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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Elizabeth May stands firm on marijuana legalization and opposition to mandatory minimums

Elizabeth_May What does the Green Party have to offer libertarian voters? That’s the question I had in mind when I attended a wine and cheese fundraiser for Elizabeth May in Calgary on Thursday.

The Western Standard has reported on May’s opposition to the war on drugs, her support for Iraq war resisters and the party’s new policy calling for the legalization of prostitution. These policies certainly resonate with libertarians, but is there anything else?

May opened her speech to party supporters by talking about income splitting as a way to relieve the tax burden on Canadians, but didn’t really move her audience until she made a gratuitous attack on Milton Friedman and the free market Chicago School, right before offering her support for Keynesian economics and stimulus spending. On fiscal policy, May is a pretty typical Canadian, I would argue. She doesn’t like deficits, but thinks they can be necessary. She wants taxes to be low, but still high enough to pay for a cradle-to-grave welfare state. She wants Canada to embark on a Green New Deal, an activist government scheme to green the economy.

None of this appeals to me, of course. And Libertarian Party leader Dennis Young, who accompanied me to the event, was visibly disturbed by the anti-capitalist rhetoric.

The evening improved, though, thanks to marijuana legalization activist and writer for Skunk Magazine, Lisa Kirkman. Kirkman, a one time assistant to former Cannabis Culture editor Dana Larsen, pressed May on hemp, marijuana legalization and Canada’s new mandatory minimum law.

May answered without hesitation in support of reforming Canada’s drug laws. She argued that prohibition fuels organized crime; that the government’s hysterical anti-marijuana propaganda is teaching children to mistrust all anti-drug messages; and that mandatory minimum sentencing doesn’t work.

May continues to show courage on social policy, opposing harmful government prohibitions. Her scepticism of big government, however, disappears when it comes to fiscal and economic policy, where she prefers interventionism.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on July 4, 2009 | Permalink


She's still a nutsy.

I generally support ending prohibition, but only if it entails some degree of personal responsibility. Do the Greens support the idea of people being responsible for their own decisions and not sucking off the tit of government, the answer is no.

Posted by: Alberta Libertarian | 2009-07-05 12:35:53 AM

So Ms May wants low taxes and cradle to grave welfare. Does she have a plan showing how that could be done? Also how the economic engines of the country could be taxed to death and survive to provide for welfare and welfare bums while keeping the EI contributions healthy?

Don't think she has a hope. We do not need another Socialist party wearing a green mask.

Posted by: Liz J | 2009-07-05 4:47:41 AM

what kind of libertarian wants cradle-to-grave welfare? What a losing platform.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-05 5:50:43 AM

May sounds a lot like Marc Emery... freedom without responsibility...

That's amusing...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-05 7:11:58 AM

Most Green parties are like watermelons! They are green on the outside and red on the inside. The Canadian Green party is part of an international organization of Green parties in various countries. They are promote the same socialist/ environmental crap. You also may like their drug legalization but what about their gun control plans. Or better yet how do you like their support for government funding of abortion(na d abortion being a guaranteed right). Oh yeah, they are also big time radical feminists. The only exception to do is the Mexican Green Party. It was kicked out of the international organization of Green parties because it is also pro-business, pro-life, and supports the death penalty. A libertarian voting Green is like a Jewish guy voting foir the Nazis. Simply idiotic!

Posted by: Jay | 2009-07-05 8:25:44 AM

Why doesn't she put a sign around her neck that reads "Don't Vote for Me." She's an unpaid corporate hack because she sold her party to the Liberals.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-07-05 8:27:02 AM

richard? how does marc emery not stand for personal responsibility?

Posted by: howard roark | 2009-07-05 8:51:18 AM

//are green on the outside and red on the inside.//

LOL, nice.

The Green Party might be on baord with a few pesonal liberty issues, but they will still rob you to pay for their socialist programs.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-07-05 9:00:33 AM

Howard, the whole supporting/promoting the NDP thing is a dead give away...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-05 9:49:33 AM

The party and May are a green mirror image of the NDP. If she did legalize personal drug use it would be taxed so highly that it may as well still be illegal the black market will still exist cause people won't want to pay the 80% tax on it. There is proof to my statement in the Smoking clubs on reserves and other parts of the country in Canada and the usa where people are looking to buy black market tobacco to avoid the massive taxes.

Posted by: Calgary Libertarian | 2009-07-05 10:43:30 AM

"how does marc emery not stand for personal responsibility?"

Besides his extralegal shenanigans, he supports abortion, the ultimate shirk.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-05 10:59:20 AM

Mrs May, I have on MANY different Occasions tried to contact you with regards to your PARTY's Views on Medical MJ in Canada!
Over the last few years and during the BC election YOU and YOUR PARTY have done amazing things to help the SICK and DIEING in Canada have access to Medical MJ?
Gee I have been giving Hundreds of Canadian Dollars to Organized CRIME each month from my DISABILITY Pension that YOUR PARTY not only supports, but infact permits to Represent it's self under the GREEN PARTY BANNER!
I thank you as a Health Canada Carded Medical MJ user, for doing your best as a PARTY WITH NO ELECTED Voices to KEEP Medical MJ users in Canada CRIMINALS!
With out your Party's Help a Trial will RESUME form 2006 TOMORROW in BC, so that ALL Canadians may have ACESS to MEDICAL MJ.... Read More
Again Thank YOU for your continued support, and keeping that support directed to the Criminals, and away from the SICK and DIEING!
We have enough BAD PRESS with out your HELP!

Posted by: Bruce Webb | 2009-07-05 11:03:51 AM

I posted a blog response to drug use and the libertarian platform. Criticism is appreciated (not so much on my writing ability please :) )


Posted by: Calgary Libertarian | 2009-07-05 11:07:23 AM

Why do you "libertarians" always hitch your fortunes to deadbeats like Emery and May? Maybe it's your drugs that prevent you from using your common sense.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-07-05 11:13:38 AM

So what this means is that she is a parrot, brainlessly repeating what she's heard elsewhere. Failed, failed, failed, it doesn't work and it doesn't work and it doesn't work. The same old boilerplate repeated over and over again, bald opinion masquerading as wisdom. No proof that their alternative would make things any better. Only a utopian, starry-eyed, handclasp-over-the-heart whimsy that it couldn't possibly be worse, and we believe that, we really, REALLY believe that.

It's easy to sit on the bleachers and carp as long as there are more experienced and more intelligent people actually running things there to override you. Can you imagine a Canada governed by this woman? If history is any indication, she'll go on hunger strikes to protest any foreign government she doesn't like, and probably corner the market on NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE signs. She hasn't shown us that she can run a lemonade stand, much less a country.

COPE, move over.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-05 11:20:15 AM

Calgary Libertarian, you are confusing issues. What you are talking about is over taxation. Some people who smoke are fed up with being slapped with an onerous tax on choice. So they try to cheat the system. My brother is a trucker, and brings me cigarettes from the duty free, cost $35 bucks a carton, all nice and legal. If I buy them from the store here, about $80+ a carton. Why the discrepancy? Tax. If cigarettes sold for $35 bucks a carton here, the grey market in cigarettes would largely vanish. When I was young and cigarettes could be purchased for under 5 dollars a pack, I don't recall reading or hearing about the huge underground cigarette market. So in effect, the government caused the grey market.
I would vote green, even if don't agree with everything they stand for, just to hopefully flush the system. Fortunately, we have term limits, and if they screwed up, they would be voted out next term. I am more libertarian in my beliefs, but I don't agree with everything the Libertarian Party has to offer either. This is the nature of Canadian party politics. The Torys and the Libs are so close to one another I can't tell the difference between them anymore. Lets get some new ideas in there and stir the pot.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-07-05 11:32:38 AM

As the person who got this policy brought out in the Green Party after my 4 year waste with jacky lieyton and his now done party (ndp)




And also the person suing the same Green Party leader I of course applaud this policy and say had they listened to me instead of following with harper and this bernie farber and some stupid non true anti semitic slandering .....the Greens would have won seats.

Yes I still say GO GREEN !!

Posted by: shavluk | 2009-07-05 6:41:57 PM

And while we are at it


Posted by: shavluk | 2009-07-05 6:44:26 PM

Steve Bottrell. The major parties are all pretty much the same so when you say vote green to flush out the system your are basically saying I like my socialism with a tint of green rather then red. No major parties are presenting any of use with any revolutionary change just slightly. You can interchange almost all there platform and there will be very few differences.

Casting a vote to the green will do nothing to sway policy in other parties if we want to flush the system it needs to be structurally (elected senate, term limits on MP's not just governments , fixed election dates that are honored.... the list can go on.)

Posted by: Calgary Libertarian | 2009-07-05 7:40:06 PM

Voting Green in Alberta is like voting for your own death sentence. Banish these people, and the Liebral and NDP parties, back to Toronto where they belong.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-07-05 7:56:15 PM

Actually Alberta had many second place Green finishes
You have problems and are not making sense but then I have followed your anonymous comments here for awhile

Sad person no doubt
To me a damaged person
You should expand what you have left of a mind and smoke a joint

Posted by: shavluk | 2009-07-05 8:13:12 PM

"And also the person suing the same Green Party leader I of course applaud this policy and say had they listened to me instead of following with harper and this bernie farber and some stupid non true anti semitic slandering .....the Greens would have won seats."

Only if there are ridings out there where at least a plurality of the voters are as kooky as you. Thankfully, Canada has not come to that pass yet.

"Actually Alberta had many second place Green finishes."

And how close were they to first? As Lightning McQueen so eloquently put it: "One winner, 42 losers."

"You have problems and are not making sense but then I have followed your anonymous comments here for awhile:"

Say what, uh, "Shavluk"?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-05 9:16:59 PM

Greens do incredibly well in terms of votes in comparison to the Libertarians. This is because they are unbound by principles other than their "nice" thoughts, which are in reality, mostly exploitation of environmental and scientific ignorance. They also prosper from being non-threatening to the parasite community beneficiaries of the welfare / nanny state. May is an old red Tory in a green outfit.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-07-06 10:06:38 AM

And don't forget that Greens also capture a large portion of the protest vote because they are "none of the above," John. Of course, to date this hasn't translated into a single seat, so it's fair to question the efficacy of this approach. If the results of two STV referenda in B.C. are any indication, we won't be abandoning the first-past-the-post system anytime soon.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-07 6:47:08 AM

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