Oct. 19 is parliamentary election day in Canada
Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are locked in one of the tightest races for prime minister in Canada’s history — a race that could give the country their first new leader in nearly 10 years, as reported by the BBC.
Opinion polls suggest many voters are as yet undecided, however it appears Liberal leader Justin Trudeau — son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau — is the front-runner against Incumbent Conservative PM Steven Harper, who is fighting for a rare fourth term.
The left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) could also play a decisive role, as per the BBC.
A Liberal win would signal marijuana legalization ahead
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has added marijuana legalization to his party platform, announcing recently that if elected, his party will work to legalize marijuana “right away,” as reported by VICE.
The Liberal leader has previously spoken out against marijuana prohibition and the Conservative party’s drug policy agenda, which Trudeau says costs the Canadian justice system $500 million each year, and has resulted in 475,000 people getting criminal records since the Conservatives came to power in 2006.
If the Liberals win a majority of seats in parliament, “it will be a simple matter of fulfilling that election promise, after a consultation process with the Canadian public, the provinces, and relevant experts on how legalization will be implemented nationwide,” according to Civilized.
Liberals are leading in the polls, but it’s possible the party will only win enough seats to form a minority government. If that happens, the Liberal party would need another party to jump on board with legalization.
The Conservative party is staunchly anti-marijuana, so they’re a no go. But the New Democratic Party (NDP) might be a willing partner.
Canadian NDP leader Tom Mulclair’s party has pledged to decriminalize marijuana, and recently indicated support for legalization as well.
However if Canada’s Conservative party beats the odds and wins, legalization efforts will likely be stymied.