The subtext of Kellie Leitch's bizarro video - Macleans.ca
 

The subtext of Kellie Leitch’s bizarro video

At minimum, Kellie Leitch is going to come out of this race with a recurring role on The Young and the Restless


 

Let’s go second-by-second through that weird new eight-minute video from Kellie Leitch:

0:01 “Hi, I’m Kellie Leitch and I’m running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.”

“Hi, I’m Kellie Leitch! You may remember me from such campaign themes as ‘STOP, IMMIGRANT!’ and ‘Is Canada Canadian enough?’”

0:07 First in a series of awkward pauses.

Collect all 1,033!

0:11 “Over the last several months, I’ve been traveling across the country, speaking to thousands of Canadians.”

Ever the trailblazer, Leitch here becomes the first Canadian politician to pronounce the word “thousands” with four syllables.

MORE: Kellie Leitch’s video is a masterwork of Trumpian distraction

0:14 The camera moves to the left.

This is a common tactic in political videos – an effort to inject some dynamism in an otherwise static composition. Except in this case the camera moves so far to the left that it looks as though it’s trying to make a run for it. Good instincts, camera.

0:24 “Everywhere I go, I hear the same message.”

“And that message is: ‘Rats, I thought Kevin O’Leary would be here.’”

0:34 “Canadians are proud of their country – and proud of their unified Canadian identity.”

‘Unified Canadian identity.’ That sounds like something Einstein might have come up with: Eureka, at long last I see it now – the long-sought unified theory of Canadianness! It was right before my eyes all along: (x+y)/z, where x is ‘bacon slices’, y is ‘tweets slagging Nickelback’ and z is ‘lifetime apologies.’

0:37 “They’re proud of their values – values like hard work, generosity, freedom and tolerance.”

“Unlike the other nations of the world and their misguided adherence to lazy, indifferent racism.” (Also, small thing but: Pretty sure most politicians say “we” when they’re talking about Canadians, not “they.” Unless… hmm… hey, did someone let Kellie Leitch into the country without a face-to-face interview with a trained immigration official?)

0:42 Leitch looks to her right.

You’ve all watched a nightly newscast, right? You’ve seen the savvy veteran TV correspondent glance away from the camera in the middle of her standup. It’s a move meant to convey reflection – or create the notion that the reporter is pondering what to say next. When Leitch does it, however, it looks as though she’s greeting an invisible friend. BONJOUR MRS. CANTALOUPE!

MORE: Kellie Leitch’s constituents turn against her

1:02 Let’s talk about Kellie Leitch’s face.

There is nothing wrong with a politician smiling – or, as in this case, trying to smile. I’m all for it. But for much of this video, Leitch wears a spacey expression that can best be described as “hobo who just smelled the aroma of a cherry pie cooling on a windowsill.”

1:06 These cutaways are weird, aren’t they?

Jarring, really. They lend credence to the rumour that this video was put together using the new Adobe software, Edit Like You’re Baked.

1:10 Leitch looks again to the right, and this time her head almost takes her entire body with her.

By the six-minute mark, Leitch is going to be speaking with her back to the camera. Either that or she’ll be upside down.

1:15 “Canada is” – pause meant to convey that she is spontaneously searching for the right word even though this is a scripted video but it turns out to be such an oddly long pause that it instead suggests she needs to be rebooted – “an opportunity.”

1:18 Leitch pauses, turns to the right AND steps back at the same time.

Believe you me: This is the triple Lutz of political-video moves. Joe Clark tried it in 1978 and tore his ACL. We’re dealing with a pro here, folks.

1:27 Leitch looks to the right but then also looks up.

She’s displaying all the range you’d expect from the star of a cat food commercial. LOOK UP HERE MITTENS [jangles car keys].

1:43 “And Canada is a place where we can each choose how to live…”

Wait, what about our ‘unified Canadian identity??’ You mean I just went out and bought 34 million matching red turtlenecks for nothing????

1:45 “… in freedom and with tolerance.”

“If I keep repeating the word ‘tolerance,’ I can’t be an anti-immigrant bigot. THAT’S JUST SCIENCE.”

1:58 “This is why so many people seek to come to Canada, to this place, each year.”

“And this is why I will personally shoo away each and every one of them with a broom. ‘Shoo!’ I’ll say, ‘and also sometimes, for variety, git!’”

MORE: Canada’s race for the political bottom

2:01 “Because a better life is possible here – a life that is prosperous, generous, freer and more tolerant.”

“Did I mention ‘tolerant?’ I did? Good. But did I mention ‘tolerant?’ I did? Good.”

2:14 Folks, I’m pretty open-minded politically but I’m not sure I can vote for a leader who can’t decide whether to stand up or sit down.

I guess the good news for the Leitch campaign is that although she’s losing the leadership race, she’s kicking ass at this game of musical chairs.

2:16 And she’s back up.

And walking toward the camera – coming right at us! Welcome to Dr. Leitch’s 3D House of Pancakes! (Google it, kids.)

2:25 For the first time, Leitch turns to her left – thus proving to skeptics that her body is capable of awkward human-like gestures in both directions.

The full Harper!

2:50 “Today…”

Here, Leitch pauses long enough for her eyeballs to come to three distinct stops as they glance randomly around the room. The only reasonable conclusion is that a swarm of bees has been released. Kudos to her for remaining composed.

2:52 “…only nine to 15 per cent of immigrants receive an interview with a trained immigration official before they come to Canada.

“Okay, so now we’re getting to the part where it’s going to sound like I’m being racist. Please remember all the goodwill I built up by repeatedly saying tolerant.”

3:09 Freeze it right here. Leitch is looking to her left, with a proud grin on her face.

It’s as though she just learned that her imaginary friend Mrs. Cantaloupe is out of rehab and enrolled in night school.

3:52 Look to the left. Look at the camera. “This is a problem.” Look to the left.

At minimum, Leitch is going to come out of this race with a recurring role on The Young and the Restless.

4:17 “This is why when I become Prime Minister…”

Killer line, but I believe you’re supposed to open with your jokes.

4:19 “…I’m committed to ensuring that all immigrants, refugees and visitors to Canada receive a face-to-face interview with a trained immigration officer.”

Wait – visitors too? Given how long the line is going to be coming back into Canada from the U.S., we’d better hope that two of our enduring Canadian values are “patience” and “holding it.”

4:34 Another awkward cut.

One gets the sense this video must have taken hours to shoot. Or perhaps it’s still being shot right now. Perhaps time is a flat circle – we are cringing at Kellie Leitch because we have always been cringing at Kellie Leitch.

4:44 “There is a second part to my proposal…”

“We will build a moat along the U.S. border.”

4:47 “…that is to screen all immigrants, refugees and visitors to Canada for their agreement with Canadian values. Do they support the ideas of hard work, generosity, freedom and tolerance?”

“Hi. I know you just want to come across the border to go skiing for the weekend, but can I please see a notarized copy of your last six years of charitable tax deductions. Also, someone in the car needs to have calloused hands.”

5:05 “Do they believe that men and women are equal? Do they believe that violence has no place in political disagreements? Do they believe that all should be left to worship as they see fit?”

“Do they believe in the power of you and I?”

5:31 Marvel at Leitch’s hand gesture here.

What a flourish! She missed her calling as a magician and/or Price is Right model.

5:43 “We are a tolerant society.”

“I mean, what says ‘tolerance’ more than building an entire political campaign on the foundation of exclusion, distrust and fear?”

6:18 “Newcomers to Canada are already tested on their knowledge of [our] values. Under my proposal, we will ensure that they agree with them as well.”

Truth serum! It works in the movies!

6:40 “Our immigration system is too important to get hung up on numbers and quotas…. So I cannot tell you what the number will be. The only commitment I can make to you is that every immigrant, refugee and visitor will receive a face-to-face interview.”

“Actually, I can make one other commitment: When I am eliminated from this race on the first ballot, you will all feel slightly better about your country.”

6:49 For just a brief moment, Leitch falls out of focus.

I prefer to think that this is the camera’s way of saying, “Look, I’m a professional, but even I have my limits, guys.”

7:06 “We must protect and promote our shared Canadian values and our unique Canadian identity. That is what you asked me to do.”

I for one specifically asked Kellie Leitch for only one thing: Mrs. Cantaloupe’s cell phone number. That girl has finally got her life together and I want in.

7:14 “And that is what I will do…”

“…when I am elected Prime Minister in an alternate universe in which politicians are chosen based solely on their inability to look directly into the camera.”

7:22 “No other candidate in this race will do this.”

“Remember: There are, like, 740 other candidates. And none of them will do this. None of them agrees with me. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think that my signature policy is a completely unhinged non-starter.”

7:43 “I made this video today because I wanted to speak to you directly.”

Look closely at the painting in the background. If you really zoom in and squint, you can see the director of this video drowning himself in the pond.

8:25 “I stand alone in this leadership race on this issue. I need you to stand with me.”

Think of me as Donald Trump without the charisma, moxie, wealth, instincts, savvy or success!


 

The subtext of Kellie Leitch’s bizarro video

  1. Was this necessary?

    • It wasn’t necessary for you to read it or comment on it. Does that answer your question?

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  2. That pretty much describes how awful the video was. It definitely got her media attention
    but the blatant implied racism only got underlined. She fails at being a Trump wannabe but proves she is on the extreme right of good natured Canadians who really aren’t very tolerant of these kind of views. It takes two years for the average immigrant to prove that they are acceptable to Canadian immigration authorities before they even get here. She is talking BS. Plain and simple.

  3. I immigrated to Canada many years ago. After we applied to immigrate to Canada, (my wife, me and two children) we were called for interviews two times in person and were interviewed by at least 3 or 4 different Canadian Embassy officials.
    Some interviews were done separately and some with all family.
    After first set of interviews we were sent for detailed medical exams, then we were scheduled for the second interviews. Three months latter we were granted the landed immigrant visas.
    I am not familiar with immigration process now but if it is similar to my experience when I immigrated I would not have any concerns.
    Is Kellie Leitch maybe from southern Alberta originally?

  4. Re-booting “quota’s” & “common sense” – channelling the lies of the of Mike Harris, John, Baird, Jim Flaherty, Tony Clement crew – where “face to face” ( not “in-person” ) is a not so thinly “veiled” attack on religious choice – but wasn’t that a “shared Canadian value” !? A sad vision of a Canada where all we should aspire to is to “tolerate” each other in a non-violent manner as we become ever more unequal !?

  5. Fake news hit piece maybe if they spent energy critizing the little potato or Kathlynn I’ll be your mother wynne we would have competent politician

    • Ahhhh, Did the truth hurt in this so called ‘fake news ‘article , here is a suggestion, don’t be so Canadian or a snowflake, there both the same.

  6. Insulating that Harper who expanded the middle class and helped Trudeau enjoy a VERY easy first term (thanks to the media after hour favours) as though it is an insult is classic fake news. Harper wasn’t perfect but he know how to not take be investigated by for taking bribes from billionaires Maclean’s is fake news because its 2017!

    • Your sentences are completely incoherent, much like the people whose politics you support.

  7. As an immigrant who came here 40 years ago, now a Canadian citizen, I would like to ask Kellie Leitch what she means with her “Canadian values”? Are your “Canadian values” endorse racism against any other people than white british people? As far as I have seen so far I have been living here you born Canadians have discriminated against the very people who have been living here first, the aboriginal people. If you Canadian borns are racist against aboriginal and have treated them unfairly for the last 250 years, how can you have “Canadian values” and not being racist against any other minorities. What we should do here in Canada is interview Canadian born people for “Canadian values” and if they don’t meet them, like Kellie Leitch, send them to whatever country they, their parents or grand-parents came from. Don’t assume that all immigrants are racists like you.

  8. Scott Feschuk; would you please do us all a favour and reference us to the articles that you wrote before Donald Trump was elected. Will you ever learn … or are you deliberately controversial to please your masters.

  9. This video is so strange and bizarre a video that if SNL didn’t parody this on Saturday Night it would be a shock.
    Everything about Letich’s video was Sarah Palin-lite….there is no way that Letich can be taken seriously as a MP ,let alone a Conservative leadership canidate after this.
    But,Letich’s messaging is not a new trait in Canadian politics,any side of the asile.
    You need only look at the plight of the Japanese fleeing Pearl Harbour and of course,Jews fleeing Germany under Hitler and the response of both the Goverment and opposition to it all.
    It’s why,the majority of Canadians are repulsed at what the Tory leadership canidates are saying about those crossing the U.S.-Canada border and such.
    It’s a failing to remember history

    • “…plight of the Japanese fleeing Pearl Harbour (sic)”? I am not following. Did you mean after they bombed the hell out of it?

    • On the other hand, maybe you were just taking your own advice: “It’s a failing to remember history”.

  10. Looks like she hired Harper’s stylist to apply the makeup, which looks bizarre since she never wears any otherwise. Slow the video down and she’s just another mean drunk. Kellie Leitch is obviously nuts. She’s Canada’s Ben Carson, a wingnut with a medical degree.

  11. Melissa McCarthy could easily pull off Kellie Leitch.

  12. Kellie Leitch “gave back to the community” by supporting asbestos mining and denying refugees, including children, access to medical care. Note: She’s a surgeon who also got kicked out of a hospital for campaigning in it. This is a woman who lied that her home had been broken into to avoid answering questions at a town hall. Not only did she make that story up but she insinuated someone from the opposition broke into her home. Kellie Leitch is exploiting hatred and divisiveness for opportunity. No lower life form than that.

  13. Sweet Jesus that was painful and downright frightening, excuse me as I pause and look to my left pause again… This is the kind of person that scares the hell out of me to think that someone actually voted for her in the past that video just motivated me to get involved in politics to ensure that people like that can never get into power, excuse me again as I pause this time to my right now down to my shoes across the ceiling… Okay now it’s official I’m throwing my hat into the ring I will see you at the next candidate Convention I’ll be the one at the complete opposite end from Kellie Leitch were in serious trouble Canada