The story that dominated headlines and online discussion yesterday was the “patronizing” (according to many) poster/evite for a Justin Trudeau cocktail event for “ladies.” Everything from the tone, language, font, and images was criticized, and many women (and men) found the invitation offensive.
The organizer of the event, Amanda Alvaro, has defended the evite both online and on television, saying that she didn’t see how it could be offensive to women and that it was just meant to be a light-hearted way of attracting women to the event. This view was shared by many on Twitter:
Although some, including Alvaro, have blamed partisanship for the criticism, many ordinary Canadians (both women and men) of no known political affiliation have spontaneously added their comments to the #askjustin Twitter discussion. Both Conservative and NDP MPs, such as Michelle Rempel, Lisa Raitt, Megan Leslie, and Niki Ashton, took offence at the event ad. There have now been more than 10,500 tweets issued for #askjustin in total.
It didn’t take long for people to hit back at some of the MPs, with Michelle Rempel being particularly targeted. Several comments were issued about her appearance or calling her derogatory names.
Many people reacted to these tweets with support for Rempel, including members of the public as well as members of other parties. In fact, if any good came of this debacle, it might be the display of female MPs supporting each other across party lines.
Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau has taken to Twitter to answer some of the questions from the #askjustin feed, limited of course to 140 characters.
Talk of the event itself was a hot topic today, specifically his response to the question, “Which nation, besides Canada, which nation’s administration do you most admire, and why?”
Trudeau’s response in full was:
“You know, there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green fastest…we need to start investing in solar.’ I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted that I find quite interesting.
But if I were to reach out and say which…which kind of administration I most admire, I think there’s something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run. Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there’s a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other. And I think we need a little more of that.
But Sun News can now report that I prefer China.”
Andrew Coyne kicked-off the highly amusing #mostadmiredadministrations meme, which as of 3:30pm had 379 tweets, including:
Analysis performed using Marketwired/Sysomos Heartbeat.