She had little choice in the matter, but Pauline Marois has ultimately fallen on her sword.
On Monday evening, the Quebec premier announced that she will resign as Parti Quebecois leader, following an epic election defeat which saw the Liberals win 70 of 125 seats in the National Assembly to the PQ's 30.
To add insult to injury, Quebec's first female premier couldn't retain her seat.
"This evening, you'll understand that under the circumstances I will be leaving my post," she told a subdued crowd in Montreal.
The early analysis is that Marois led a horrible campaign full of missteps and unfocused messaging, which included a lot of talk about a referendum that Quebecers weren't interested in.
In Marois' defence, she can't be blamed for her star-candidate Pierre Karl Peledeau proclaiming that he wanted an independent Quebec. (Incidentally, PKP won his seat)
But she can and must be blamed for her outlandish musings about sovereignty.
Over the course of two days, early in the campaign, Marois said that she wanted her own country independent of Canada, wanted travellers in both nations to be able to go back and forth without borders and passports, wanted to use the Canadian dollar, wanted to seek a seat at the Bank of Canada and will study the issue of offering dual citizenship to Quebecers.
Marois also has to wear her party's Charter strategy and her silence in response to the discriminatory comments of PQ candidates with regard to Muslims and other religious minorities.
But while the last 30 days have been bad, its important to note that Marois' focus on sovereignty and identity politics didn't start one month ago at the beginning of the campaign. That has been the focus for much of her 18 months in power.
On election night in 2012, the new premier made no bones about her intentions.
"I would like to talk to our friends and neighbours in Canada," she said during her victory speech.
"As a nation we want to make the decisions about the things that are important for us. We want a country. And we will have it."
Obviously, Marois wasn't able to achieve her goal of an independent Quebec but in many subtle ways, she masterfully forwarded her sovereignty agenda.
In Septemebr 2012, the Canadian flag was was removed from the Quebec legislature as members of the PQ were sworn into office.
In December of that year , the government proposed Bill 14 which would have strengthened Quebec's French language laws. One of the things included the legislation was an edict ordering companies with 26 to 50 employees to obtain Certificates of Francization, indicating that all communications within the workplace were in French.
Marois also embarked on a Quebec independence road show, of sorts.
In December 2012, in New York, the premier addressed a crowd of well-heeled business types telling them that they shouldn't lose sleep over an independent Quebec.
And, in January 2013 Marois was in Scotland supporting a Scottish independence movement.
"It will show that this [independence] is not an old idea, but a very modern idea, and Scotland is an example in this perspective," Marois told reporters.
"It will tell Quebeckers that it is still possible to attain the objective."
And then there was the Values Charter which would have banned public employees from wearing religious symbols in public institutions.
From day one, minority groups and opponents of the legislation accused the government of using the legislation to create a wedge between Francophones and the rest of Canada.
It almost worked.
That's what she did with a minority government — imagine what she could have done with a majority.
Tonight a lot of Quebecers and Canadians are happy they never have to find out.
Au revoir Madame Marois. Au revoir.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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