If only all our leaders were high!
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals hope to win 170 seats in the next election and with good reason. Trudeau’s Liberals are gaining in popularity and Harper’s Conservatives are dying on the vine. Given the wunderkind’s popularity in recent months, it is highly likely the Liberals will form government in 2015 with or without the help of another party.
The Liberals have managed to change a party that is older than Canada itself into the party of youth. With substantial policies like, “The Liberal Party of Canada believes firmly that all Canadians deserve affordable access to education,” it’s easy to see why. I am honestly perplexed by Trudeau’s position among the youth. Many commentators are quick to say that only kids give a shit about legal weed. Legalizing pot would prevent future arrests from being disproportionately perpetrated against Indigenous young people. But, legalizing dope is meaningless without pardoning those who have been or are currently imprisoned for crimes relating to the sale or possession of marijuana. The liberal idea of legalization creates a sublation of the old situation in which youth of colour are disproportionately terrorized for their participation in the drug trade and white capitalists step in to take over the role of drug retailer. A just policy would include amnesty and compensation for people in prisons or otherwise negatively affected by a drug-related crime.
What I am saying about Trudeau is nothing personal. I am sure he is a lovely person and I am sure Mulcair and Harper have their positives as well. Both New Democrats and Conservatives have alienated portions of their party in recent years. New Democrats alienated a great portion of their base with their support of Canadian intervention in Libya and Mulcair’s embrace of Israeli slaughter in Gaza. Supporters of Harper’s “Tough on Crime” agenda are hopefully upset over the party’s corruption of election laws, misdirecting robocalls in 2011, senators who have taken advantage of public funding, and a myriad of other scandals. Instead of volunteering their minds and bodies for hundreds of hours come election season, young people should revoke their support for the process that drains their energy and gives little back. People concerned with a just Canada should withdraw their support from the bourgeois political apparatus and work toward creating institutions that operate counter to the established practices of the state.
While I recognize that struggles have multiple fronts, none of these parties offer constructive solutions to the colossal problems faced by this generation going forward. Justin Trudeau will surely make a nicer, friendlier Prime Minister than Stephen Harper. The history of the Liberal Party in government shows it is little friendlier to the average Canadian than the conservative party of the day. Liberals and Conservatives are more concerned with protecting the profits of dairy producers than they are with educating its young people. The Liberals’ lackluster section on post-secondary education shows a fundamental lack of regard for Canada’s youth looking to improve themselves.
Of the three major parties, the New Democrats offer the potential policies for youth. Unfortunately, these policies do not exist in a vacuum and must be considered alongside the New Democrats’ near-complete abandonment of socialism in favour of Tony Blair-inspired Third Way social democracy.