Gilles Duceppe .... he's baaaaaack! (Really?)

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sherpa-finn
Gilles Duceppe .... he's baaaaaack! (Really?)

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sherpa-finn

Story in Quebec media and on Twitter this morning that Gilles Duceppe will return to lead the BQ into the October Federal election, - with Mario Beaulieu getting bumped upstairs to the more symbolic post of party president. 

Bizarre ... significant?

 

josh
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Did I pull off a Rumplestilskin and sleep through to April 1?

Note to Duceppe...Give it up,already. Enjoy your retirement and your enviable pension (s)

Unionist

It's definitely a putsch. Unsurprising (though I didn't see it coming!), since absolutely no one supported Beaulieu. Will it have an effect? Answer: Welcome to Québec!

 

nittanylionstorm07

BQ will no doubt see an initial bump in support, and Liberals are cheering this news so far on social media as "the death of the NDP!!!" on social media. 

I just have to laugh at Liberal supporters.... First Gilles was leader when they were sent down to four seats last time... Second, the Liberals need Québec to win government anyways and there is a ridiculously slim window between an NDP Québec majority and a BQ Québec majority for them to get enough seats to win overall. 

robbie_dee

I suspect Duceppe passed his best before date in 2011 but if he could salvage anything for the Bloc it would probably burnish his legacy. "Victory" though is probably 12 seats and official party status, as well as destabilizing the NDP enough to prevent them from winning a majority or from forming a governing coalition with the Liberals. Another Harper government offers the best hope for the sovereigntist cause. I have faith Quebecers will see through this, though.

robbie_dee

I wonder if this will bring Forces et Démocratie back into the fold?

nittanylionstorm07

I'm actually most curious about Maria Mourani... I like her, so I hope she stays NDP

robbie_dee

Well she's publicly repudiated sovereignty and has been nominated as an NDP candidate in her riding so I imagine she's pretty committed now. She was a real progressive even when she was still with the BQ.  I think the cynical "Values Charter" stuff from the PQ was what pushed her over to the NDP/federalist camp. Nothing has changed in that regard. If Quebec Solidaire started a federal wing I'd be a little worried but I don't see her going back to the BQ just because Gilles Duceppe has come back.

nittanylionstorm07

robbie_dee wrote:

Well she's publicly repudiated sovereignty and has been nominated as an NDP candidate in her riding so I imagine she's pretty committed now. She was a real progressive even when she was still with the BQ.  I think the cynical "Values Charter" stuff from the PQ was what pushed her over to the NDP/federalist camp. Nothing has changed in that regard. If Quebec Solidaire started a federal wing I'd be a little worried but I don't see her going back to the BQ just because Gilles Duceppe has come back.

 

Oh true, but you never know sometimes.  I'm pretty sure her and Gilles were good friends if I remember correctly. 

David Young

Does anyone have that picture of Duceppe wearing the hair net/cap during a factory tour?

 

robbie_dee

I am sure she likes and respects Gilles (and I expect there are a number of other politicians from different parties who feel the same way, even from just observing him through the media he's seemed like a decent enough guy).

But it would be hard for her to walk back from this even if she wanted to:

CBC: Ex-Bloc MP Maria Mourani says she is no longer a Sovereigntist (December 18, 2013)

 

Quote:

Quebec MP Maria Mourani says she is no longer a sovereigntist, three months after being expelled from the Bloc Québécois ​​caucus over her opposition to the Parti ​Québécois's controversial secular charter.

Mourani, who has been sitting as an Independent MP since she quit the separatist party after being booted from the Bloc caucus in September, told Radio-Canada on Wednesday that after much reflection she has come to the conclusion that the federal system is better placed to protect the rights of Quebecers.

"What better to protect us than the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Mourani said.

In an open letter made public Wednesday, Mourani explained that "the ease with which Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms can be modified, even abolished, has convinced me of the relevance of the Canadian federal system."

"I have come to the conclusion that my belonging to Canada, with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, better protects the Quebec identity of all Quebec citizens."

"I am no longer a sovereigntist," Mourani said.

The former Bloc MP told Radio-Canada the title of her open letter, "To Protect Our Homes and Our Rights," is indeed a nod to Canada's national anthem.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Fromage

Unionist

nicky

If the bloc becomes more viable with Duceppe then Harper may be better able to demonize the coalition as possibly including separatist

lagatta

I never knew Gilles Duceppe closely but I did work with him during union organising drives and he certainly seemed a decent type. But I think he is making a big mistake. I suspect he was pissed off about what a laughing stock Mario Beaulieu was making of his party.

There were many progressive Bloc MPs, and they were better than the NDP on some issues, including Palestine. But I'm livid seeing Pierre Paquette supporting PKP.

Are some people addicted to politics? He's 67, physically fit and seems happily married to Yolande Brunelle. His close friend Jean Doré is dying. I find this all very strange.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I'd rather THIS Gilles Duceppe.

Not the cheese factory,PKP loving one trick pony Duceppe.

Where are the principles? *crickets*

Sovereignty and then what? What would an independant Québec look like?

With PKP at the realm,it doesn't sound like a great place.

lagatta

A hair story!

With respect to the cheesemaker's hairnet, do you really want hair in your cheese?

And while Gilles still has beautiful hair, I'm not sure his youthful coiffure would look as good on a man his age. He'd have to be an artist, writer or other creative profession.

David Young

Unionist wrote:

Thanks!

 

NorthReport

Well the Libs and the Cons are happy - the NDP not so much.

David Young

NorthReport wrote:

Well the Libs and the Cons are happy - the NDP not so much.

What's needed is a political cartoonist (Bruce McKinnon?) to come up with a cartoon that shows Trudeau and Harper giving each other 'high-fives' over a newspaper with the headline "Duceppe Returns to Lead B.Q.' while Duceppe is seen trying to start a chainsaw next to the flagpoll on the top of the Peace Tower. (With Mulcair looking angry...of course!)

 

 

socialdemocrati...

Any Liberal excitement over this is wishful thinking. And speaks to how cynical their calls for "unity" are. They don't want unity. They want a war, so they can talk tough.

You build unity by creating a Federation that Quebeckers would willingly want to belong to.

NorthReport

Duceppe's return is probably more about boosting the PQ's chances than anything else. 

trotwood73

As a NDPer living in the Belle Province, I had quite the "WTF" moment this morning. Coffee came shooting out of my mouth, nose and ears when the news broke on RDI (French CBC news channel). But after I poured myself another cup, cleaned the mess and the news sank in, I began to realize what great news this was.

For months now, the Bloc has been trying to recruit star candidates. And until this morning, it was looking like they might not even have the full slate of 78 candidates in the province. They are desperate. Duceppe will be their third leader since 2011!

And as I began to scan social media for reactions, even among separatist, this seemed to be a very bad idea: 

- "oh my God, mais il est masochiste ce bonhomme, ou bien il veut des dollars canayens"

- "La dernière défaite n'a pas été suffisamment dure et humiliante, il faut remettre ça."

- "Ça panique au Bloc. C'est la version Québécoise de Back To The Future."

- "Les sondages internes son si pire que ça? "

- "Gros problème de renouvèlement générationnel dans un parti lorsqu'on s'accroche encore à un seul chef après tant d'années"

- "Le retour de #Duceppe est une très mauvaise stratégie. Est-ce qu'on peut aller DE L'AVANT pour une fois?!"

- "Parizeau a donné sa vie pour le Québec, alors que Duceppe a passé sa vie à Ottawa ... à promouvoir «inutilement» une cause en terre étrangère. C'est à Québec que monsieur Duceppe devrait investir son temps, comme Monsieur Parizeau..." 

- "Honnêtement, je ne sais pas si je dois admirer Gilles Duceppe ou le prendre en pitié ."

-"Marché aux puces, on sors nos vieux meuble. On néttoye le fond du baril encore et encore. Commes cest triste de les voir."

- "Et maintenant, si la CAQ pouvait ramener Mario Dumont, tout serait en ordre."

- "C'est tout de même dommage de voir les funérailles de Monsieur être obscurcie par un coullage du #bloc."

- "Le retour de Gilles Duceppe c'est comme les films de Rocky : ça redeviendra jamais aussi bon..."  

[I'll spare you the translations, but I bet that even if you can't read French, you'll get the gist of those comments]

Some people think the timing of the leaked announcement coinciding with Parizeau's funeral is in very bad taste. Even Ben Mulroney got in on the fun this morning with this amazing tweet

Ben Mulroney 5h5 hours ago

Gilles Duceppe is back? I swear, if dad starts feeling the itch, I'm sending him for an MRI...

Many have said that he has been extremely bitter since his defeat in 2011. Their campaign will be very negative and be almost exclusively an attack against the NDP and Mulcair. This will be the best gift the Bloc could give the NDP in Quebec. 

In case of emergency, break glass

"In case of emergency, break glass"

socialdemocrati...

One of the Liberal attacks against the NDP is that they are "cryptoseparatists". A few attack ads from the Bloc on the NDP would quickly put that slander to rest.

Sean in Ottawa

There are reasons to be worried for the NDP and I am sure quite a few are aware.

The most obvious is the potential for the NDP to lose some support. Duceppe may have led the BQ to its disastrous showing in 2011 but he unquestionably remains a stronger leader than the BQ has fielded since his resignation. This holds the potential for some NDP loss in support. The uptick for soverignty also does not go without notice. Any reduction in NDP support can, in turn, have an impact on the order of parties and the preception of whether the NDP is truly the best option to defeat Harper. The BQ must be seen to be a threat in a significant number of seats if their popularity were to grow. The NDP may have cause for optimism given the results of 2011 but there is also some cause for concern here.

The second concern is what I have stated here previously: the greatest threat to the NDP is the return of the BQ as a force. Not only would that affect national poll numbers and impact on a number of seats, it also changes the dynamics of both the campaign and the parliament that follows. Even if the BQ remains a distant threat the Conservatives will seek to use it as a pretext. They recognize that the BQ is a threat to their opposition and are not above provoking the BQ in order to assist in that dynamic. The Conservatives are a lot less concerned about divisiveness and unity than they are with power.

Following the election if the BQ were to hold the balance of power the Liberals would have cover to allow the Conservatives to govern with a minority, much as they did before. The argument that the Liberal party would break apart if they could replace Harper and did not, would not apply should the NDP and Liberals not have a majority between them. As I stated, only the re-emergence of the BQ could permit the Conservatives to govern with a minority. While there would be pressure to bring down a Harper minority, the installation of a government dependent on the support of the BQ is toxic in Canada.

Essentially what this means is that any seats the BQ win count towards the Conservative totals in terms of their ability to govern. For either the NDP or the Liberals to win they must, between the two of them, command a majority. The BQ are more likely to win seats from the NDP than anyone else so a strengthened BQ threatens not only the potential for an NDP plurality but also the ability of the NDP and the Liberals between them to hold a majority. Without that the Liberals can go back to supporting the Conservatives.

There is now a scenario for the Conservatives to win: a small loss of support for the NDP making them seem like they are fading which will lead to more losses not only in Quebec but elsewhere; the ability for the Conservatives to hold the lead; the ability for the Liberals to appear relatively more viable against the NDP and draw more even allowing more splits that let a few more Conservatives get through; the ability for the Conservatives to govern with a minority ostensibly held in power by fear of doing business with the BQ.

The BQ offers the potential for the Conservatives to win more seats and require fewer seats to govern -- even without any increase in support.

The Liberals would be happy not to have to face the prospect of having to support an NDP government.

The Conservatives could govern.

The BQ would gain most out of a Conservative government.

The NDP would be severely damaged as a national force compared to where they were only last week.

All that said, the one big variable remains -- will Quebec provide any increase in support to the BQ? I fear that they will -- at least some. I hope it is not too much to set all this in motion. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

On the other hand if the amount of the increase is small and the NDP can absorb it through growth elsewhere it may not change the seat totals by much. But yes, be at least a little concerned.

Unionist

Pretty much what Sean said.

bekayne

nittanylionstorm07 wrote:

I'm actually most curious about Maria Mourani... I like her, so I hope she stays NDP

Embedded image permalink

https://twitter.com/MBegin_RC/status/608300415961210881

Réax de Maria Mourani au retour de #Duceppe: "La priorité des Qcois n'est pas de vivre dans le passé" #polcan #polqc

bekayne

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/old-kid-on-the-bloc-duceppe-is-back/

5. Still, just about every other federal party will be considering its positioning in relation to a re-Duceppified Bloc. Will Mulcair tack toward his party’s Quebec nationalist wing to reinforce votes he thought he could take for granted? Will that get him in trouble outside Quebec? Will the Trudeau Liberals revive the timeless Liberal sport of proclaiming themselves Canadian unity’s last rampart against a resurgent separatist threat? Will Stephen Harper’s “Conservative majority or separatist-backed coalition” rhetoric, noticeably dormant this year in comparison to 2011, return, now there’s a halfway-plausible bogeyman in the picture?

I try not to end columns with “stay tuned,” but, you know, stay tuned.

 

 

David Young

I cannot wait for the debates and watch Mulcair wipe the floor with Duceppe!

 

lagatta

Yes, I fear that Gilles will come across as bitter and nasty; he has a great sense of humour, but if he is just exasperated that won't attract voters. Other than that, I do have some fears about the Bloc, not in my riding, but elsewhere. I so wish Gilles hadn't made this move. I can imagine him shouting at the telly every time that idiot Mario Beaulieur came on, but still. Go spend some time with Jean while he's still alive, sit in the sun with him, enjoy cycling with Yolande (I sometimes see them on the railway bicycle path between Petite-Italie and Angus, where they live). And be a "belle-mère" if you like.

bekayne, if you like Maria Mourani, why did you publish such a dreadful photo of her?

And as for the cheese hairnet, I'm repeating, do you really want hair in your cheese? I have a good head of hair too and always have to think to tie it back or wear a bandeau or scarf when cooking so as to avoid that nasty curly thread in the tomato sauce. Actually, my hair is a lot like Maria Mourani's, but I stopped colouring it - it was very dark, like hers - mostly grey now.

DaveW

Unionist wrote:
Pretty much what Sean said.

you both overestimate the BQ/Duceppe

NorthReport

Agreed. Duceppe isn't there for the Bloq. He's there to try and prevent a total Bloc wipeout so that the federal election results won't reflect too badly on the PQ.

swallow swallow's picture

"He didn't come back for you."

David Young

Reminds me a little of when Fabien Roy went from provincial politics to federal politics in the 1979 election as leader of the Social Credit Party.  They won just 6 seats, and then were obliterated in the 1980 election.

 

Unionist

DaveW wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Pretty much what Sean said.

you both overestimate the BQ/Duceppe

Not really. You just shouldn't underestimate Quebecers.

The NDP wooed them in 2011, but that didn't explain the tsunami. That was largely due to Quebecers deciding, massively and simultaneously, to try a beau risque in order to defeat Harper - and being fed up with the impotence of the BQ after 20 years of giving it their confidence. It didn't work, because the rest of Canada didn't get the message. 2015 looks much better for the NDP. But Quebecers have turned on a dime, and given the right (or wrong) conditions, they will do so again. They swept Mario Dumont's ADQ from nowhere to official opposition in 2007, then reduced them to nothing in 2008. Likewise with the PQ's victory in 2012 (thanks to the student movement engineering Charest's downfall), and their own defeat 18 months later.

Next episode? It depends.

 

bekayne

David Young wrote:

Reminds me a little of when Fabien Roy went from provincial politics to federal politics in the 1979 election as leader of the Social Credit Party.  They won just 6 seats, and then were obliterated in the 1980 election.

 

Both Duceppe and Roy are the 3rd different leader (Fortin-Reznowski-Roy, Paillle-Beaulieu-Duceppe)

Marco C

I think the Block’s time has passed.

 

My feeling is the best Mr. Duceppe can anticipate is 6 to 7 seat... I think official party status is not in the cards at this point. There's still a lot of time before the election but the NDP had built up a lot of trust and goodwill and they are a better choice when it comes to giving Quebec an equal voice in Canada.

 

The BQ, especially after the coalition debate, is more a hindrance to Quebeckers and the aspiration of inclusion in the Canadian tapestry. I think the voters know that and that is why they abandoned the BQ in 2011, Mr. Duceppe as effective a leader and MP as he was doesn't change that fact. While Nationalism will always be an important issue in the province I think the idea of independence is no longer as important as inclusion.

 

It would take a constitutional disaster surpassing anything in the past to revive the BQ.

adma

A worse-case scenario than Fabien Roy would be Roch LaSalle for the UN in 1981.

DaveW

2 seats for Bloc, with favourable winds to start and a big big gust to finish, 3...

Quebecers despite their reputation for voting with a flourish, are utilitarian voters, and the Bloc in 2015 gives them nothing

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

lagatta wrote:

[...]

bekayne, if you like Maria Mourani, why did you publish such a dreadful photo of her?

[...]

I think that is a bit harsh lagatta... when I see the photo I can almost hear the expulsion of air that tends to follow that particular expression - the one where someone has just asked you a completely ridiculous question and you are a bit amazed that someone who asks questions for a living could be just that dense - and you are obviously scrambling for an answer that will somehow treat that person like a professional. Frankly it is one of the most honest facial expressions I have seen on a politician's face, it ranks right up there with leaning your head down so you can stare at someone over the frame of your glasses. Much better than the practiced plastic face you see all too often in scrums.

bekayne

lagatta wrote:

bekayne, if you like Maria Mourani, why did you publish such a dreadful photo of her?

Nothing was intended, I had the impression that was her reaction to the news

Hunky_Monkey

David Young wrote:

I cannot wait for the debates and watch Mulcair wipe the floor with Duceppe!

 

 

Will Duceppe even be in the debates?  The BQ now has two MPs.  He won't have a seat.  

That all said, Quebec voters moved past the old debates in 2011.  No reason I can see why they'd abandon the NDP and head to the BQ.  They have a chance to help make Tom Mulcair the next prime minister with a progressive government in Ottawa with a large Quebec influence.  

Sean in Ottawa

Don't underestimate the ability of the Conservaatives to wind up the Bloc and their ability to react.

All depends on how it plays.

 

jerrym

Unionist wrote:

DaveW wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Pretty much what Sean said.

you both overestimate the BQ/Duceppe

Not really. You just shouldn't underestimate Quebecers.

The NDP wooed them in 2011, but that didn't explain the tsunami. That was largely due to Quebecers deciding, massively and simultaneously, to try a beau risque in order to defeat Harper - and being fed up with the impotence of the BQ after 20 years of giving it their confidence. It didn't work, because the rest of Canada didn't get the message. 2015 looks much better for the NDP. But Quebecers have turned on a dime, and given the right (or wrong) conditions, they will do so again. They swept Mario Dumont's ADQ from nowhere to official opposition in 2007, then reduced them to nothing in 2008. Likewise with the PQ's victory in 2012 (thanks to the student movement engineering Charest's downfall), and their own defeat 18 months later.

Next episode? It depends.

 

I agree that it depends. It depends on whether on how he present himself initially and to some extent the way the Quebec media present him. If this fails, he will have a second chance during the debates (remember Alberta). As a rerun, he is less likely to succeed, but success is far from impossible. I also agree that any degree of success he has also has a close positive correlation with Harper's chances of winning in that the more NDP votes Duceppe grabs, the greater the chance Harper wins. 

Oh! Who which PQ is being reported to have pushed Duceppe to takeover the BQ and its poor polls? Who is the largest shareholder in the Quebec media empire?

Marco C

If the BQ somehow come back without any really constitutional issue it would be a resurection that would make lazurus take note (I've been waiting to write that line for a while!)

NorthReport

The Bloc are a spent force.

Return of Gilles Duceppe a desperate move for a party with few options: HébertT

he Quebec battle will be more interesting with the return of Gilles Duceppe but it is anyone’s guess whether it will ultimately be a lot more competitive.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/06/09/return-of-gilles-duceppe-a...

Stockholm

Chantal Hebert compares the BQ turning in desparation back to Duceppe to the federal PCs thinking that Joe Clark would be their saviour in 2000

socialdemocrati...

I've always treated the resurgence of the Bloc as a potential threat. But it would have had to be under new leadership. In politics, people generally don't take kind to losers. The rare exception would be John Tory and his successful bid for Mayor, after repeated failures at all levels of politics. It's one thing to take a few elections to grow your support, but it's something else entirely to tank your party, leave politics, and then come back. This would be like Jim Prentice trying to lead the Alberta PCs, which I don't think would sell even four years from now.

onlinediscountanvils

Relax. All Mulcair has to do is to publicly utter the magic phrase; "If you want to stop Harper, you cannot vote for the Bloc".

/Duceppe neutralized

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