Artistic license & journalism

In the theoretical world where the air we breath is clear and everyone is equal, the fundamental tenets of journalism include the commodities of truth, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. Of course we don't live in a theoretical world; we live in a world where air quality is measured by particulate content, equality exists when you can afford it, and journalism has been reduced to thirty second sound bytes which have more to do with the exclamation point which follows the headline than on the veracity of the underlying stories themselves.

Such was the case with elbowgate: a colloquial term used to describe Prime Minister Trudeau's indiscretion last month when he crossed the floor of Parliament to circumvent a deliberate NDP delay tactic. In a nutshell, the legislature was about to vote on a closure motion on the final reading of Bill C-14: a bill to amend the Criminal Code to allow for physician-assisted death. Custom dictates that prior to any vote, both government and official-opposition whips must enter the House after the summoning chines, walk up the aisle on their respective sides of the House, then take their respective seats after bowing towards the Speaker and each other.

As Conservative whip Gord Brown attempted to move down the opposition side of the House to take his seat, his path was blocked by three members of the NDP (Ruth Ellen Brosseau, David Christopherson, and leader Tom Mulcair), in a deliberate attempt to delay the vote. Observing the blockade, Trudeau crossed the House floor, took Brown's arm and led him through the group. There were scurrilous reports that Trudeau yelled "Get the fuck out of my way!" however analysis of the audio footage of the incident revealed this to be false. In the pother, while taking a step backwards, Trudeau accidentally bumped into Brosseau, his elbow meeting with her chest. Brosseau grimaced, clutched her chest and left the House after speaking to Mulcair. Later, she informed the House she felt "overwhelmed" and had sat in the lobby, thus missing the vote.

Following the incident, a shouting match ensued during which Mulcair called Trudeau "pathetic". Any casual observer viewing the House footage (above) would likely conclude that the only thing pathetic about the whole debacle was the NDP's behaviour. Moreover, on the day following the incident, MPs spent five hours discussing the incident. Brosseau later said her office had received several calls accusing her of "crying wolf". I have reviewed the House footage several times and can say, without reservation, that I suffer far more serious incidental contact any time I take the fucking bus downtown. I'd be more than happy to invite Brosseau to take a ride on the 95 at rush hour with me and, upon disembarking, ask her if it paled in comparison to the alleged battle-scars she sustained in the House.

Of course critics of Trudeau were quick to vilify his actions and the media was even quicker to capitalize on the sensationalism. Peter Van Loan characterized Trudeau's actions as a "physical molestation". Pierre Nantel asserted that Trudeau acted with "such determination that it was clear he was furious and determined to make it physical". Niki Ashton likened Trudeau's incidental contact to an assault and gender-based action. Lisa Raitt made reference to the Ghomeshi sexual harassment trial and Peter Kent suggested Trudeau's actions were in contempt of Parliament. Finally, Michael Cooper said he considered the actions "criminal assault" and interim leader Rona Ambrose tweeted that the Prime Minister's actions "are worthy of the strongest condemnation of this House".

I'm still at a bit of a loss to imagine how any rational person, after viewing the House footage, could draw any conclusion other than Trudeau's contact with Brosseau as being both unintentional and incidental. In my view, to attribute any malicious intent is not only absurd, but also an absolute fabrication. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to offer a more neutral account of the incident, which may be more conducive to Tory and NDP observers:

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OTTAWA (JDP) : Beelzbub reared his ugly head in Canada's Parliament last month when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suddenly and unexpectedly became possessed by the dark overlord. A bedevilled and animated Trudeau levitated from his seat and was transported across the House floor where he wreaked havoc among opposition members.

"Your mother washes socks in Hull!", the evil incarnate chortled at Tom Mulcair through a thick venomous green bile that spewed from his mouth. As Trudeau's demonic stare remained fixated on the Trotskyite leader, his head remained stationary and his dangling body spun a full three-hundred and sixty degrees in a counter-clockwise direction. In the process of the possessed twirling manoeuvre, the author of evil landed a solid left elbow to the breast of Ruth Ellen Brosseau, a blow that only hockey legend Gordie Howe could have levelled with such precision. "I was overwhelmed", Brosseau would later tell reporters. This is completely understandable given that prior to being elected to public office, Brosseau served beer at a pub in a politically correct University where she was likely only admired for her intellect. Having never had her ass pinched by horny young men, Satan's physical molestation of her tits must have been quite a shock. One must wonder why she's not out on stress leave.

Having cleared a path through the lollygaggers, evil then reigned supreme as Trudeau then confronted Tory Whip Gord Brown and yanked the fellow parliamentarian's arm clean out of the socket. "La plume de ma taunte!" Trudeau screeched in tongues as he shook the severed limb at Tory backbenchers, eyes black as coal and smoke emanating from his ears. Members of the Liberal caucus calmed Trudeau until the evil entity seemingly left his body. Paramedics rushed Brown to a local Ottawa Hospital where he remained, heavily sedated for several days, awaiting an artificial limb transplant.

An apologetic Trudeau addressed the legislature for three days following the incident. Following an internal investigation, a Parliamentary Review Committee found no wrong-doing on the part of Trudeau.

Submitted by "Big Banana" Bob Loblaw, 31 May 2016