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Duceppe campaign, Coyne in Twitter dustup over coalition accusations

Bloc Québécois Leader Gillles Duceppe waves the 2004 letter signed by him, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton proposing a coalition government to replace the then-ruling Paul Martin Liberals.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

It only took 3 hours for Election 2011 to see what seemed like its first high-level Twitter dustup. But it didn't last very long.

It appeared Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe had decided to take on his critics directly when his Twitter account started answering conservative columnist Andrew Coyne.

"On Twitter, Mr. Duceppe ( @GillesDuceppe) accused Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of lying about their 2004 agreement to replace Paul Martin's minority Liberal government, just moments after the Bloc leader made the same accusations in person at his Saturday morning opening press conference.

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When Mr. Coyne ( @coyne), who works for Macleans, started asking pointed questions about what the 2004 agreement really meant, Mr. Duceppe replied that he remembered Mr. Harper talking specifically about a coalition in 2004.

"Talked about it, how? Did he propose forming one? Then why wasn't that what was proposed in the letter?" Mr. Coyne asked.

@GillesDuceppe didn't immediately address those specifics.

A Bloc staffer later confirmed Mr. Duceppe doesn't write his own tweets. Bloc staffers usually tap out Mr. Duceppe's spoken words, though Mr. Duceppe does apparently monitor the account.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Les Perreaux joined the Montreal bureau of the Globe and Mail in 2008. He previously worked for the Canadian Press covering national and international affairs, including federal and Quebec politics and the war in Afghanistan. More

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