“Elbowgate” is the affectionate misnomer the media strapped onto a minor hiccup by Prime Minister Trudeau in the House of Commons on May 18. But the name isn’t the only unfortunate circumstance — this entire thing is ridiculous.
Of course, we will never truly know what intentions (or lack thereof) were behind the embarrassment that transpired in Parliament. What we should know is that the entire story was blown out of proportion by politicians and thirsty media, and gobbled up by a ravenous public.
Trudeau walked across the floor to escort the Conservative party whip Gord Brown to his seat. When Trudeau pushed through a group to reach the man, he accidentally elbowed an NDP member in the breast.
At this point, I would like to remind everyone that even though Trudeau is our Prime Minister, he is still a human being. As such, it is completely understandable that he would accidentally knock into someone in a crowded area as he went by.
He apologized. Everyone should have moved on. But they didn’t.
Trudeau shouldn’t have left his seat to try and help the Conservative through — which he acknowledged and also apologized for. That should have been the end of it. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the aforementioned NDP member, stated that she left after being elbowed in the breast because “it was very overwhelming.”
OK, but why? Hasn’t anyone ever tried to squeeze past her and accidentally nudged or elbowed her before? I understand that in Parliament physical touch is unacceptable, but adding accusations on top of mistakes seems like the worst possible way to calm down a non-situation.
All I can do is shake my head at this honest-to-God idiocy.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair then decided, for reasons unknown, that this was an act of utter disrespect. Mulcair’s misguided and deliberately inflammatory comment to Trudeau, “What kind of man elbows a woman?” caused the two men to get into a shouting match in the middle of the House. All I can do is shake my head at this honest-to-God idiocy.
There have been parliamentary sessions in other countries, such as Ukraine, where legislators have literally broken out into physical brawls on the floor; yet Canadian politicians and media are getting this wound up over a simple accident.
There is something to be said about media’s portrayal of Canadian political ‘issues,’ and it’s not good. For whatever reason, any problem or mistake Trudeau encounters is slapped with a ‘gate’ suffix. No, that’s not how it works. An issue isn’t a problem just because you’re naming it after Watergate, which was an actual crisis. All it does is reinforce the idea that you have nothing bigger to bug Trudeau and his Liberals about — you’re grasping at straws.
It’s trite, it’s immature, and frankly, it’s embarrassing.
This entire bad dream should have ended on the legislative floor with Trudeau’s apologies. Mulcair shouldn’t have resorted to screaming insults, and Conservative leader Rona Ambrose didn’t have to fuel the fire with her arrogant, self-entitled speech on how appalled she was at all this childish behaviour.
I understand that Canadian politics don’t have a lot of drama, but that doesn’t mean we need to create some, or over-magnify the tidbits that do occur. Come on, Canada. We’re better than this.