2015 Canadian Election

2015 Canadian Election

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Updated Mar 23, 2017 at 12:26AM EDT by Don.

Added Aug 20, 2015 at 12:50AM EDT by pierre_poutine.

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The 42nd Canadian federal election elected 338 members to the House of Commons of the 42nd Parliament of Canada on October 19th, 2015. Three parties contested to form the government, trying to win support over a 78-day campaign period while producing a number of offbeat events that have been parodied or lambasted on social media.


On February 6th, 2006, the newly merged Conservative Party of Canada was elected in a minority government, defeating the Liberal Party of Canada which had been in power since 1993. Party leader Stephen Harper replaced Paul Martin as the Prime Minister and led his party to re-election in 2008 and 2011. The 2011 election also resulted in the Liberal Party falling to third place for the first time in Canada's history, losing significant ground to the New Democratic Party. In March 2012, the New Democratic Party elected Thomas Mulcair as their leader, replacing deceased predecessor Jack Layton. In April 2013, the Liberal Party elected Justin Trudeau as their leader.

The election occurred on October 19th, 2015, when the Liberal Party of Canada swept an unexpected majority. Justin Trudeau was designed as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada and was sworn in on November 4th, 2015.

Notable Developments

Pre/Early Campaign: Attack Advertisements

In April of 2013, the Conservative Party began airing attack advertisements via radio and television against Justin Trudeau, almost immediately after Trudeau was elected as the leader of the Liberal Party. This was part of an effort to combat Trudeau's popularity, being the son of a former prime minister. The ads often featured unfavorable quotes and memorable slogans.

In mid-2015, a new series of ads began airing depicting a hiring department evaluating a mock resumé of Trudeau's political career. Because the ads aired with relentless frequency, slogans such as "just not ready," "nice hair, though," and phrases such as "the budget will balance itself" have become household in Canada[15], and have been used either to mock Trudeau, the advertisements themselves, or both.

Both of the other major parties have acknowledged the ads. In early August, the Liberal Party released an advertisement featuring Trudeau discussing why he thinks he is ready to be prime minister.[16] On September 11, the New Democratic Party began airing a parody advertisement that instead showed a company discussing the possibility of dismissing Stephen Harper as prime minister, also ending with the phrase "nice hair, though."[17]

August 6th, 2015: Maclean's Debate

On August 6th, 2015, the Canadian news magazine Maclean's hosted a debate between the leaders of Canada's major political parties. Early into the debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's discussion on energy policies was interrupted by Justin Trudeau, who said "Mr. Harper, nobody believes you!"

The following day, a slowmo GIF of Harper's reaction to Trudeau's statement was submitted to the /r/canada[1] subreddit. The following day, the GIF was reposted to the /r/reactiongifs subreddit.[2] Within three weeks, the posts gathered upwards of 4,800 votes (92% upvoted) and 7,000 votes (94% upvoted) respectively. The GIF was reused constantly over the duration of the campaign.

During the debate, Thomas Mulcair aggressively engaged Justin Trudeau in response to a question on Quebec separatism, using condescending questions such as "What's your number, Justin?" The event received mild attention on social media.[4]

August 18, 2015: Angry Old Man

During one of Stephen Harper's campaign stops in Toronto on August 18th, reporters questioned the Prime Minister's involvement in a 2013 scandal involving the misuse of public funds in the Senate. They were confronted by an older man who attempted to rebuke them, but grew increasingly hostile as they continued to ask questions, eventually yelling at them and referring to one journalist as "a lying piece of shit" (shown below).[5]

The event was widely covered by news media and prompted the circulation of parody images and various social media accounts.[6]

You lying pieces of s---! ANGRY OLDGUY Conservative OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD

August 27, 2015: Teeny Tiny Deficit

On August 27, during a campaign stop, Stephen Harper mocked Justin Trudeau's fiscal policies, describing it using sarcastic language and hand gestures. A particular image of Harper "measuring" the deficit with his fingers was promptly exploited into an image macro, including one created by Trudeau's party.[9]


September 7, 2015: #Peegate

On September 7, Jerry Bance, who was running for parliament in the Toronto area, was dismissed as a candidate for the Conservative Party by Stephen Harper over the discovery of his conduct as a home appliance technician. In 2012, he had been caught on a hidden camera urinating into a coffee mug while servicing a homeowner's sink.[10]

The revelation went viral in Canada, and was even picked up by some news outlets in the United States, such as the New York Daily News[11] and the Miami Herald.[12] The event resulted in the creation of the Twitter hashtag "#Peegate" which was used for the propagation of image macros and relevant imagery.[13]


October 2, 2015: Mon Amour

On October 2, a French-language debate took place between the main party leaders, which included Gilles Duceppe, leader of the separatist Bloc Québécois party. Duceppe was the recipient of a slip of the tongue by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who referred to Duceppe as "mon amour" (formal phrase for "my love") rather than "mon ami" ("my friend"). Although the debate quickly moved past it, the error was immediately picked up by social media and communicated to English-speaking Canadians.[14]


Immediately following the debate, Trudeau tweeted a reassurance of his true faith to his wife, posting it to the #MonAmour hashtag which had been used for the incident.

October 16, 2015: Globe and Mail endorsement

On October 16th, the Globe and Mail released an official editorial endorsing the Conservative Party of Canada for the fourth consecutive election. However, the article was carefully worded to avoid endorsing the party's leader, Stephen Harper, declaring that he didn't deserve a second chance while the party did.[18] This was in the face of Harper having been the party's only leader at that point, in addition to the party's well-known centralization and their tight control on its membership.

The baffling article was lampooned on Twitter from all sides of the political spectrum on the hashtags #MoreGlobeEndorsements and #OtherGlobeEndorsements, the former hashtag being coined by a former Globe and Mail columnist.[19] The hashtags were filled with parody tweets claiming that the Globe and Mail had endorsed something but without something else it was logically inseparable from, such as:

  • The Globe, but not the Mail
  • Rye and Ginger Ale, without the Ginger Ale
  • Rock, but not Roll
  • Lex Luthor's minions, but not Lex Luthor
  • Hall, but not Oates

Search Interest

External References

[1] Reddit – A great gif from the debates last night / Posted 8-7-2015

[2] Reddit – MRW I ask my new lab partner for a copy of the results she wrote down, and she says 'What results?' / Posted 8-7-2015

[3] YouTube – REPLAY: Maclean's National Leaders Debate / Posted 8-6-2015

[4] Huffington Post – On Sherbrooke Declaration, Mulcair May Ask Trudeau To Provide His Number / Posted on 8-6-2015

[5] CBC – Stephen Harper supporter hurls profanity at journalists over Duffy questions / Posted on 8-18-2015

[6] CBC – Harper supporter's profane rant brings out all of the memes / Posted on 8-19-2015

[7] Reddit – Harper's 'angry old man' identified as Earl Cowan,this is a Macleans magazine story from 2014 that speaks of him causing a ruckus at a Doug Ford event. / Posted on 8-19-2015

[8] Maclean's – The world's worst debate in one word? 'Shumbling.' / Posted on 9-24-2014

[9] Huffington Post – Stephen Harper Crushing Things Is Your Latest Election Meme / Posted on 8-27-2015

[10] CBC – Jerry Bance, Conservative caught peeing in mug, no longer candidate, party says / Posted on 09-06-2015

[11] New York Daily News – Canadian parliament candidate drops campaign after video shows him urinating in coffee mug, sparking 'peegate' hashtag / Posted on 09-06-2015

[12] Miami Herald – Canadian candidate, caught in 2012 urination scandal, no longer on ballot / Posted on 09-06-2015

[13] CBC – 'Peegate' memes flood Twitter after Tory candidate caught urinating in mug / Posted on 09-07-2015

[14] CBC – Justin Trudeau calls Gilles Duceppe 'my love' in French debate, tongue slip goes viral / Posted on 10-03-2015

[15] CBC – 'Just not ready' Trudeau ad may be getting to voters, poll suggests / Posted on 09-06-2015

[16] CTV – 'I am ready': Trudeau responds to Tories in new ad / Posted on 08-01-2015

[17] Global News – Look familiar? New NDP attack ad is a spin on a Conservative favourite / Posted on 09-11-2015

[18] Globe and Mail – "The Tories deserve another mandate – Stephen Harper doesn’t ":http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/the-tories-deserve-another-mandate-stephen-harper-doesnt/article26842506/?click=sf_globe / Posted on 10-16-2015

[19] CBC News – Globe and Mail mocked on Twitter after endorsing Tories but not Harper / Posted on 10-16-2015

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Top Comments

Hot Sauce
Hot Sauce

Considering the reputation canadian people have, i would expect something like this:

Candidate 1: My plan is excelent, but i think candidate's 2 completely beats me
Candidate 2: What? I would never be prime minister before you, it would be impolite
Candidate 3: Let's not forget about candidate 4, gentlemen


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