Maybe he should have cancelled.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is facing both criticism and mockery for saying he admires aspects of China's "dictatorship" at a controversial "ladies night" event in Toronto on Thursday.
Trudeau was reportedly asked which nation, besides Canada, he most admires and why.
You know, there's a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green fastest...we need to start investing in solar.’ I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted that I find quite interesting.
But if I were to reach out and say which...which kind of administration I most admire, I think there's something to be said right here in Canada for the way our territories are run. Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon are done without political parties around consensus. And are much more like a municipal government. And I think there's a lot to be said for people pulling together to try and solve issues rather than to score points off of each other. And I think we need a little more of that.
But Sun News can now report that I prefer China.
Unsurprisingly, Sun News dissected Trudeau's answer Friday morning and Conservatives wasted no time in saying the Liberal leader’s remarks prove he's not ready to be prime minister.
Tory MP Paul Calandra referenced the incident many times in question period Friday but, interestingly, did not say the word China.
"I was criticized for saying that the Liberal leader has been muzzled by his own party, but now I learn why he is muzzled by his own party," said Calandra. "Last night, when he was asked what other kind of administration he admires, he stood up for a dictatorship. Why? It is because they can force things through and if they need to go green they can go green faster."
The NDP also got in on the fun by posting a "reality check" on its website highlighting another time Trudeau "expressed a soft spot for China's dictatorship." While China's government qualifies as authoritarian, it isn't actually a dictatorship, but rather a single-party Communist system.
Much like the controversy over an ad promoting the event that some decried as sexist, the most scathing comments came from Twitter.
While much of the criticism centered around the "dictatorship" side of things, Trudeau was incorrect in his statements about the "consensus" governments in Canada's north. While Nunavut and the Northwest Territories operate under that system, Yukon has political parties.
In fact, as Akin pointed out, Trudeau has met the leader of the Yukon Liberal Party.
Trudeau attempted to address the controversy head on with a few tweets Friday.
.@DrRaymondMc I pointed out that globally Canada is up against big countries (China, for one) that can address some major issues quickly. 1— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2013
.@DrRaymondMc It’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that I of all people would trade our rights and freedoms for any other system of gvt. 2— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2013
.@DrRaymondMc Some countries play by rules we wouldn’t and shouldn’t ever accept, but, we still have to compete with them. 3— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2013
.@DrRaymondMc We need to get better at coming together to address big issues, and that’s what I asked people to think about last night. 4— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2013
But that didn't stop many from taking to Twitter to mock what one conservative pundit called Trudeau's "Sarah Palin moment."
Check the gallery below for other reactions.