MONTREAL - Here's some fourth of July news for Americans: a man running for mayor of Montreal considers them dumb, obese, imbecilic, classless ignoramuses.
Staunch Quebec separatist Michel Brule (Brew-lay) today announced his long-shot candidacy for the November election.
The book publisher, writer, and ex-bar owner says he doesn't expect English-speaking Montrealers to vote for him — and that he isn't working to get their support anyway.
He has written extensively in the past about English, which he says is not a nice language. For example, he points to the capitalized first-person singular in English — "I" — as a sign of individualism.
In a recent piece for Le Devoir — titled "For or against Anglo-American cultural imperialism?" — he bemoans the omnipresence of English culture and says the language of Paul McCartney is also the language of the genocide of aboriginal peoples and the Acadian deportations.
And he appears less than enamoured with Americans. He told Metro newspaper in 2009 that not all Americans are dumb, obese, imbecilic, uncultured ignoramuses — only about 80 per cent of them.
It's unclear what sort of a constituency Brule's message might gain him.
He is not considered among the three main front-runners for the race. And, in the last campaign, a candidate who questioned the official story of the 9-11 attacks was grilled over his views and finished third.
That third-place candidate from the last race, Richard Bergeron, is running again as head of a prominent local grassroots party.
The two presumed front-runners are former immigration minister Denis Coderre and Marcel Cote, a fellow at Harvard University, economist, businessman, management consultant, local philanthropist, and official in the Prime Minister's Office of Brian Mulroney.
Also on HuffPost:
The Worst Politicians On Twitter
Here's our totally unscientific look at which Canadian politicians are failing to take advantage of their presence on Twitter. (CP)
11. Christian Paradis
In more than a year on Twitter, the <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/christianparad" target="_hplink">Minister of Industry Christian Paradis</a> has posted just 35 tweets and no photos. (CP)
10. Peter Kent
The <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/mpPeterKent" target="_hplink">Minister of the Environment Peter Kent</a> last tweeted back in January, despite the flurry of coverage regarding his portfolio in recent months. On the plus side, he has posted plenty of photos, although most are of the MP smiling with constituents variety. (CP)
9. Dean Del Mastro
The parliamentary secretary to the prime minister and <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/DeanDelMastro" target="_hplink"> Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dean Del Mastro</a> has a classic ghost-town account: Five tweets back in 2009 and then silence. (CP)
8. Vic Toews
<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/toewsvic" target="_hplink">Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews</a> is actually relatively active on Twitter compared to his cabinet colleagues. Toews makes the list due to his role in promoting the government's online spying legislation, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/16/vic-toews-youtube-vikileaks-twitter_n_1281633.html" target="_hplink">a role which earned the minister heaps of scorn on the social network and sparked the #TellVicEverything and #DontToewsMeBro hashtags</a>. (CP)
7. Peter MacKay
<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/mackaycpc" target="_hplink">Defence Minister Peter MacKay</a> hasn't tweeted anything to his more than 3,000 followers since May of last year. (CP)
6. Charlie Angus
<a href="https://twitter.com/#!/charlieangusmp" target="_hplink">NDP MP Charlie Angus</a> was one of the most active MPs on Twitter. That is until he got sick of all the negativity and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/charlie-angus/quit-twitter_b_1394617.html" target="_hplink">publicly announced he was leaving the social network</a>. His account is still online, so it's still possible he'll make a comeback. (CP)
5, Nycole Turmel
"Thomas Mulcair just gave an inspirational speech at the Economic Club of Canada luncheon!" This is what you can come to expect from the <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/nycole_turmel" target="_hplink">former interim leader of the NDP Nycole Turmel</a> on Twitter. Her stream is dominated by posts about appearances and press releases. She rarely interacts with other users and seems to be slowing down her usage since the NDP leadership race ended and she was replaced by Thomas Mulcair. (CP)
4. Tony Clement
This is the controversial one. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/tonyclementcpc" target="_hplink">Treasury Board President Tony Clement</a> is notorious in Ottawa and beyond for his regular use of Twitter. So why does the poster child for Canadian politicians on social networks make the list?<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/10/tony-clement-jackass-twitter_n_1196261.html" target="_hplink"> It goes back to an incident last year in which Clement called a teen a jackass in a tweet after being corrected on a spelling mistake</a>. Clement apologized and ever since his account just hasn't quite been the same. The humour which once made the account one to watch seems to be gone. (CP)
3. Daniel Paillé
The <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/danielpaille" target="_hplink">Leader of the Bloc Québécois Daniel Paillé</a> has sent out just 89 tweets since joining in October of 2011. Despite being a federal leader not one of those 89 has been in English. (CP)
2. Thomas Mulcair
We at HuffPost have regularly been checking <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/thomasmulcair" target="_hplink">NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's Twitter account</a> in the hope that he'll actually start using it. Since winning the leadership back in March, the account has gone completely silent. Previous to that it was extremely active. What gives? (CP)
1. Stephen Harper
With such a large staff, you would expect the prime minister to be a little more consistent with his use of Twitter. Stephen Harper's account has sent out just 12 tweets so far in 2012, many of them linking to press releases. With nearly 220,000 followers, the PM is missing out on an excellent opportunity to sell himself and the Conservative brand. Harper should take a page out of <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/BARACKOBAMA" target="_hplink">Barack Obama's playbook</a>. At the time of writing, the U.S. president had posted 14 tweets in just the last 24 hours. Obama even signs tweets that come directly from him. Come on Stephen, we don't need the Americans to be better than us at anything else. (CP)