Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Love LaP

Bloggers everywhere today shed a tear as the man who has done oh so much to inspire us over the years said goodbye to politics. Luckily, Jason Kenney's recent promotion to Cabinet should soon help fill the void.

As a tribute to Lapierre, I have scoured my archives and come up with some of my favourite Jean Lapierre posts from over the years. Ahh...the memories...

1. My third post ever was a lengthy rant about Jean Lapierre after the nomination mess in Quebec and his wish that the RCMP would help the Liberals out by "laying some charges already" in Adscam.

2. This recap of the first time I heard Lapierre speak in person:

As for the speech, it wasn't bad. His English is a lot better than Anne McLellan's French (reason #26 why she'll never be Prime Minister) and he's great at throwing passion into his voice. He had a great line along the lines of: "My wife is confused. She hears on the news that all we talk about in government is sex and then when I come home, I'm too tired out from all the talk about sex to...". He mentioned that Stephen Harper would not be able to break into Quebec (wow! shocker!) [ed note: boy, were we ever both off on that one] and that Gilles Ducceppe will leave to become leader of PQ (I believe Lapierre said "Premier of Quebec" which is not how I'd be wording it if I were a Jean Charest supporter). It sounds to me like the Liberal's Quebec strategy consists of hoping Gilles Ducceppe leaves federal politics and I'm not sure if this is really the best way to win back the province. But, then again, Jean Lapierre is a political genius and I'm not, so maybe it's not such a bad idea.

3. Jean Lapierre moment of biennial convention

During his speech on Friday night he said, and I quote, word for word: “The Bloc won those seats in Quebec by accident”.

4. From April 2005:

"It's a good position to be in, you don't want to peak too soon." Said Jean Lapierre, on the Liberals nose-dive in the polls in Quebec on the National. Lapierre, who took over as Martin's Quebec Lieutenant amid speculation the Bloc was about to go the way of the Socreds, refused to reveal when he hopes the party will "peak" in Quebec. 2008? 2012?

5. On his election strategery:

When asked how he'd defend his Party during the campaign [wrt Adscam], he answered that he'd say he wasn't a Liberal when this happened.

6. In trouble with Elections Canada:

In an article in today's Globe about how Elections Canada deals with those who
accidentally break election rules, they mentioned that Jean Lapierre got in a bit of trouble for
showing his ballot to a TV camera. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the infraction didn't occur on October 30th, 1995.

7. Then there was the time in the last campaign when he compared the BQ to the Nazis (my how his little temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition has grown up into a genocidal force bent on world domination) .

And, above all else, Jean Lapierre has always been an easy punchline. Even Jean Chretien got his jabs in:

When asked about the party banning people for life, Chretien gets off the line of the day: "Well, I never knew the party had that power. If I'd known I had that power...well...I might have used it on several occasions. For example, when Monsieur Lapierre left the party to found the Bloc Quebecois, I would have banned him for life." ZING!

LaP's most lasting contribution to the Canadian politics was, of course, his coining of the term "Temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition" to describe his founding of the Bloc Quebecois. The same way the Daily Show uses "NAMBLA" as their recurring gag, LaP's phrase has been gold for bloggers and a guaranteed cheap laugh. Maybe it's because it sounds like a gay pickup line or maybe it's because it was the most colourful downplaying in the history of politics, but the term had staying power.

So while LaP may be gone, his legacy will live on. We will all miss you Jean.


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