The Tomato

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Supporters rush to defence of Liberal leader after series of high-profile gaffes

Photo Illustration by Annie Thomas

Supporters have flocked by the millions to the defence of Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau, who was widely criticized for comments he made while hosting a ladies’ night fundraiser earlier this month.

The advertisement for the now infamous event featured such groundbreaking questions as “What’s your favourite virtue?” and “Who are your real life heroes?” Many felt the dumbed-down questions were sexist, but Trudeau’s supporters feel the controversy has been overblown.

Feminists for Trudeau member Lisa Winotte said the backlash against the ad is preposterous.

“All these interest groups who know nothing about women’s issues are purporting to speak for us,” said Winotte. “The fact is, feminists have spent years debating which virtue is most important to our male leaders. Patience, temperance, modesty—there are so many options and no clear answers.

“Frankly,” she said, “Canadian women have been waiting a long time for such an accomplished man to come along and settle the debate for us.”

Sexism accusations weren’t the only hot-button topics Trudeau wrestled with at the event. He was also asked what other country he admired most. Trudeau said he admired China’s “basic dictatorship” which allows them to “actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green, we need to start, you know, investing in solar.”

This answer sparked widespread outrage at Trudeau for supporting totalitarianism, an interpretation that left Liberal democracy activist Paul Inland frustrated.

“They’re taking the whole quotation out of context,” said Inland. “All Justin was saying is that Canadians would be much better off if we could just let go of our materialistic desires and accept some mild censorship, corruption, and unlawful persecution for the greater good. Sadly, under this Conservative regime, anyone who even suggests that is considered a fascist.”

Chad Dumas, Citizens for a Greener World President, also confirmed the accuracy of Trudeau’s statement.

“China has been making great strides in environmental sustainability,” said Dumas. “In fact, last January, Beijing only exceeded the safe air pollution threshold 19 times. It was perfectly safe for people to leave their homes the other 12 days. With results like that, who wouldn’t want a basic dictatorship?”

Trudeau supporter and U of O student Valerie Smythe said the controversy has distracted Canadians from how Trudeau dispels apathy in young voters. Trudeau, completely uninterested in politics before his election as Liberal leader, inspired her to become involved.

“He’s brought a sense of hope and optimism into politics,” said Smythe. “He’s an inspiration for those who want to get involved in the political system but who don’t want to spend decades learning its nuances.”