A 21-year-old running for a seat in the Quebec National Assembly is staying on the ballot despite an embarrassing “naked” photo of him making the rounds, which is hopefully a sign that we’re all ready to stop being shocked by politicians’ indecent photos.
The image in question shows Steven Fleurent sitting naked on a toilet giving a thumbs-up, and while it’s not exactly pornographic, it is a pretty weird thing to have out there when you’re launching a political career.
The thing is, people didn’t really have to go digging for this photo since Laurent had shared it on his Facebook profile some time ago and probably just forgot about it in the way so much of what we post on Facebook gets archived forever while we blissfully move on with our lives. Or maybe he honestly didn’t think it mattered since it’s clearly just a gag photo for the amusement of his friends.
It seems Laurent’s party, the third-place Coalition Avenir Quebec, doesn’t give much of a shit either. CAQ leader Francois Legault called it an “error of youth” and said everybody was ready to move on, which you can chalk up to a more enlightened attitude about nudity in Quebec or to the fact that the riding of Rimouski votes reliably for the Parti Quebecois, so Fleurent’s toilet pic wouldn’t have had much effect on electoral results anyway.
But maybe this can be a guide on how to react the next time something like this happens. After all, the likelihood of politicians’ personal photos leaking online is only going to increase with time, especially as a new generation that grew up on over-sharing takes over, and it should be no surprise that Fleurent is among the youngest candidates in the Quebec election.
In fact, we may get to a point where a candidate who doesn’t occasionally send lewd photos becomes the outlier, and we might come to think of those people as creepy uptight weirdos unworthy of our votes, much in the same way that any politician who claims never to have smoked weed deserves our distrust.
If we can handle crack-smoking mayors, we can handle the odd naked photo. Keep riding that toilet, Steven.