the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada—declined to get involved with the campaign. “We did not, and do not, support or endorse any political messaging or political advertising on this issue,” said the jointly released statement.
When the media later asked for clarification on the whole pot situation following the blowup, Trudeau summarized the party’s stance by saying, “Marijuana is not a health food supplement. It’s not great for you, but it’s certainly—as many studies have shown—not worse for you than cigarettes or alcohol.”
At the end of the day, all the Liberals want to do is implement a taxable system similar to the ones already in place for cigarettes or alcohol. If this is all that it takes for the Conservatives to compare Justin Trudeau to Walter White, then I am deeply concerned about what sorts of comparisons could be made for a vast majority of college-aged kids.