Update: Scheer's team sent us a link to another Christmas message that isn't an attack ad.
It’s typical for politicians to release a Christmas message for the masses, though generally speaking they’re brief, inoffensive, and filled with generic platitudes.
But Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer decided to go in a different direction this year, with his one-minute video called Fireside with Andrew Scheer: A tall Christmas tale, released on December 23. And boy is it embarrassing.
First off, the font used for the word “fireside” looks like it might have been chosen by the organizers of a craft fair. In no way does it scream legitimate political party.
The video itself opens with Scheer reading a book while standing up and facing the mantle above a fireplace—not unnatural at all. Soft, vaguely Christmassy music plays in the background as Scheer looks up, turns around, and says “Oh hello, didn’t see you there” to the camera operator he literally hired, before taking a seat.
“You know one of my favourite traditions around this year is reading a story around the fireplace. This one is a magical tale filled with wild promises and numbers as unrealistic as Santa keeping to his diet,” he continues, offering a sly smirk upon delivery of that brutal punch line.
He then holds up the book, revealing it to be the Liberals’ most recent budget plan, which he describes as a “pretty scary” story.
“The ending is pretty bleak. There’s a massive new carbon tax and the Grinch leaves a big deficit for all the Whos in Whoville to pay back for him. It certainly scares my kids, and it keeps me up at night too,” he says. Yeah, most children are freaking out about the taxation of fossil fuels around Christmas.
It’s a bit hard to concentrate on his words because the camera angles keep changing, so a lot of the time it looks like he’s staring off camera at no one.
Scheer then says that in 2019 he’s going to make sure “this story becomes fiction.” Cue another corny smile.
“But on a serious note, from Canada’s Conservatives, Merry Christmas everyone and a happy new year,” he says. I guess we can infer that everything he has said up until that point e.g. the crux of the video, is a joke?
It really should have ended there, but Scheer makes one last dig, muttering “much happier after October, 2019”—implying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will lose the next election.
Scheer got ratio’d pretty hard after posting the video on Twitter; people took issue with his partisan message at Christmas, and even more so, the shitty production value of this video. In the latter category, he could never top former rival Kellie Leitch’s eight-minute ramble on Canadian values. But at least he gave me something to write about on an otherwise slow news day.
Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.
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