Quebec’s latest imaginary boyfriend

Just two months after pledging his unequivocal support for Pauline Marois, Gilles Duceppe is reportedly angling for her job

Should it come as a suprise that what looked like a peace accord between Gilles Duceppe and Pauline Marois just two months ago turns out to have been a temporary ceasefire? According to credible reports, Duceppe is gunning for Marois’s job—and getting someone who was once very close to Marois, former PQ MNA Louise Beaudoin, who quit the party last year to sit as an independent, to help his chances.

Even considering the PQ’s rich history of backstabbing, Duceppe’s opinion of Marois has seemingly come a long way in a short time. His widely publicized November 8 letter had been unequivocal in its support of Marois. “With this letter, I want to reiterate a message to all sovereigntists,” the former Bloc leader wrote. “Let Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois do their job.” But that was before Marois went ahead and… er, Marois and the rest of the PQ haven’t done much of anything since then. The National Assembly has been on break since December 9 and doesn’t get going again until mid-February.

But now that François Legault and his unfortunately named CAQ have formally asked Quebecers to quit the dating scene and settle down with him, Legault’s lost some of his sheen. That’s left Duceppe ideally positioned to re-introduce himself and be the perfect imaginary boyfriend Legault once was. Indeed, a poll taken just a week after Legault launched his party in mid-November showed a hypothetical Duceppe-led party would gather 34 per cent of the vote in Quebec to 31 per cent for the Legault-led CAQ.

Of course, an actual Duceppe-led party got just 23.4 per cent of votes last May, but things were different then; that was when he wanted you to vote for him for real. If we’ve learned anything from the past few scandal-plagued years in the province, it’s that Quebec has real problems only an imaginary candidate can fix.