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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday May 4, 2011
Danny Williams had it. So did Lucien Bouchard. It turns out that Gilles Duceppe did not.

When it comes to their exit from the political scene, few successful leaders have a reliable sense of timing.

Intoxicated by repeated victories, many end up staying past their prime and taking their party an election bridge too far.

On that score, the former premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec are notable exceptions. Perhaps because they had more fire in the belly to begin with and little natural inclination to fade gently into the night, Williams and Bouchard had the instinct to bow out before they had exhausted their welcome.

Duceppe, on the other hand, has missed his cue. Over the past four weeks, he has been finding out the hard way that his deal with Quebecers was not open ended after all.

Even leaders who never have to wear the scratch of a single unpopular decision ultimately exhibit corrosion from the passage of time.

For the best part of the last year, the Bloc and its leader have been on a lengthy 20th anniversary celebration. In hindsight, that celebration was ill-advised.

If I had collected a dollar for every time a longstanding Bloc supporter voter has opined since the election was called that it is time to move on after 20 years, I would have made a solid profit on the 2011 campaign. Continued...

Gilles Duceppe overstayed his welcome
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