In Canada it is easy to see where elite consensus lies. Marijuana legislation is barrelling ahead (potheads rejoice!) and electoral reform is dead in the water and slowly sinking out of the public’s consciousness.

This is how electoral reform died in Canada:

“In response, Trudeau pointed to a difference of opinions among the major political parties.

“As people in this House know, I have long preferred a preferential ballot. The members opposite [in the NDP] wanted proportional representation. The Official Opposition wanted a referendum,” he said, gesturing toward the Conservatives.

“There is no consensus. There is no clear path forward. It would be irresponsible to do something that harms Canada’s stability.”

Later, in response to a question from May, Trudeau expanded on his explanation.

“Anything a prime minister or a government must do must be in the interest of Canada and all Canadians, particularly when it comes to transforming our electoral system. I understand the passion and the intensity with which the member opposite believes in this and many Canadians mirror that passion and that intensity.”

“But there is no consensus, there is no sense of how to do this. And, quite frankly, a divisive referendum, an augmentation of extremist voices in this House, is not what is in the best interests of Canada.”

It is quite odd that ‘building consensus” and “augmentation of extremist voices” were of such a deeply troubling concern to our dear Prime Minister. The Liberal Party currently holds a majority in our House of Commons – 184 seats (14 more than the required 170) – so they can pass whatever damn legislation they choose, at any time, and the opposition can do precisely diddly-squat about it.

Enter the consensus building. Or, to look at things slightly more Machiavellian, why would the government dismantle the electoral system that has brought it to power tweny-four times since the inception of Canada as a nation?

I’m pretty sure that’s all that needs to be said on the issue of electoral reform.

The other half of the story is the legalization of marijuana and that folks is an example, par excellance of Canadian Government policy careening downhill on the greasiest of skids.  Nothing is going to stop this fully loaded freight-train of weed goodness.   (I have heard nary a whisper of building consensus on this issue – it’s just getting done).  From the Liberal Party website

” Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.

To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.

We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

Oh the principled anguish!

I’m not buying it for a second.  The legality of marijuana is a trivial issue.   It will not affect those in the halls of power one iota.  And, thus we have this great commitment and expressed vigour to helping all Canadians and making things better for the country.  (Clearly, reforming the skewed FPP electoral system won’t benefit Canadians or the country…)

OTTAWA — The Canadian government has introduced sweeping legislation designed to permit the recreational use of marijuana throughout the country by July 2018, fulfilling an election promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The bill, inspired in part by the experiences of cannabis regimes in Colorado and Washington state, goes well beyond the U.S. situation, where marijuana remains prohibited at the federal level. In Canada, the federal government will change criminal law nationally and will license growers and set product standards while leaving it up to the provinces to handle distribution and manage retail sale.

Canada will become the first large industrialized nation with a broad system permitting recreational as well as medical use of marijuana. At present, only Uruguay has a national legal regime permitting widespread use of cannabis.”

*sigh* – Oh, Canada.  :/

 

 

 

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