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The First Controversy Of The Canadian Election Campaign Is Over Justin Trudeau's First Name

This is what happens when you have a 78-day campaign.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper stirred up the strange world of #cdnpoli when people noticed he kept calling Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau by his first name only.

Unlike Justin and Mulcair, I will support small businesses and apprentices to create jobs and economic growth 2/3

Soon other Conservatives were doing it too. Was this their subtle way of throwing shade at Trudeau? Were they trying to make him look like a child?

To those following Justin's stop in #yyc today, a reminder about this http://t.co/oFcvjT7vHu

Critics pounced on this subtle dig. They said it was unbecoming of a prime minister.

This is what has always been disturbing about PMSH -- the incivility, mean-spiritedness, and sheer pettiness. https://t.co/A184G33hA9

Harper is so desperate he has decided to use strategic name placement calling Justin by first name only not invoke Trudeau brand #cdnpoli

Harper referring to Trudeau as "Justin" is not a small issue; it's Harper's way of testing what level of condescension the press will allow.

To which Harper's campaign manager had a pretty devastating comeback about who started the first-name-only thing.

No comment required. #cdnpoli #elxn42 #cpc #lpc @JustinTrudeau

Harper was actually asked about this in one of his coveted media availabilities.

Q: Why does Harper refer to Justin Trudeau as only 'Justin' ? 'I think I use it sometimes...that's how the Liberal party has branded him'

But if you think Harper is being passive-aggressive, he's got nothing on Tom Mulcair. The NDP leader won't even acknowledge that Justin Trudeau has a first or last name.

Mulcair uses 'third party leader', 'liberal leader' - no mention of Justin Trudeau by name... first or last.

Three days down, only 75 to go until the election.

I know it's a long campaign but it's Day 3 and the news is talking about "Justin" vs "Justin Trudeau" and I have a headache and hate you all

Day 3 of the election and the big issue is what to call a candidate. At this rate, Day 51 will be nothing but air horns and fart noises.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at paul.mcleod@buzzfeed.com.

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