Whoever invented the word "smarmy,' must have been thinking of Gilles Duceppe, it describes his character perfectly;
(smarmy- sleazy, self-centered and insincere. One who has his own agenda which conflicts with the interests of others. Very fake and/or two-faced.)
One of the worst things I hate about Mr Duceppe is his manifest glee in fleecing Canadians for his own personal and political benefit, seeing no contradiction in collecting a $140,000, while working to destroy the country that pays it.
Would he have become leader of the PQ and get elected to the National Assembly, I've no doubt that he would have continued collecting his pension, with no compunction or embarrassment over the double dipping, as long as it is the federal government was paying for it.
As of late Mr. Duceppe has embarked upon a behind the scene campaign to destabilize the leadership of Pauline Marois, all the while smiling before the cameras and professing his love and support for the separatist leader.
A few months ago, Duceppe was very public in his support of Pauline, but recent events, especially the continued defections from the PQ ranks, has moved him to go after the Marois' job, once and for all.
Mr. Duceppe is not one to do the dirty work himself and so has delegated responsibility to his minions (Pierre-Paul Roy, Bob Dufour and François Leblanc) to organize and carry out a back room putsch against Madame Marois.
It's the nature of the rat that he is, to let others do for him, what he is not prepared to do openly.
Madame Marois called on him to take responsibility for his actions and demanded point blank that he declare his intentions and whether he would respect his word given months ago, not to destabilize her leadership.
In response Mr. Duceppe made a wishy-washy statement when interviewed on the radio.;
"I trust that the PQ leader and members will make the right decisions .."
For Marois it was the last straw.
|"NO I DIDN'T" "YES YOU DID!!"|
But here's an important fact that nobody has yet to report.
An ultra reliable source has told me that it was the Marois camp that leaked the information to La Presse, in an effort to harm Duceppe and check his advance on her leadership.
It makes sense if you think about it, especially the timing.
It seems that the information had been held in reserve by Marois just in case Duceppe went back on his word (which he did) and so she decided that she had no other option but to unload on him with any or all pretenses of separatist solidarity tossed aside.
It's a story that really came as no surprise to me, a further account of Duceppe's dishonest and cavalier abuse of public money for personal and political benefit. Read the original article in French
Read the National Post recapitulation
"The former leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe paid the salary of the Chief of his party, Gilbert Gardner, for seven years from the budget provided by the House of Commons for the operation of his office in Ottawa, La Presse has learned.The article elicited comments from Maxime Bernier of the Conservatives and Marc Garneau of the Liberals who both blasted the former Bloc leader as a hypocrite for wrongfully spending Parliamentary money on partisan politics, while complaining about the ethics of others.
This practice violates the rules of the House of Commons since the funds provided elected officials must be used to finance the activities of Parliament and not partisan activities. The other parties have confirmed to the press that their CEO is paid by the respective funds of the party, not money received from the House of Commons.
Mr. Gardner, who worked at the headquarters of the Bloc in Montreal and occupied himself with the management and organization of the party, was hired in 2004 by Mr. Duceppe. He pocketed a salary that exceeded $ 100, 000 in the last years of his term......
La Presse has also learned that Marie-France Charbonneau, the significant other of his chief of staff, François LeBlanc, was paid by the Bloc leader's office as a consultant while she was pursuing a master's degree. She was also paid during the time she was writing a book on the 20th anniversary of the Bloc Quebecois with Professor Guy Lachapelle, Concordia University.
Although Marie-France Charbonneau was officially a councilor to Gilles Duceppe, she rarely set her feet down in the House of Commons. "We did not know what she was doing apart from writing this book," said the Bloc Quebecois. Ms. Charbonneau received an annual salary of more than $ 90,000, according to our information
When Duceppe lost his seat, all the aforementioned 'employees' lost their jobs as well, but all were eligible for six months severance pay, courtesy of Canadian taxpayers.
All three were immediately rehired by the Bloc Quebcois office in Montreal at essentially the same salaries, something that caused a certain uneasiness among Bloc members.
When Daniel Paillé, the new Bloc leader assumed his position in December, the first order of business was to fire them all, so clearly there were forces in the Bloc that were unhappy with Duceppe's arrangements.
Someone within the Bloc, an enemy of Duceppe, leaked the story about the wrongful use of Parliamentary funds, to Marois.
As to the issue of paying those salaries with taxpayer money, Mr. Duceppe doesn't deny the facts, but dismisses the complaint about the spending as a partisan political attack, nothing else.
It remains to be seen what will happen.
Those who wanted to see Mr. Duceppe succeed Pauline Marois as leader of the PQ worked overtime to spin the story as nothing but politics, rather than ethics.
Le Devoir, a nationalist newspaper, reported on the La Presse story rather dryly, but what is more interesting are the comments under the story where about eight out of ten readers supported Mr. Duceppe and proposed that the so-called scandal was a hatchet job cooked up by federalists. See the comments here.
But one reader remained unconvinced of Duceppe's innocence.
"Typical PQ reaction...
When a newspaper exposes a scandal against the Quebec Liberal Party, they applaud wildly.
When the same newspaper denounces the mismanagement of the PQ or Bloc, they talk about propaganda, revenge, political operation, etc ...
And they believe themselves to be credible?"
The fact that he paid his chief of staff's girlfriend out of taxpayer money will be not be easily forgiven by the public.
Voters may be simple and not understand the intricacies over whether Duceppe did something wrong in using House of Commons money to pay the salaries of those involved in partisan politics, but providing someone a 'No-show job' is something even the uninitiated understand to be graft.
Look for the lovely Marie-France Charbonneau to come under a fierce attack by journalists sensing a juicy scandal.
I look forward to hear her denials. I'm not sure that the Bloc, which has already cleaned house of all these Duceppe cronies is ready to defend her.
Who knows, she could be thrown under the bus. It could be interesting.
It also remains to be seen what the legal opinion ordered by Joe Comartin (Ndp), chair of the Parliamentary committee responsible for overseeing these expenditures, will reveal.
In a worst case scenario the Bloc would have to refund up to a million dollars to the government.
It's also been reported that other Bloc members are also being investigated for similar abuses.
Daniel Paillé, the current leader of the Bloc, refused comment, distancing himself from the story by saying that the affair predated his leadership.
We could be in for a scandal on a par with the Sponsorship affair that destroyed the Liberals.
And so the battle between Marois and Duceppe has exploded into open warfare, a drag'em out brawl that ended with a devastating second round knockout counterpunch by Marois.
Yesterday Duceppe admitted defeat and announced that he was withdrawing from politics.
Well played Madame Marois. Game....Set......Match...
For federalists, it's also Christmas in January!
Keep on truckin', Pauline, the longer you remain at the helm, the happier we federalists remain!
***************UPDATE***************In a television report, late last night, Jean Lapierre (an Liberal ex-politician and star pundit) reported that every MP is furnished with a manual explaining the rules and that if they misspent money, they, not the party are personally responsible for reimbursement.
He also intimated that Duceppe is clearly guilty of violating the rules, which according to him, are pretty clear.