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04/19/2007


Openly Gay Parti Québécois Leader Andre Boisclair Resigns

Following March elections in which Parti Québécois had its poorest showing in decades, openly gay leader Andre Boisclair bowed to pressure and resigned today. Boisclair's party appeared to have little faith left in his ability to push for a third referendum on independence for the French-Canadian province.

BoisclairSaid Boisclair: "I would have loved to be the leader of the party. It's not possible for me. Somebody else will have to do it."

Boisclair's tenure has been a unique one, notes the International Herald Tribune: "When he was elected leader of the Parti Quebecois in November 2005, Boisclair, 41, made headlines for being openly gay and admitting to using cocaine while serving as a cabinet minister. His relative youth also marked a stark departure from previous sovereignty leaders, most of whom traced their roots to the PQ's founding in the late-1960s."

Last November, Boisclair was criticized for participating in a skit on Canadian TV which used Brokeback Mountain to parody the relationship between George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The sketch featured Bush and Harper shirtless inside a pup tent. George Bush fondles his nipples before throwing two cherries at Harper. The cherries then appear strategically placed atop two mounds of whipped cream on Harper's chest. The tent unzips and Boisclair, peeking his head through, says "Quebec won't get mixed up in something like that."

According to the IHT, "Boisclair fought back tears at the press conference announcing his resignation. He said the sovereignty movement would rebound. 'I'm deeply convinced that this brave nation will assume its freedom,' he said."


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Parti Québécois leader Andre Boisclair Brokeback Skit Slammed

Brokebackboisclair

Openly gay Parti Québécois leader Andre Boisclair has been criticized for appearing in a TV sketch which parodies Brokeback Mountain.

The sketch features George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shirtless inside a pup tent. George Bush fondles his nipples before throwing two cherries at Harper. The cherries then appear strategically placed atop two mounds of whipped cream on Harper's chest. The tent unzips and Boisclair, peeking his head through, says "Quebec won't get mixed up in something like that."

The sketch, of course, was immediately broadcast over Canadian new networks, prompting criticism from those who felt that Boisclair's participation was not fitting of a statesman.

AndreboisclairBoisclair appeared surprised by the negative reaction: "I did it in good faith and people will judge for themselves. But now that I see how much of a debate all of this has triggered, it's quite obvious I wouldn't do it again."

Of course, Boisclair has never been known for a platform of good behavior. When he was running for Parti Leader and acknowledged cocaine use, the candidate saw his popularity soar in the polls.

At the time, a former cabinet member attempted to explain that the reason for the jump was the mindset of the French Canadian voter: "We Quebecers fancy our heroes a little bit cheeky, defeatist, hesitant, unsure of themselves, alcoholic, a little or even a lot unreliable, a little bit fraudulent or even a little drugged. We like to say they are like us."

Even members fo his own party have come out against the sketch, but what will the people say?

The sketch is scheduled for broadcast on the Canadian station MusiMax on December 22, but you can see what the fuss is about right here:

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Andre_boisclair

Andre Boisclair, an openly gay 39-year-old, was elected leader of the separatist Parti Quebecois yesterday in Canada, after surviving a scandal surrounding his admitted cocaine use while serving as a government minister.

The Canadian Press reports that rivals "stepped gingerly around Boisclair's use of the illegal drug while he served in Lucien Bouchard's cabinet in the late 1990s." Perhaps that's because when Boisclair admitted he had used the drug, his poll numbers soared.

In his victory speech, Boisclair pledged to "hold a referendum on Quebec sovereignty as soon as possible."

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AndreboisclairCandidates for leader of the separatist Parti Québécois are hesitant to bring up the bad behavior of their rivals after openly gay and strikingly handsome candidate André Boisclair acknowledged cocaine use and saw his numbers soar in the polls.

He's now at the front of the pack, according to the New York Times. Apparently, most Quebecers can relate to "wild weekends at the end of which you can't recall where you left your rented car."

A former cabinet member explains the psychology of the French Canadian voter: "We Quebecers fancy our heroes a little bit cheeky, defeatist, hesitant, unsure of themselves, alcoholic, a little or even a lot unreliable, a little bit fraudulent or even a little drugged. We like to say they are like us."


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