Islamophobia, naked toilet pictures, and comparing baptism and circumcision to rape. The 2014 Quebec election campaign appears to be getting more surreal by the minute — in part, because of the attention some candidates have been getting on social media.
A PQ candidate has quit the race over a racist Facebook post, another Péquiste is in trouble for, among other things, comparing baptism and circumcision to rape, and a 21-year-old CAQ candidate is becoming the butt of social media jokes for his apparent penchant for showing his butt off on Facebook.
On Thursday morning, Jean Carrière, the PQ candidate for the east-end Montreal riding of LaFontaine, bowed out because of the attention his personal Facebook page has received on social media. One post shows a topless woman giving the finger with the caption 'F*** Islam'; another post praises Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French extreme-right Front National party; and still another asserts "Islam is...female genital mutilation."
Meanwhile, Louise Mailloux, the PQ's candidate who's trying to win the Gouin riding back from Françoise David and Québec Solidaire, is also in trouble for comments comparing baptism and circumcision to rape — as well as a suggestion that kosher food is used to finance religious wars.
Far from backing down from that assertion, Mailloux, an author ardent secularist, told La Presse last night she was running for the PQ "to defend the [secularism] charter."
Reaction to those comments was, for the most part, virulent on Twitter. "Dieudonné would be proud," wrote one, referring to the controversial, and reputedly racist, French comic.
Meanwhile, Steven Fleurent, the CAQ candidate for Rimouski, had to do a cleanup on his Facebook page after some of his more juvenile pictures made the rounds.
The most prominent of them shows him sitting on a toilet, stark naked, along with at least one other photo of him with his pants down and butt exposed.
The CAQ called the posts "unacceptable and in bad taste," and demanded that he remove the offending photos — which he has done.