Sunday, May 13, 2007

In And Out

Everybody thought that the Parti Quebecois, left broken and bloodied by a third-place finish in the recent election, its ambiguously separatist thunder stolen by Mario Dumonts's "autonomism," was begging for Gilles Duceppe to come take over and lead it back to the promised land of independence.

Everybody, it seems, except the actual party militants, who couldn't run from Duceppe fast enough:

Within 24 hours of announcing he was running for the leadership of the Parti Québécois, Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe stunned the sovereignty movement by dropping out of the race.

Mr. Duceppe's organizers quickly realized that their strategy to take over the PQ had failed miserably and that an unpredictably strong level of support had quickly moved behind former PQ senior minister Pauline Marois, the only other declared candidate in the race.

The battle of titans everyone expected will not take place. A series of events that unfolded late Friday and all day Saturday convinced Mr. Duceppe that he would do better to remain Bloc Leader in Ottawa than pursue his strategy to become PQ leader.

A poll conducted by Crop for the Montreal daily La Presse on Saturday showed a vast majority of Quebeckers — 45 per cent — preferred Ms. Marois as PQ leader over Mr. Duceppe, who received the backing of 21 per cent. Mr. Duceppe reached the conclusion he didn't have the support.

"The Crop poll clearly showed an important and insurmountable trend in support of Ms. Marois. This was not visible two weeks ago," Mr. Duceppe's chief of staff François Leblanc said Saturday.

Actually it was visible even before the race began, but most commentators, having little knowledge of the PQ's peculiar nature, completely missed it.

Gilles Duceppe's political career, his youthful Marxist follies aside, has been defined by the Bloc Quebecois, from the day he became its first by-elected MP following Meech Lake's demise. He is not now, and has never been, a real pequiste , and the Bloc has never been simply the federal branch of the PQ.

He does not enjoy the same stature that Lucien Bouchard did when he went from leading the BQ to the PQ. He did not follow the same trail of tears that Bouchard followed along with so many Quebecois, from dashed hopes in federalism to renewed commitment to independence. Nor has he been with the PQ during its early days, its glory days, and its darkest hours.

Duceppe, unlike Pauline Marois, has no real roots in the PQ. The PQ, by the nature of its vision, does not take well to mere opportunists trying to jump to the head of the parade.

Duceppe's coronation was never going to happen; once Pauline Marois stepped in, he knew it, and he was left with no choice but to quit in an embarrassing manner.

The fact that the Bloc will take him back so readily is also a further sign of the Bloc's chief weakness: it has become, for all intents and purposes, the party of Gilles Duceppe. There is no one within its ranks with the necessary stature to succeed him and surpass him.

Gilles Duceppe just came out the loser here, but so did the BQ. Now they get to stumble along together for a fifth election, unable to extract themselves from each other.

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

LOYALIST said...

Friday, July 07, 2006
Behind Bars, Before The Bar
Believe it or not, even the Bar has some standards for joining it. Something about not bringing the profession into disrepute.

Stop snickering.

Even the Quebec Bar didn't want this guy, but may be forced to take him:

He left the country after being repeatedly denied enrolment in the Quebec bar admission course because he stabbed his mother to death when he was younger. But Sébastien Brousseau has finally prevailed in his decade-long campaign for the right to become a lawyer.

The Quebec bar says it will not appeal a decision this spring by a panel of judges who ruled that Mr. Brousseau is sufficiently rehabilitated that he can practise law without hurting the reputation of the legal profession.


Mr. Brousseau was 21 when he killed his mother, Micheline Sévigny, in their home near Montreal, stabbing her 40 times. According to psychiatric assessments cited in court documents, his parents had separated and he lived with his mother, often feuding with her.

The night of Nov. 16, 1990, according to his account to a psychiatrist, Mr. Brousseau got into an argument with his mother and she swung at him with a baseball bat.

He said he remembered defending himself with a kitchen knife but did not recall how often he stabbed her. He said that she was in agony when he came to his senses, so he slit her throat to end her suffering.

Despite the lurid details of the slaying, the ruling noted that the Crown changed the indictment against him from murder to manslaughter, on the advice of psychiatric experts.

After being paroled in 1992, Mr. Brousseau attended law school. By the time of his fourth attempt to register in the bar exam school in 2001, he had obtained a pardon.

A pardon may wipe away a criminal record and all of the usual consequences of having one, but it cannot undo a man's past.

The absence of a criminal record is neither sufficient nor necessary proof of good character, according to just about any Bar.

Had Brousseau's past offences been fraud or any other breach of trust, the Bar would never have given him a chance. Even if he had only faced civil judgments for same, and never any criminal indictments.

Had his crime been drunk driving, the Bar wouldn't have cared as long as he hadn't killed or maimed anyone.

In any event, his may be a hollow victory yet. The Bar can close ranks against anyone with a firmness and discipline even the Mob would envy. He may have to be admitted to bar school, but no firm is obligated to hire him for articles, without which he cannot be called.

And even if he should find and complete articles, he will still have to demonstrate that he is of good character, to the Bar's satisfaction, again.

And it will find any excuse to keep him out, now.

But even if, despite all this, he is admitted, no firm in Quebec will obligated to hire him, nor the Bar help him hang out his own shingle.

When the Bar wants you out, it will move heaven and earth to keep you out.

Source: Globe and Mail
Posted by Loyalist at 7:10 AM

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I will try to prove you wrong. By the way, I already did my exams and have a job.

Sebastien Brousseau.
7/11/2006 11:57 PM