Unlike the Liberals, who are trying to quit their leadership quick-fix habit with a delayed timetable for permanently replacing Michael Ignatieff, the Bloc Québécois will move to select a replacement for Gilles Duceppe this fall.As mentioned before, former Joliette MP Pierre Paquette is the first "declared" candidate, though it's still unofficial.
A leadership race will take place between September 18 and December 11, during which party members will cast a vote by mail-in ballot. This is a change from what was expected to happen last May, when party officials were leaning towards a longer renewal process with a leadership vote envisioned for 2012, though not everyone in the party agrees with the new timetable, and some may try to reverse it at the party's council meeting on September 17.
But my suspicions long ago about the possible candidacy of former Hochelaga MP Daniel Paillé were also confirmed - until Alice pointed out that he counted himself out in the end. But hey, at least I got the speculation right. And no politician can really say never.
Interesting speculation surrounded current Haute-Gaspesie MP Jean-Francois Fortin, who sneaked a win in 2011 thanks to the heavy drop and vote split between the heavyweight Liberal candidate Nancy Charest, and her erstwhile NDP competitor. Fortin is the current "caucus representative" for the party's leadership, and as the only rookie MP and the Bloc MP with the greatest margin of victory, he would make for an interesting candidate.
I'm also going out on a limb here and wondering if Ahuntsic MP Maria Mourani would consider a run. Prone to some unfortunate statements at times, something like the Bloc version of Hedy Fry, would she put her name forward anyways as a dark horse candidate?
There's also something to be said about André Bellevance, MP for Richmond--Arthabaska. He's a young guy but with good experience in Parliament and hails from a region of Quebec that the Bloc desperately needs to win back. But I'm less sure about him than I am about others.
What do we say, Paquette vs. Fortin, with Mourani as a dark horse candidate? I would sit still for that battle.