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June 13, 2005
Liberals: Duceppe A 'Coward' For Not Pushing Secession

Despite the widespread corruption committed by the Liberals during their governance of Canada, at times their political brilliance requires some admiration, no matter how grudgingly given. The fact of their survival on May 19th took a blend of bald-faced vote-buying and hardball politics that took one's breath away in its audacity and its success. Their apparent recovery in the polls after hearing witness after witness attest to Liberal money-laundering and embezzlement for weeks is nothing short of astounding. Their ability to tar Tory leader Stephen Harper as a stooge of separatists and some malevolent, secretive force that will unravel Canadian federalism as a cover for that graft may stand as one of the great political comebacks in North American history.

Today, however, the Liberals may have pushed their luck a bit too far by attacking Bloc Quebecois leader Giles Duceppe for turning down a provincial post in favor of remaining the national BQ leader. Paul Martin's man in Quebec, Jean LaPierre, called Duceppe a 'coward' for not taking over the reins at Parti Quebecois, the separatist party affiliated with BQ within Quebec:

Paul Martin's Quebec lieutenant capitalized on Gilles Duceppe's expected decision to steer clear of the Parti Qubcois leadership, calling the Bloc Leader a coward for avoiding the major battle over sovereignty.

The remarks by Jean Lapierre were the first salvo in what could become a Liberal effort to drive down the substantial popularity of Mr. Duceppe, who, it appears, the Liberals will now face in a federal election.

"He probably realizes that the PQ is not going to unroll the red carpet for him . . . so maybe he's decided that he'd rather be comfortable in Ottawa instead of fighting the real war," Mr. Lapierre told CTV's current affairs program, Question Period.

"If he doesn't go, it will show that he doesn't have it, to one day run anything. [He will be in] perpetual opposition and we'll be able to say he was a coward, frankly."

LaPierre's statement sounds strange and contradictory. If PQ wanted Duceppe as its leader, it would mean that Duceppe would press for the separatist cause. Since the Liberals oppose Quebec's separatist movement -- remember, that's what Adscam was supposed to prevent -- calling Duceppe a coward for not actively promoting that viewpoint is not only hyperbolic but undercuts their own argument. Will the Liberals campaign in Quebec by saying that the only courageous choice for Quebeckers to endorse is that of secession?

LaPierre told the talk show audience that the Liberals would not remain on the political defensive after the Gomery revelations, but would "be on the offensive". Questioning the honor and courage of a political opponent for choosing to remain engaged in national politics rather than regional separatism certainly qualifies as offensive. I doubt that LaPierre did the Grits any favors in Quebec with this illogical attack last night.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 13, 2005 7:17 AM

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» Captain's Quarters Covers "Stupid-Gate" from
Heh, Stupid-Gate - where do I come up with these?!? ;) Captain Ed blogs about Jean LaPierre calling Giles Duceppe a coward. As usual, Ed has some valid insight into the situation. Perhaps we should nominate him for dual-citizenship? Though, I'm n... [Read More]

Tracked on June 13, 2005 2:19 PM

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