John Cleese endorses Justin Trudeau via Twitter, or does he mean Maggie?

John Cleese urges what he once called "the sanest nation there is" to please give him another Trudeau, in a tweet aimed at Canadians.

Celebrities weigh in via Twitter in an election that's caught world attention

Comedian John Cleese, seen here in a 2014 interview with CBC News, once called Canada the 'sanest nation there is.'

John Cleese and other foreign notables have recently weighed in, via Twitter, on Canada's election.

The U.K. comedian on Oct. 16 asked his followers: "Could we have another Trudeau please?"

While such endorsements may not be technically legal, nothing is stopping the wry advice — sent with a tip of Cleese's bowler hat — to the ghost of Trudeaumania from clogging Canadian Facebook accounts.

Cleese is not the only notable figure who has urged a vote for one party or another.

Barack Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod also tweeted support for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Not everybody was thrilled, with some telling him to keep out of Canadian politics.

Earlier in October, U.S. celebrity comic Sarah Silverman waded into Canuck politics, tweeting her support for the NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Her outspoken endorsement caused a tempest.

Then there were all the ex-pat celebrities: Pamela Anderson, Wayne Gretzky and Donald Sutherland also endorsed both a party and a candidate.

'Sanest nation'

Cleese, who once called Canada "the sanest nation there is," drew many replies for his remark, one of which noted he didn't specify which Trudeau he meant. 

One follower asked "Do you mean Maggie?" — referring to Trudeau's mother, a notable figure in her own right. 

Another quoted one of the most famous lines of his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau: "Just watch us."

Others decried Cleese's request, one calling the younger Trudeau a "twit."​

One of the many responses to Cleese's tweet invoked a famous line by Justin Trudeau's father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau: 'Just watch us.' (CBC)

The Liberal leader Trudeau has shown up a lot in the British media lately.

The Independent newspaper featured an image of Trudeau in a Montreal Canadiens jersey.

"Observers agree while his intellect and temperament differ from his father's, Mr. Trudeau has inherited the late Prime Minister's grit and determination," the paper said. "His rivals may have realised too late."

Other British media outlets have done an about-turn on the Liberals' prospects.

The Guardian went from headlines, three months ago, that warned of a bleak future for the Liberals to a piece last week entitled "Will Trudeaumania sweep Canada's Liberals into power?"​

Illegal to sway votes

Some see celebrity tweets — especially those by non-Canadians — as potentially illegal. Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act says, "no person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate."

But, according to legal experts, this rule is not usually enforced, and it is difficult to claw back a tweet in the new digital world.

With files from Canadian Press


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