The Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the Honourable Gilles Duceppe

(Translated from French)

My friends… My friends…

Tonight we have suffered a great blow. Tonight, we have lost seats and we have lost influence. There is no escaping that fact. There is no shame in it either. We fought a hard campaign. We fought a disciplined campaign. We took our message to the people of Quebec and the people of Quebec listened. And they disagreed with us.

That’s life. That’s democracy. We have to respect that fact, even if we do not appreciate it. Or understand it. We serve the people, so we respect their judgement.

There is a fault line in parliamentary democracy. It comes in the form of the undecided, of the disgruntled voter, of the individual who chooses not to vote. For several elections, we have seen voter turnout slide lower and lower, and through it all, we have said that silence equals consent. We are like the people beside the San Andreas fault who say that no movement today means no movement ever.

But today, the people of Quebec have spoken, along with the people of the nation of Canada, and they have given us all a stern judgement. Every party has suffered, shaken apart by an earthquake down the fault line of Canadian politics. Institutions have toppled.

Tomorrow, Quebeckers and Canadians will have to wake up, and assess the damage their judgement has done. They may not like what they see. But I will not be around to tell them I told them so. They have made their decision and they will live with it. And they have told me that I am not the one who can deliver their future. Therefore, effective immediately, I must resign my position as leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

This party needs to do some soul searching, as do all parties, as do I think the people of Quebec. Whatever we decide, whatever Quebeckers decide, we will see a new political order emerge, governed by the wishes of the people of Quebec. Perhaps the old parties will adjust to this reality, or perhaps new parties will form.

Of one thing I am certain: Quebeckers showed the power they still wield over the political process. Therefore they have the power to reform it, and have expressed the strongest interest to do so. I regret I cannot be a part of that. But it will be an interesting future.

Bonne chance, Quebec. And good night.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by James Bow published on August 26, 2008 9:55 PM.

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