7 social media embarrassments from the campaign trail

7 social media embarrassments from the campaign trail - image

One prevailing theme from this year’s federal election is the social media mea culpa and the number of candidates resigning from the race after embarrassing online gaffes.

It was the NDP’s turn Wednesday when Ontario candidate Alex Johnstone made a flippant remark about the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, then said she didn’t know what Auschwitz was.

So far, all the major parties have endured some measure of social media humiliation, and at least a dozen candidates have either resigned or been booted from the party as a result. Here are just some of the most outrageous.

 Chris Austin

The Liberal candidate ran a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it campaign in Alberta’s Sturgeon River-Parkland riding. The party nominated him Sept. 7 and dropped him just nine days later over a swath of online comments “irreconcilable with the party’s values.”

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READ MORE: How parties vet candidates, and why they sometimes miss important things

Some of those comments included a Facebook comment saying “Harper has turned our Nation’s Capital into a War Zone as his thirst for War,” and referring to the RCMP as the “Canadian Gestapo.”

Jerry Bance

Social media didn’t cause the Conservative candidate’s downfall, but he endured much online mockery over “Peegate.”

The former service technician was caught on hidden camera peeing into a coffee mug on a 2012 episode of CBC Marketplace, but his nationally broadcast bladder movement was apparently forgotten as he wrangled a nomination in Ontario’s Scarborough–Rouge Park riding. The CBC later received a tip that the Bance was the man with the mug, and the Conservative party dropped him for being dishonest during the screening process.

And #Peegate became a Twitter phenomenon.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair even joined in the fun, saying Bance’s TV moment was “one mugshot Canadians were not expecting.”

 Ala Buzreba

The 21-year-old Liberal candidate stepped down as the Calgary Nose Hill candidate after a Conservative supporter dug up some controversial old tweets.

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Other tweets included some caustic comments calling one person “a waste of sperm” and telling another that his mother should have aborted him.

Buzreba defended herself saying the posts were written when she was 16 years old and “do not accurately reflect my views and who I am.”

Tim Dutaud

The “UniCaller” was kicked from the Conservative tent after videos of his prank calls hit the spotlight.

Dutaud posted a series of videos on YouTube in which he made fun of people with disabilities and pretended to orgasm while on the line with female customer service reps.

WATCH: Former Conservative candidate’s offensive prank call videos surface online

Wiliam Moughrabi

The Conservative candidate somehow survived the storm over his aggressive and sexist comments, staying on as the candidate in Quebec’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville  riding.

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Moughrabi posted a video called the “Man’s Guide to Women,” which ranks women using the “Hot/Crazy Matrix.”

Other comments included “never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose” and “karma takes too long. I’d rather beat the s–t out of you now.”

Moughrabi was forced to delete his social media accounts, but remains in the race.

VirJiny Provost

It probably doesn’t pay to be too candid a candidate.

The Bloc Quebecois hopeful was roundly mocked for her own attempt at humour.

Asked what she’d need were she the sole survivor of a nuclear attack, Provost wrote on that she’d want “My cellphone, a penis and some chips.”

READ MORE: Candidates behaving badly: What happens when we get caught up in ‘gotcha politics’?

Her humour ultimately won out though, as she remains the candidate in Mégantic-L’Érable.

Morgan Wheeldon

The embattled NDP candidate claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign after resigning from the race in Nova Scotia’s Kings-Hants riding.

Wheeldon took flak for a 2014 Facebook post about Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip.

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“One could argue that Israel’s intention was always to ethnically cleanse the region — there are direct quotations proving this to be the case. Guess we just sweep that under the rug,” his post read in part. “A minority of Palestinians are bombing buses in response to what appears to be a calculated effort to commit a war crime.”

The above graphic shows conversation regarding federal election candidates from Sept. 7-Oct. 5, 2015, tracking uses of the handles, hashtags and candidates’ names on Twitter.

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