A campaign is made up of days. Some you win. Some you lose. If you win more than you lose, you should win the campaign. This blog will track the winner of the day for the duration. Day 14 Winner: Marijuana Party There is no doubt that the NDP - at least in British Columbia - has been playing footsie with the Marijuana Party and its supporters. At least three provincial associations have passed motions calling for marijuana legalization thanks to eNDProhibition, a group of marijuana activists in the NDP. And Jack Layton made a now-famous appearance on Pot TV in 2003 as part of his outreach efforts. There does appear to be a significant - albeit relatively small - block of voters in B.C. who make marijuana legalization there voting issue. In the 2001 provincial election, Marc Emery's Marijuana Party won 3% of the vote. A significant part of that success may have been disaffected New Democrat voters shifting to a safe protest vote, but even in 2005, they held onto 0.64% of the provincial total. British Columbia remains a very tight three-way race between the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP. Even minor shifts in the vote can result in the pick-up of new seats. Going after this block of voters makes sense tactically, but requires careful monitoring. For instance, you want to make sure there isn't video footage of your candidate driving while under the influence of hallucinogens. After revelations about two members of the NDP's "weed wing," Layton is moving to end that outreach campaign. But the damage may be done. Layton spent most of his appearance on CTV's Question Period having to answer questions on this approach. He now appears to have lost at both ends. Marijuana activists in BC are turning their back on him in favour of the Green Party. And he is off message and strategy in a crucial period of the campaign, limiting his ability to grow his coalition to the centre.
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