If people think political discourse is less than civil in the United States then they ought to look north of the border.
Speaking from first-hand experience, Canada’s House of Commons can be a rough and tumble place. But yesterday there was, shall we say, a lot of crap going on during Question Period.
While Speaker of the House Andrew Scheer tried to restore order during a question to Environment Minister Peter Kent from NDP MP Megan Leslie over Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Accord, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau shouted to Kent, “Oh, you piece of s*#t.” Trudeau subsequently apologized to the House and withdrew his comment.
Perhaps Trudeau should have taken a cue from his father and just mouthed the words. Forty years ago, when Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister his lips formed the old familiar suggestion when asked a question in the House of Commons by John Lundrigan, a Tory MP from Newfoundland. Lundrigan’s fellow Tory MP Lincoln Alexander was also the recipient of Trudeau’s charm and when asked by reporters he said, “He mouthed two words. The first word of which started with F and the second letter of which started with O.” Trudeau dismissed Lundrigan and Alexander’s complaint and asked reporters, “What is the nature of your thoughts gentlemen when you say fuddle-duddle or something like that?” Fuddle-duddle has been embedded in Canada’s political lexicon ever since.
But the use of foul language by Canadian politicians is hardly restricted to the confines of the House of Commons. Recently, on Twitter, interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae used the word “bulls*#t” while NDP MP Pat Martin not only referenced fecal matter but for good measure dropped a f-bomb.