Canada

Trudeau voted worst Canadian in 'unscientific' online poll

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau has ranked as the worst Canadian according to an online poll, beating out notorious killers Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka and Clifford Olsen.

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau has ranked as the worst Canadian according to an online poll, beating out notorious killers Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka and Clifford Olsen.

Nearly 15,000 votes were cast in the poll, conducted by The Beaver, a historymagazine. Chris Hannah of the punk rock group Propagandhi, who had waged a campaign to top the list, came in a close second.

"A result that perhaps speaks about the perils of online polling as it does about the love-hate relationship Canadians have had with this paradoxical prime minister, who could wear a flower in his lapel while giving critics the finger," The Beaver said on its website, acknowledging it was an "unscientific poll."

The top 10 list included four prime ministers, three convicted criminals, two singers, one doctor and one former Canadian.

Abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler ranked third, edging out former prime minister Brian Mulroney in fourth.

But all were deemed worse than Bernardo and Homolka, the former couple convicted of killing two teenage girls, who tied for fifth place.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper can take some solace that he ranked below the notorious pair, finishing sixth as the worst Canadian.

Rounding up the top (or bottom) 10 were singer Céline Dion, former prime minister Jean Chrétien, child killer Clifford Olsen and Conrad Black.

"Voters generally disliked Canadians who — in their view — turned their backs on Canada by rejecting their citizenship or moving elsewhere to seek fame and fortune," Mark Reid, editor of The Beaver, said in a statement.

"Voters also disliked Canadians who — they believed — sold out our sports teams, businesses, or cultural institutions to foreign interests, thereby diminishing our collective national identity."

Deborah Morrison, publisher of The Beaver and head of Canada’s National History Society, said voters were thinking in the present.

"None of the choices that they made for worst Canadians are people whose imprint on Canada has been beyond the last 30 years," she said. "I think a lot of people would take exception to that and say, 'Surely there are worse people in our history,' and there probably are."

The magazine also called on a panel of historians and writers to come up with an alternative list:

  • Former prime ministers Sir John A. Macdonald and John Diefenbaker.
  • Military leaders John Reiffenstein and Sam Hughes.
  • Notorious Japanese army torturer Inouye Kanao, a.k.a. the Kamloops Kid.
  • Indian policy administrators Duncan Campbell Scott and Joseph Trutch.
  • Nazi Party of Canada founder Adrien Arcand.
  • Winnipeg Daily Times journalist Edward Farrer, cited for racist writings against the French and Catholics.
  • Media magnate Lord Beaverbrook.

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