Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Duceppe and the Bloc: 20 years and counting

Gilles Duceppe today celebrates 20 years as a Bloc Quebecois MP, as the party itself enjoys its 20th year in federal life. The Globe today provides a short biography of the man, full of respect for his style and perseverance. It’s a testament to the staying power of the party and the longevity of Quebec nationalism.

The Bloc is such a marvel. Its goal is the creation of an ethnic state, but it speaks the language of civic values. Its founding principles are based in a rejection of pluralism, but it appeals to immigrant Montrealers as much as to pur-laine white Quebecers in Lac-St-Jean. It exists to give Quebec nationalism a voice in Ottawa, and does so by divorcing Quebec nationalists from the actual levers of federal power.

Duceppe’s longevity and continued support, despite the ever distant realization of his goals, is fascinating. In the same surreal vein, I suspect his downfall would really come in actually achieving his goals, as the nationalist dreams would become hard-headed and uncomfortable realities. Instead, it’s his (and his cause’s) perpetual underdoggism and perpetual struggle that generates and renews the nationalist appeal, and I suppose will do forever.

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