Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's admission on Thursday that he had smoked marijuana after becoming a member of Parliament has evoked a sort of silly season in the Canadian political sphere.
The Tories were first out of the gate with a couple of high profile rebukes.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, in a disdainful manner, that Trudeau's "actions speak for themselves."
Justice Minister Peter MacKay was a little more blunt saying that Trudeau shows a "profound lack of judgement."
On Friday, MacKay went further.
"It’s currently against the law to smoke dope. I think most Canadians expect that their Member of Parliament will obey the law," MacKay said, according to CTV News.
"But this admission of smoking marijuana, breaking the law, doing so knowingly while he was a Member of Parliament, the politics of this are such that there’s an element of hypocrisy of having voted on the record to increase penalties around the same time that he was lighting up. So his credibility is a little up in smoke."
The anti-Conservatives have reacted in kind.
CBC personality Rick Mercer, who has constantly chided the Harper Tories over the past couple of years, tweeted a picture of a young Peter MacKay.
— Rick Mercer (@rickmercer) August 22, 2013
The Mercer tweet now has over 2,300 retweets.
Other anti-Harperites have followed Mercer's lead, coming up with #profoundlackofjudgement hashtag on Twitter.
— Nickie (@MuskokaMoneybag) August 23, 2013
— Faye Hansen (@Fansen) August 23, 2013
Clearly, Trudeau admitting to smoking pot while in office is generating a lot of buzz.
It's good fodder for talk shows, journalists and bloggers during the dog days of summer when not a whole lot else is going on.
But for the Tories to attack Trudeau over one puff three years ago is foolish.
The Globe and Mail's Gary Mason appropriately explains that the stigma that once existed around marijuana has mostly dissipated.
"I would suggest...that going after Mr. Trudeau on this matter will not get the traction the Tories are seeking," he wrote for his column, published Friday.
"If anything, it may just make Canada’s governing party look dated, out of touch and even a little paranoid."
In 2011, approximately 40 per cent of Canadians admitted to have smoked pot at least once in their lifetime.
According to the latest Angus Reid poll, 57 per cent of Canadians want pot legalized.
The Conservatives are not going to score a lot of points on this issue.
Conversely, a picture of MacKay with a beer bong many years ago isn't a vote-changer, either.
[ Related: Are we ready for a pot-smoking prime minister? ]
Pundits and analysts will consistently say that the only ballot box issue in the next election will be the economy and jobs. For the vast majority of people it won't be marijuana.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Canada News, Abacus Data CEO David Coletto said that even for young people, the pot issue won't be enough to get them out to the polls.
"Young Canadians are worried about far more personal issues in their lives like finding a good job, paying off their student loans, and affording their first house," Coletto said.
"In a survey we did in October 2012, only 4 per cent of Millennials aged 18 to 30 we surveyed ranked decriminalization of marijuana as one of the most important issues facing youth today in Canada. Finding a job, student debt, and affordable housing were far more likely to be ranked as top issues."
The Trudeau Liberals should be focusing their attention on the Senate expense scandals and the prolonged deficits while the Harper Conservatives should be attacking Trudeau on his inexperience and lack of clear economic policies.
The rest of this is just summer silliness.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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