French election song hits bum note for Canada PM

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canada's Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, admitted Monday that it would re-record its official campaign song after the wording of the French version was ridiculed as inaccurate.

Bilingualism is a sensitive political issue in Canada, which goes to the polls on October 21, with Trudeau facing a tough fight to retain power.

On Saturday, his party released an English version of the song called One Hand Up, and a French version called Une main haute both sung by English-language band The Strumbellas.

But the French lyrics were immediately criticised for being poorly translated or incomprehensibly mumbled.

“We thank (The Strumbellas) very much for interpreting their music in our two official languages,” a Liberal Party spokesman said in an e-mail to AFP in French.

“However, we realise that the French is not perfect, so we will no longer use this version and will re-record it.”

The songs were used on two 30-second Twitter videos showing Trudeau meeting supporters.

“I have listened to it about 15 times and I have not yet understood all the words,” said Gaetan Barrette, a Liberal member of the provincial legislature in majority French-speaking Quebec, on Twitter.

“Very, very, very embarrassing,” he added.

Elected by a landslide in 2015, Trudeau and the Liberals are battling to hold onto a majority in Parliament, with the main challenge coming from Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservatives.


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