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Sahlin evokes Obama in cannabis gaffe

Sahlin evokes Obama in cannabis gaffe

Published: 01 Feb 2009 09:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2009 09:12 GMT+01:00

S we can! exclaimed the Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin at the party's conference in Västerås in southern Sweden on Saturday.

She had intended to evoke associations with US president Barack Obama. But what Sahlin was not aware was that this is the name of an organisation that advocates the legalization of hash and marijuana in Sweden.

"Swecan is a meeting place for cannabis enthusiasts and a source for accurate and science-based information about the weed," explains the group on their homepage.

"It was fun yesterday (Friday), but if I am to use it again then I shall have to add that I am not calling for the legalisation of cannabis," Mona Sahlin said to news agency TT.

Sahlin's press secretary was reportedly keen to point out to the news agency that if you search for TT on the internet you come to the Tamil Tigers.

The message at the Social Democrat's conference to discuss the future was that it was they, the opposition, who can, and not the Alliance government.

At least this was the emphasis of Sahlin's speech to frozen Västerås residents who had gathered on the main square in the town to hear her speak.

"The ministers of depression have capitulated before their mistakes," she said.

It was not just the alliteration in the speech that was Obama inspired. Behind Sahlin had been constructed a seating area where a group of 40 spectators of mixed races, gender and origin, sat, freezing and politely applauding her speech - a scene plagiarized directly from the Obama presidential campaign.

The speech contained repetition of criticisms against the government for being passive in the face of the financial crisis.

"Now it is enough," Sahlin said and joked at the expense of the finance minister Anders Borg and his use of weather metaphors.

"He speaks about dark clouds, of storms and cold winters. But what is the fellow waiting for - permafrost or the ice age? it is now something must be done."

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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