We ask the population of Douglas College if the photos affect this year’s election?
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
Since photos of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in brownface from 2001 came to the attention of the public last week, many people are speaking out, calling Trudeau a racist. Because of the image he has made for himself as a progressive leader speaking out against racism many are also calling him hypocritical. These photos could not have been released at a more inconvenient time for Trudeau as the federal election is in less than a month.
Some people believe that due the surfacing of these photos, Trudeau’s chances of winning this years’ federal election are severely damaged. Indeed, according to an article by the National Post, the lead the Liberals had on the Conservative party disappeared after exposure of the brownface photos. At the time of writing this, the poll tracker on CBC currently shows that the Conservatives have a slight edge on the Liberals, but Liberals may still win majority seats.
However, some sources also state that Trudeaus chances of winning another term in the election next month are not destroyed. According to the New West Record, a survey of Canadians conducted by Research Co. showed the results are not damaging to the Liberal Party’s standing. According to the Research Co. survey, 36 percent of decided voters would vote Liberal in the election, compared to 33 percent for Conservative.
With so many conflicting opinions and reports, the Other Press sought out the Douglas College community for their input on the matter.
Some people in the community believe that the public scrutiny of the photos will not affect the election less than a month away. One faculty member weighed in his opinion on the current Prime Minister’s elections future.
“I see Justin Trudeau as someone who has taken up the mantle—in Canada at least—for people who are more on the left side as well as centric,” said Danny, a registration employee. “I wouldn’t say he’s a person who would go up against, say, Trump—but I still think that he has the right values to lead Canada for the time being.”
Among the next group of studying Psychology major students, many agreed that the photos will not affect the Liberal party’s chances at winning the next election.
“By the time it gets to the actual election dates people will have pretty much made up their mind,” said Harpreet.
“I also feel like the amount of negative publicity that’s surrounding it in media right now is just a temporary thing. I don’t really think it’s going to have a huge affect,” said Brandon.
On the other side, some say that the voters won’t be affected despite the scandalous photos being released, and that Trudeau is not going to win the election regardless.
“I didn’t think that he was going to win anyway but it definitely doesn’t help. I feel like older people don’t care and younger people do, and the younger ones are probably the ones who are voting [the most],” said Lauren, a History major.
Others, like a fair portion of the population, are undecided about how this will affect the election and Trudeau’s chances of winning.
“I don’t know. It’s kind of 50/50. I mean it was a long time ago. Honestly, I don’t think he’ll win because of it, but [who knows?]” Said Alyssa, a General Studies student.
The opinions of the Douglas College community are conflicting. At this point, it’s near impossible to determine which way this years’ election will go. For now, we will just have to wait until October 21st to find out.