Duceppe weighs his options with
[PoliticsWatch updated 5:00 p.m. May 8, 2007]
Those waiting for Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe to announce
his plans to leave Ottawa and seek the leadership of the Parti
Quebeois will have to wait another day.
Duceppe was reluctant to discuss his political future in the
wake of Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair's announcement
in Quebec City earlier on Tuesday that he is resigning as party
"It's not the time to make decisions," he told reporters in French
after question period. He added that it was Boisclair's day, not
"I respect the decision. I think it was a noble decision, not an easy decision to be taken. It's very tough in politics."
But one of the few clues Duceppe offered about his future was how he
did not object to a reporter's hypothetical question about what
happens to the Bloc if he were to leave and seek Boisclair's
"I'm very confident," he said, noting the Bloc's demise is
predicted almost every six months. "We have a lot of resources, good members in the Bloc and I'm very optimistic for the Bloc."
In 2005, Duceppe was being drafted to seek the leadership of the
Parti Quebecois but decided to sit out the leadership race which
Boisclair eventually won.
However, most observers in Ottawa and Quebec City believe that
Duceppe will enter provincial politics this time and be the heavy
favourite to replace Boisclair.
Duceppe has been an MP for 17 years and leader of the Bloc for four
federal elections spanning 10 years.
His expected departure will definitely change the dynamics of the
next federal election and the minority Parliament.
If he were to leave, the Bloc would have to hold a leadership
campaign to replace the experienced Duceppe and that could take as
much a year before a new leader is chosen and gets settled in as
Because all three opposition parties have to vote against the
government on confidence votes for there to be an election, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper appears to be the big winner as he
will once again have one of the opposition parties unable to go the
polls for up to another year and propping up his government.
However, NDP leader Jack Layton said he doesn't expect a Bloc
leadership campaign to make much difference on the dynamic of the
"The Bloc's been propping up this government for quite some
time," he said, noting that the separatist party
supported the Conservative government on the last two budgets
and the softwood lumber deal, all of which were confidence
Liberal leader Stephane Dion reserved comment on how Duceppe's
departure would affect the dynamic of the Commons.
"I will comment about Mr. Duceppe's move if there is a
move," he said.
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