Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gilles Duceppe - Now or Never

If Duceppe wants to get out while the getting is good, now may be his only shot to do it without looking like a captain abandoning his own ship, letting his crew go down instead.

Given the PQ's propensity for stabbing its leaders in the back - even the legendary and loved Levesque - Andre Boisclair's days as leader of the PQ are very likely numbered. The obvious choice to assume the mantle is Pauline Marois, the woman he defeated for the party's leadership in 2005. However, there is another name who could definitely give Marois a run for her money.

Gilles Duceppe turned down the invitation to run for the PQ leadership last time around, officially because there was a federal election around the corner and he had to lead the Bloc's charge. Unofficially, most people think that he only turned down the job of his career - remember, most sovereigntists consider Prime Minister of Quebec to be the highest political goal, not leader of the Bloc Quebecois - because the BQ's prospects in the 2006 election were looking so enormously high at the time.

The BQ's commanding lead in Quebec has since dissipated. Odds are if Duceppe leads the BQ into another election, he will be leading them to slaughter at the polls. They still stand a good chance of walking away with a majority of the seats in Quebec, but there is almost no chance they will be able to repeat their high water mark showing - 54 seats in both 1993 and 2004 - again. If Duceppe wants to get out while the getting is good, now may be his only shot to do it without looking like a captain abandoning his own ship, letting his crew go down instead. And in the process, he could become the leader and messiah-apparent of the Parti Quebecois. Duceppe is still very personally popular in Quebec - much more so than Boisclair ever was - and could at minimum save the party from being shunted aside in an election which may just see the PQ fighting to survive in a post-ADQ Quebec. Or, in a best case scenario (for Duceppe), he could lead the party to a miraculous electoral recovery and majority government, and cement himself as the unquestioned leader of the sovereigntist movement.

It's hard to imagine, quite frankly, any reason for Duceppe to remain leader of the Bloc Quebecois. By making a run for the PQ leadership, Duceppe risks losing very little, but stands to gain in ways that can only be described as historic.

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1 Comments:

At 3/27/2007 10:51 AM, Blogger petroom said...

The federal scene needs leaders like Gilles Duceppe. While I don't support his separatist/"Quebec first" attitude, Duceppe has been a natural politician, he speaks the obvious and is not a political blow-hard.

In televised debates (in english), it was Duceppe who sounded the most intelligent and thoughtful in his attacks on Chretien and Martin. Like Dion, he is a leader with a real mind and an everyman-tone.

While I'd like to replace the Bloc MPs with Liberal or other MPs, I'd still like to have Duceppe as a leader on the federal scene.

 

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