Poorly placed joke raises eyebrows

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Justin Trudeau can be thankful the attacks by the Conservatives on him as Liberal leader haven’t managed to stick. But he shouldn’t push his luck.

Fresh off the Liberal convention over the weekend, Trudeau is taking some heat from the governing party for off-the-cuff – and off-colour – remark he made in response to a question about the worsening crisis in Ukraine.

Granted, Trudeau’s quip aired on a Quebec current events program, “Tout le monde en parle,” that tries to take a humorous turn on things. That still provides little excuse to appear to be making light of a seriously troubled country.

After first stating a view that Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych had lost his legitimacy, Trudeau added that the former Soviet Union country with its protests could be in big trouble. “Especially since Russia lost in hockey, they will be in a bad mood,” Trudeau said, in reference to the Russian men’s hockey team and its poor performance at the Olympics.

Even the federal NDP got in on the act, highlighting the questionable taste of the comment by posting it on YouTube.

The Liberals responded saying the party had indeed taken the matter seriously, having passed an emergency resolution calling for support for a transition to democracy in Ukraine.

Certainly we would expect such business as usual – the party’s support for a just solution. But any response, no matter the context, that appears to make light of a country’s upheaval won’t be met casually. Scores have been killed by police for speaking out against its president since protests began.

It’s hard to say whether the public will pay attention to this barrage of derision by the Conservatives, or if they’ll just see it as the same old bag of tricks.

People enjoy moments when politics – which many find a dreary subject – stumble upon a light-hearted moment. But any politician still trying to be taken seriously should realize there are some matters you simply don’t joke about.

Organizations: Olympics, Conservatives

Geographic location: Ukraine, Quebec, Soviet Union Russia

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Recent comments

  • jazzman
    March 01, 2014 - 14:13

    really , There are certainly more important things in this county that Our politicians and the media could focus on., Its time we get someone at the helm that says what on his mind , political correctness has gone way too far , its time to stop tip toeing around free speech and get the job done , call it like it is I say.

  • TJ
    February 27, 2014 - 11:26

    Much ado about nothing. Jealous of his inheritance. Bet if your daddy left you money, it would be donated to charity. You deserve everything Harper throws your way. Jealousy and pettiness. Parroting the Torys' is pathetic. Personally I agree with everything they did, especially EI changes. Some of us inherit, others don't. I certainly didn't refuse mine and all the perks went with it, living the good life. Yes I do have a profession and make 6 figures a year.

  • mike
    February 26, 2014 - 16:51

    In actuality, shiny pony has made himself out to be a man completely unfit and unable to do the job. Then to throw Garneau under the bus. Once again the pony has proven he should stick to what he knows....spending daddy's money