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Liberal MP Denis Coderre announces he is stepping down as Quebec lieutenant and defence critic during a news conference in Montreal on Sept. 28, 2009.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Denis Coderre chose yesterday - a couple of days after the Liberals were thrashed in two Québec by-elections - to make his return to the political stage.

For me, the highlight of the interview by Radio-Canada's Christiane Charette was his reaction to La Presse caricaturist Serge Chapleau's statement the day before that he draws the former Québec lieutenant as an "imbecile." Also notable was M. Coderre's acknowledgement that last year's coalition "putsch" - in the words of the interviewer - had been a mistake, as Canadians outside Québec had not given up on the Conservatives and were troubled by the Bloc's role.

On more current events, M. Coderre did not seem at all apologetic about his resignation as Michael Ignatieff's Québec lieutenant, according to a report in La Presse:

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"I sent a clear message about the process and three weeks later Mr. Ignatieff proceeded to sort out his office. That's the reality. … It wasn't my doing alone, but it's clear that Mr. Donolo's arrival means that I was right. My gesture was Draconian, but it was an opportunity for Mr. Ignatieff and I think he's taken it."

As to the future, here's what M. Coderre had to say:

"I've never hidden the fact that I want to lead the Liberal Party, but I've always been loyal to the leader. But life teaches you to be patient."

With Jack Layton's candidate garnering 20 per cent of the vote in Hochelaga, patience is not a luxury that Michael Ignatieff can afford.







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