The biggest political story of the year undoubtedly was Donald Trump‘s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump provided soundbites that both excited and frustrated voters, and was at the centre of what may have been the biggest political video of 2016 — the leaked Access Hollywood tapes.
Trump may have grabbed most of the headlines this year, but there were still plenty of other amazing “caught-on-camera” moments involving politicians.
When a small bird landed on Bernie Sanders podium during a Portland rally in March, it was a moment that galvanized his supporters and symbolized the positive campaign he preached.
Excited supporters erupted into thunderous applause as Sanders looked curiously at the bird.
“I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars,” he said after it flew away.
The incident inspired #BirdieSanders and provided levity during a long Democratic nomination process that can often be overtaken by negativity.
‘What is Aleppo?’
No, that’s not a Jeopardy answer to, “What is Syria’s largest city?”
That was the cringe-worthy response Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson gave during a live interview with MSNBC in September, when he was asked how he would handle the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city if he were elected president.
READ MORE: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson baffled by question on Syrian conflict
“You’re kidding?” the MSNBC interviewer responded.
Eastern Aleppo became a war zone over the past five years, as rebel fighters fought with government forces and Russian airstrikes. The besieged portion of the city was retaken by the government in recent weeks and the ruined neighbourhoods were evacuated of any remaining residents.
Johnson followed up that gaffe with another equally embarrassing moment in front of the camera just weeks later. During another televised interview, Johnson drew a blank when he was asked to name a political figure he respected. He called that gaffe another “Aleppo moment.”
Libertarian Party candidate dances, strips on live television
Johnson may have provided enough embarrassment for his party during the presidential campaign, but he wasn’t the only Libertarian who left supporters cringing this year.
A candidate running for the chairman of the Libertarian Party chose an odd way to drop out of the race in March.
James Weeks dropped his pants live on C-Span in a “dare” he said was intended to inject a “little bit of fun” into the party’s national convention.
Reaction was mixed, with some people calling the display a “mockery” to the democratic electoral process.
‘Fart’ comment by Conservative MP doesn’t blow over well with Elizabeth May
But it wasn’t just the U.S. that experienced its share of foul behaviour from politicians.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May refused to let a comment from Conservative MP Michelle Rempel blow over, so to speak, in November.
While speaking about the plight of unemployed Albertans, Rempel accused the Liberal government of treating the province “like a fart in the room that nobody wants to talk about or acknowledge.”
<strong:READ MORE: Elizabeth May creates stink over Conservative MP’s ‘Fart’ comment
This prompted May to chide her colleague over what she characterized as “distinctly unparliamentary” language, even spelling out f-a-r-t rather than say the word.
“Is my colleague actually serious?” Rempel replied, during what has to stand as one of the more remarkable points of order in the history of the House of Commons.
May has hailed herself as a champion of professional decorum in the House of Commons – perhaps she’s taking her crusade for clean behaviour a little too far.
Icelandic politician breastfeeds baby during televised parliamentary speech
The debate over breastfeeding in public was taken to another level during a session in Iceland’s parliament this past fall.
Unnur Bra Konradsdottir, an MP for Iceland’s Independence Party, breastfed her six-month-old daughter while addressing her colleagues on an immigration project during an October parliamentary session.
“She was hungry and I had not expected to go to the pulpit,” Konradsdottir explained.
The public display was another feminist achievement for Iceland, which has often led the way on women’s issues. The island nation has regularly been named the best place in the world for women to live.
Philippine president likens himself to Adolf Hitler
President-elect Donald Trump has been criticized for controversial comments he’s made over the last year, but so too has tthe “Filipino Donald Trump.”
Since his election in May, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has arguably made more outlandish statements than Trump has.
Duterte has offered “medals” to citizens who kill drug dealers, called the UN “stupid,” claimed the U.S. were “fools” and “monkeys,” and claimed the U.S. “had lost” after announcing he would build closer ties with China.
Duterte admitted to personally patrolling streets on a motorcycle looking for criminals to kill while he was mayor of Davao City. He also called Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and threatened to “swear” at him if he asked about the extrajudicial killings, but later said he would stop cursing as a promise to God.
But the Duterte comment that garnered the most attention was when he raised the rhetoric over his bloody anti-crime war in September by comparing it to the Holocaust and himself to Adolf Hitler.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” he said. “There’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
— With files from The Associated Press, Reuters and Global News
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