The Politics of Facial Hair in the Upcoming Election


OTTAWA—With Prime Minister Harper back from the Middle East, notably more tan and comfortable in his own skin, the Trudeau camp has turned its attention away from detailing platform specifics to re-presenting the Liberal, prime-minister hopeful.

Before he can articulate his plan for Canada, insiders are saying he must first attend to the more fundamental element underpinning the election: his image.

The Liberal Party learned a hard lesson in 2011. If you can’t control your image in the press and on social media, you’re anybody’s muse, especially with the emergence of troll-culture. The heinous poster that’d gone viral depicting Michael Ignatieff water-boarding voters or the meme of the NDP bathhouse were disastrous for both parties. With voters still pliable on the left and right, experts worry that Trudeau’s makeover might be too last-minute…

Kathy Wilkenson, Trudeau’s Public Image Advisor, told MetaCanada that “Justin has been through so much, both during his formative years as the son of one of this country’s finest prime ministers, and later, as a patriot working his way up the political ladder. It hasn’t been easy, and worse, he hasn’t had time to properly discover who he is. That’s what this is about.” With an icy look of uncritical belief, Kathy continued, “In 2015, we’re going to see a new Justin.”

Using the Kempinsky FH Spectrum, the Liberal Party tested over eighty-five different doctored photos of Trudeau with ten diverse focus groups. The results were surprising.

Out of the top-twenty images of Justin differently made-over, the following six received the most favorable praise, the latter three having tied in the polls:

  • “Grizzled Trudeau” sporting a ten-gallon hat in a denim blazer;
  • “Middle-class Trudeau” wearing a wrinkled and transit-worn pin-stripe suit with mismatched shoes;
  • “Virile, young French Trudeau,” shirtless, wearing a tan and canvas jumper;
  • “Offensive Trudeau” in blackface;
  • “Bearded Trudeau,” similarly shirtless, holding a stuffed animal to obscure his otherwise exposed genitals; and
  • “Daddy-done-me-wrong Trudeau” wearing a tired-look squeezed beneath a furrowed brow.

Wilkenson divulged some details about Trudeau’s transformation. “We could be looking at a bearded prime minister. The last real beard on a PM was probably worn by Bowell or McKenzie. They independently set a great precedent. I’m confident that Justin can rise to the occasion with facial hair bordering, perhaps, on masculine.”

Trudeau, off to a charitable talk for which he was not compensated in any way*, insinuated that in 2015, Harper might be facing a “Grizzled Trudeau.” He told reporters, “I’m about change. Change is always good. Just like a beard, symbol of rebirth. Maybe that’s not what Canada needs, but what it deserves.” He pirouetted into his jacket, and then lumbered into his middle-class high-end sports-car.

Whether or not Stephen Harper will speak to this radical shake-up on the left will likely depend on how well his new swagger is received in the House of Commons on Monday. It is probable that his tan will read favorably, since it is winter—a time when tans speak to nobility and intellect— but his new hobby of attempting conversational Hebrew has his Social Media Manager, George O’Armani, fretting.

“A rehabilitated economy and heartless, utilitarian execution are all well and good,” said O’Armani, “but this beard thing really throws a wrench in the gears. If I have to increase Steve’s hormone injections so he can compete with that weasel, I have my work cut out for me. With chaetophobics, it’s difficult to sneak a single bristle south of the brow. ”

The next few months, expect a great deal of rutting. Whoever wins this election, might win by the difference of a hair.

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