Oh, Canada!? Justin Trudeau Is The Joke, And Taxpayers Are The Punchline


When the going gets tough, the tough (and also the Canadian prime minister) get going… straight to social media, to humiliate themselves. Chris Graham suggests you sit down before you dive in because the joke, ultimately, is on the long-suffering taxpayers of Canada.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, is the sort of bloke who likes to be publicly identified as the ‘zany guy with the crazy socks’. So, obviously, he’s someone with a complete inability to understand just how uncomfortable he’s making everyone around him.

And that might explain how Trudeau came to star in a video made-for-social-media that, if you were unfortunate enough to have been exposed to it, actually feels a little bit like a physical assault.

Behold… this is what people who wear stupid socks to work for attention think qualifies as an important investment of their time.

For those who refuse to watch the video, and in the interests of harm reduction (and social media algorithms), here’s a brief description of what just happened.

The clip opens with Justin Trudeau sitting alone in his office, writing something on a notepad. If you look closely, Trudeau is writing either an ellipsis, or the letter ‘S’ in morse code (‘dot dot dot’). Which perfectly and unironically illustrates who the real Justin Trudeau is – he can’t even pretend to write something down on a notepad, without looking inauthentic.

Cue the suspenseful music… Trudeau gets a video call on his phone. It’s from Canadian actor Hayden Christensen, who starred as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel films.
Now, at this juncture, it’s worth briefly noting that Canada does have federal ‘freedom of information’ laws (called the ‘Access to Information Act’). So it would be worth a Canadian journalist’s time and trouble to try and find out how much money Christensen was paid to appear in the video… because it beggars belief that anyone would volunteer to do it for free.

Anyhoo… the clip then cuts to an extreme close-up of the version of Justin Trudeau that has never been exposed to sunlight. The angle is shot from down low on Trudeau’s desk… thus we get to look directly up the prime ministerial nostrils. Rare treat.

Trudeau and Christensen then have a ‘light-hearted chat’. The dialogue is worth dwelling on, because anything this bad and uncomfortable – like, say, cancer – must be worth paying attention to.

TRUDEAU: Hey hey, Hayden. How ya doing?
CHRISTENSEN: Prime Minister! Happy May the 4th!
TRUDEAU: Haha, and to you too my friend.
[Trudeau fake laughs… and by the way, if that is his real laugh, he has definitely already killed several women and dumped their bodies in the woods.]
TRUDEAU: I’ve actually told the kids they better be binging Star Wars.
[Is it though…? Really? Anyway… Christensen moves to the set-up.]
CHRISTENSEN: And so what’s your plan?
TRUDEAU: Oh. Ah. I’m working. I’m actually, ah, packing up my stuff because I gotta hit the road soon. But listen, May the 4th be with you.
CHRISTENSEN: And with you.

If like me, that’s left you feeling deeply unsatisfied – because that is, believe it or not, the full extent of the dialogue – then hold onto your Looney Tunes socks, because Trudeau is planning a delightful, silly, playful, funny surprise for us all. Ish.

Trudeau leans down and picks up what appears to resemble a high-security suitcase from the floor (thereby briefly exposing his ‘crazy socks’… squeeeee!). He opens it, revealing that it’s hiding something secret, and super bright. A glowing object… a mystery wrapped in a riddle perhaps?

The camera then cuts to an over-the-shoulder shot looking into the suitcase. I think it’s supposed to be a light sabre from the Star Wars movies. Probably. Regardless, wow. OMG. What an incredible plot twist. This moving picture is Hitchcockian in its suspenseful magic.

Trudeau then stands up and walks awkwardly to the door, before exiting into an unlit room… which looks suspiciously like his toilet en-suite.

And there you have it folks: that’s how one of the most powerful men in the world spent May the 4th. I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say… ‘Hahahahahaha! My belly explodes with the mirth’.

There is, unfortunately, a very long history of political leaders doing unspeakably embarrassing things to garner publicity. Or to try and look human. Whatever the case, they almost always achieve the first (in unintended ways), but they rarely, if ever, achieve the second.

Who could forget Tony Abbott eating an onion; John Howard’s attempts at bowling a cricket ball; Scott Morrison’s ukelele performance of ‘April Sun In Cuba’; long-forgotten Family First Senator Steve Fielding, who pranced around federal parliament dressed as a beer bottle. US president Joe Biden has been caught out recently by it too – US comedian Jon Stewart’s take on Biden’s contribution to TikTok during the Super Bowl is a must-watch.

Of course, all of these men bow at the feet of the ‘mother of them all’… this effort from Labor’s Craig Emerson in 2012: the infamous, the incomparable, ‘Whyalla Wipeout’.

Let’s all just let that performance marinade for a second to two, shall we… and as we do, let’s stop and all consider what might have been going through the minds of Emerson’s spin doctors, as they stood behind the camera filming, and apparently thinking to themselves, ‘Yeah… this is a real banger’.

But I digress. Back to Trudeau. As you might imagine, his foray into ‘the arts’ wasn’t all that well received on social media. Indeed, if the resulting comments on the video are anything to go by, describing Trudeau’s attempt to portray himself as ‘the devil-may-care dude who is hip to the groove of the youth of today’ as having ‘fallen flat’ doesn’t quite do the whole train wreck justice. And a note to readers: this is one of those very rare occasions when diving into the comments section will actually make you feel better about humanity.

There’s this from curtisc6429, who cuts right to the chase: “Carton of eggs is 8 bucks and this fucking guy is doing skits.”

This one from Kevincarsales was a little more supportive: “Your acting is far too good to be wasted here in Canada, if i were you I’d move to Hollywood IMMEDIATELY and become a full time actor!!!! I’ll help you pack.”

Or this one, from flyboynextdoor: “Do a video where you get a call from the Governor General asking you to resign for the good of Canada, and then do it. You will get so many likes on the video!!!!”

NathanWagner almost steals the show with, “The fact that even a tenth of one penny of my tax dollars went into this dumpster fire gives me a pretty red level of rage. How about pretending you’re the leader of a country for just a minute Justin. See how that goes.”

But for my money, my two favourites are this one from jayjones2017: “I love Trudeau… sorry guys I’m trying to get off some lists that I’m on.” And this one, from ajdoyle9559, which I think we can all agree steals the show: “Did this really need to be in 4K with close ups on your face? 360p would have been fine.”

That’s not a joke: Trudeau’s media advisers really did upload this video in 4k… which makes it about half a gigabyte… aka very, very (unnecessarily) big. I guess they were hopeful George Lucas might download it, and include it in his next epic. You never know…?

But if the video and comments were not humiliating enough, the mechanics around it add a layer of embarrassment that, frankly, may be unprecedented in the media world.

At the time of press, Trudeau’s video had less than 4,000 views, after 11 days. And that’s because Justin Trudeau – the prime minister of the 10th largest economy in the world – has his own, personal Youtube channel, which has… wait for it… just 5,280 subscribers.

To give you some context, Trudeau’s main political rival – leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, a man who has not appeared on the world stage – has nearly 450,000 subscribers.

In case you missed it, Justin Trudeau is Scott Morrison-level unpopular among Canadians. Unlike Morrison, he’s served a fairly lengthy term – Trudeau took over leadership of the Liberal Party 11 years ago, and he’ll notch up a decade as Prime Minister in November next year… if he lasts that long, because the polls are suggesting Trudeau has well and truly outstayed his welcome.

No amount of bad comedy, I suspect, will undo the ‘it’s time… it’s wayyyyyy past fucking time’ factor for Trudeau. And on that front, there’s one final twist in this story… the real joke that Trudeau is playing on Canadians.

There’s only a couple of reasons for a political figure to revert to such desperate publicity-seeking strategies. One is because they’re lagging so far behind In the polls that they become convinced that any publicity is good publicity. It’s not, obviously, but anyway…. The other is to distract from something really shitty the government (or party) has done.

A few weeks before Trudeau’s super-magical Star Wars adventure, the government put through a proposed bill relating to the 2025 election. Canada was due to go to the polls on October 20, but the bill seeks to delay the vote until October 27.

Why? Well, the official reason is to avoid a scheduling conflict with Diwali, the annual five-day Hindu Festival of Lights. The actual reason appears to be quite a bit more self-serving. Reports the conservative National Post:

“The Liberals have quietly tabled a revision to the Elections Act that would have the effect of ensuring that more than two dozen MPs will qualify for gold-plated parliamentary pensions even if they lose the next election.

Under the existing terms of Canadian electoral law, Canada’s next mandatory general election date is Oct. 20, 2025 — a function of the Elections Act requiring a general election to be held “on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election.

As the 2019 federal election was held on Oct. 21, this means that any MPs first elected at that time won’t qualify for the pension until Oct. 21, 2025 — exactly one day after the previously scheduled date of the 2025 election.

… Shifting the date also ensures that a number of MPs first elected in 2019 — many of whom are [government MPs]projected to lose in 2025 — will just pass the six-year threshold required to qualify for a lifetime parliamentary pension that starts as early as age 55.

This includes Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, Treasury Board President Anita Anand and both Heather McPherson and Matthew Green, the NDP MPs who were the loudest champions of Monday’s attempt to have Canada recognize Palestinian statehood.”

Now THAT is a joke worth going viral on social media.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.