While flipping through the channels a few evenings ago I came upon an ad run by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) on CityTV from Toronto. I think the ad was supposed to be an attack on Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) leader Justin Trudeau, but I wonder if it might not just backfire. Having seen the ad I couldn’t help but think how the CPC could have figured this would aid their cause.
The ad, an early salvo in the yet to be announced 2015 election campaign, featured Trudeau claiming that if elected not only would he consider decriminalizing marijuana, he would legalize it. Now I get it that this may be an issue for some conservative voters of a certain age, but I think this may be just the thing to get young voters involved and casting ballots, but for Trudeau, not CPC leader Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In a recent poll 55% of Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana, and I have always found Canadians on the whole to be somewhat left of our neighbors to the south. So if the majority of Americans don’t have a problem with legalized pot, I have to assume the number is even higher (pun fully intended) in Canada.
Although eligible young voters may outnumber older voters, they have a tendency not to bother voting. According to Elections Canada, in 2011, turnout steadily increased with age from 38.8% for ages 18–24 to 75% for ages 65–74 and then declined to 60% for those 75 and older.
But my contention is that those lackadaisical younger voters may well turn-out to cast a ballot if they feel connected to the issues. Arguably they should already feel a connection to the economy and many social issues, but the idea of legal pot may just be the one that does it. Far from being a successful attack ad, the LPC should be thanking the CPC for its promotion of Mr.Trudeau’s position on legalization.
The note below is a work of pure fiction, but it sure does seem to fit!