After cracking down on groups claiming climate change talk is anything other than pure partisan slant, Elections Canada has turned its unflinching eye to a new threat to Canada’s democracy: the shape of the earth.
The controversy was sparked by recent comments from Andrew Scheer, the current leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, that indicated his allegiance to the new-age, anti-science group “flat-earthers.” An exclusive one-on-one interview with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge was the source of the drama: “I just don’t see how it could possibly be round and still manage to keep the water down!” exclaimed a frustrated Scheer. “I think the science is still out on this one.”
Within minutes of the interview airing, Scheer’s dubious comments set Elections Canada’s twitter account into a frenzy. They released statements such as: “Wow. @AndrewScheer really kicked the bucket on this one – the shape of the Earth is now a partisan issue!” and later: “THAT’S IT. EVERYTHING IS A PARTISAN ISSUE NOW. NO MORE DEBATES, NO MORE ELECTIONS. YOU’RE WELCOME.”
As with the initial scandal surrounding climate change, the backlash around the seemingly rash decision was immense. Several candidates spoke out on Twitter and in official press statements. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada (GPC), was particularly perturbed, tweeting out that the GPC is willing to take significant action if Elections Canada does not reverse its decision on the matter, starting with unfollowing them on all social media.
Scheer has since spoken out via an official statement on Twitter that he did not mean to cause such a hubbub. Rather, he feels immense public pressure to keep coming up with new reasons to make himself seem increasingly unapproachable. After finally cracking the code on possessing a distinct ‘orders a glass of milk at a bar’ vibe (“It’s all about the diagonally-striped ties and receiving as little vitamin D as possible,” whispered Scheer with a wink and a tight smile), he had decided to set his sights on something even more challenging: becoming a flat-earther.
Looking to end the online feud, Scheer tweeted out that while he “[does] not regret making the flat-earther statements,” he will try to look for less controversial issues to get on the wrong side of in the future: “Perhaps something like gay marriage,” he mused. “We’ll see – anyways, stay tuned!”
This piece is part of the MJPS Satire section. Although potentially based on true events, it is not intended to accurately portray reality. Opinions expressed through this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the position of the McGill Journal of Political Studies or the Political Science Students’ Association.
Featured image by Lauren Hill