Kirk Tousaw's resignation as NDP candidate is a real shame

Lawyer Kirk Tousaw's decision to resign yesterday as the NDP candidate in Vancouver Quadra speaks volumes about our political culture in Canada.

Tousaw, head of the drug-policy committee of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, is exactly the type of person we should be encouraging to run for public office.

He takes risks to stand up for his beliefs. He wanted to accomplish some things--such as help end the war in Afghanistan and promote a more humane way of dealing with addiction--rather than just get elected for personal glorification.  

But because there's some video out there of him smoking a joint, that would create a distraction for the national NDP campaign.

It would have  only  resulted in a  distraction because the numbskulls who make key decisions in television newsrooms are  keenly interested in salacious pictures of  people doing drugs before they ever thought of entering politics.

These television newsrooms appear to be far  more interested in this than in  the melting of the polar ice cap. Not one media outlet apart from the Georgia Straight showed up to hear NDP candidate Michael Byers speak about this yesterday at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

The  television newsrooms have also demonstrated very little interest  in brain biochemistry that underlies addiction--even though addiction and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's war on drugs  should be  central issues in this election.

These television newsrooms are only slightly more interested  in  the futility of fighting a limitless number of  Pashtun insurgents from Pakistan who keep crossing the border in droves into Afghanistan. But not quite as interested, it seems, as another revelation about an NDP candidate in an unwinnable riding doing drugs in the past.

Dumb, celebrity-obsessed, issue-avoiding  television news programs played a role in  turning over control of  the White House to  George Bush and Dick Cheney. This led directly  to the debacle in Iraq and the financial meltdown plaguing global markets this past week.

In Canada, our dumb, pot-smoking-obsessed, issue-avoiding television news programs are probably  elevating the risk of a Conservative majority government. Time will tell if Harper can replicate the financial and foreign-affairs  records of the Bush administration.

In the meantime, good candidates like Kirk Tousaw are being driven out of politics.

And that's a real shame for all of us.




Sep 20, 2008 at 8:17pm

IN A WAY IT'S AN INDICATOR,isn't it;that a candidate for election can be scrutinized to the point of having his guarantees under the 'constitution' waived in bidding for the job of working for the government.Not a twist,surely.

Eric Wyness

Sep 21, 2008 at 3:18pm

True to the metaphor of driving by looking only in the rearview mirror, the Regressive Conservatives are still planning a better yesterday... tomorrow. And the sensationalist press are their enablers. There is no good reason for hounding advocates of MJ decriminalization when in truth, most Canadians are not unduly troubled by the idea of such progress; in fact, I'd guess most have at least booted up a few spliffs! But then, two thirds of us won't be voting for Harper's rightward covered wagon train, will we?

David Wong

Sep 22, 2008 at 12:23pm

Here within lies the real major problem to Climate change:
The hot air, brain farts and other methane off-gassing from all the bull shit we put up with from the Politicians and their cheerleaders.

I make this comment in all seriousness.

Because we allow Apathy and we don't get involved in real leadership and good governance...

You & I, and future generations suffer through eco-lip service, mediocrity, greenwash and political inaction.

And there's no one to blame except those who sit on their ever enlarging behinds who place TV entertainment banter ahead of researching & supporting intelligent political leadership in their own backyards.

Do some homework folks ... before you Vote, so you earn the right to bitch with conviction afterwards.


Sep 23, 2008 at 5:08pm

There was no reason for Tousaw to resign. I doubt the media would have cared. The Liberals have a marijuana activist candidate, who used to head the Marijuana Party, and no one seems to care.

This was Layton's decision. He is going after the crowd that likes tough on crime talk and no new taxes (don't tell them cap and trade will cost them even more than a carbon tax) and he had to cut all the pot activists loose. Don't blame it on the media or culture in Canada. It is pure Layton politics. Nothing else.

Wink Dinkerson

Sep 23, 2008 at 10:00pm

I wish we could get this kind of political analysis in the mainstream press. The CBC, which is always accused of being biased to the left by the Conservative supporters, are as guilty of anyone. They don't focus on the issues, and the people end up voting on the superficialities of the day. Big deal that a candidate smoked pot. Even the Americans are starting to get over that one. Let's talk about what's really going on, and why don't the reporters dig a little deeper and find out who is behind the Conservative agenda. I mean, if it smells Republican, talks Republican, looks Republican, it's probably corrupt like a Republican.