Canadian TV viewers on Monday night had one eye on the federal election, where Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party earned a massive win, while the Toronto Blue Jays on other screens were beating the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
But Canadians also saw How to Train Your Dragon star Jay Baruchel on the CBC network narrating a 3-minute “Why Your Vote Matters” video montage. “Dear Canada, This is my non-partisan ‘take time to vote tomorrow’ tweet,” the Ottawa-born Baruchel tweeted before his short film aired as part of the CBC election coverage.
As the election returns came in Monday night, Liberal leader Trudeau, son of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, ended the decade-long Conservative rule under prime minister Stephen Harper. The polls had barely closed in Quebec and Ontario in eastern Canada at 9:30 pm. ET and major TV networks like the CBC, CP24, CTV and Global Television were already predicting a Liberal win nationwide.
An hour later at 10:30 p.m., CTV News and Global News were the first network newscasts to project a majority government for the surging Liberals. At press time, Trudeau’s Liberals were elected or leading in 189 ridings, compared to 103 ridings held by the departing Conservatives and another 35 seats won or leading for NDP candidates.
Trudeau’s massive victory was greeted with surprise, and bemusement, on social media, where comic and actor Andy Richter (Conan) said on his Twitter account: “Saw a tweet mention Liberal HQ & thought yet again Mandy Patinkin didn’t invite me to one of his bbqs, but it was about the Canadian election.”
And Monty Python star John Cleese in his own tweet said: “Canadian friends: It’s Justin Time.” The Canadian election victory was also preceded by Mike Myers, John Oliver, Wayne Gretzky and other Canadian ex-pats and non-Canadians in Hollywood coming forward to tell Canadians how to vote.
But don’t expect anyone outside of Canada to be fined or jailed for attempting to influence the election, after Oliver, the Last Week Tonight host, dared Canadian authorities to arrest him during his Sunday night commentary. Elections Canada, which runs the federal election, let Oliver off the hook for simply voicing his own opinion.
“The expression of personal political views by Canadians or non-Canadians as to which parties or candidates they support is not an offense under the act,” Elections Canada spokesman John Enright told Macleans Magazine. “This also applies to Mr. Oliver.”
Baruchel’s video is below.