A political expert is offering a third interpretation on Justin Trudeau’s f-bomb scandal, saying it will neither help or harm his campaign.
“It can be neutral. There is a third option and I suspect that’s the right answer,” Dr. Neil Thomlinson, a Ryerson political science professor, said. “People predisposed to vote against him won’t vote for him anyway. This won’t change people’s minds.”
Trudeau made it in the news this week and took a page from his father’s book. Instead of saying “fuddle duddle,” however, Trudeau dropped the actual f-bomb. On Saturday, the Liberal leader said the four-letter word in an attempt to work up the crowd at the Fight for the Cure boxing match in in Gatineau, Que.
“I’m going tell you, there is no experience like stepping into this ring and measuring yourself,” Trudeau said, as shown in a YouTube video. “All the — your name, your fortune, your intelligence, your beauty — none of that f—ing matters.”
Thomlinson said that most people who strongly support a certain political party are unlikely to sway drastically away from what they already believe.
“An old lady I know, she’s 88 and been Liberal all her life, she will not like this. I guarantee that but it won’t stop her from voting Liberal and it shouldn’t,” he says. “There’s a reason why she votes liberal. She has some degree of confidence that the Liberal party represents what she believes in.”
Despite the cheers and applause from the match’s crowd, the Prime Minister’s office has critical of the mishap. A spokesperson from the Harper’s office told the CBC that this was a further example of Trudeau’s “lack of judgement.”
For some millennials, however, this stunt makes Trudeau more relatable to the younger voters.
“It could be more relatable to the younger generation, like our generation because we use that term all the time, it’s daily use,” Marissa Melnyk, a second-year RTA student, says. “It kind of takes him down from the professional level and kind of is someone we know and someone we can talk to. I mean, he’s a young guy to begin with, I think it kind of works with his personality.”
Thomlinson said, however, that the Conservative government will use this an attack tactic to discredit their opponent, and millennials will soon forget about the incident.
“It doesn’t stick in public consciousness for very long. How this can be news is in itself pretty shocking,” he said. “It’s a sad state of affairs.”
This isn’t Trudeau’s first incident publicly using coarse language. He called environment minister Peter Kent a “piece of shit” in 2011.
His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was also not a stranger to controversy. In 1971, the former prime minister was caught on camera mouthing a swear word to two Conservative members of parliament. He later stated that he said the words, “fuddle duddle.”