Thursday, December 18, 2008

Senator Mario Dumont?

Lawrence Martin thinks former ADQ leader could claim a Red Chamber seat

With Stephen Harper set to fill 18 vacant Senate seats, a great deal of musing on who, exactly, Harper will appoint.

In today's Globe and Mail, Lawrence Martin has made an interesting suggestion. Among other such conservative luminaries as Mike Harris and Kim Campbell, Harper may appoint the recently-resigned leader of the Action Democratique du Quebec, Mario Dumont:
"The leader of Quebec's conservative party, the Action Démocratique du Québec, has just stepped down. Mr. Harper needs allies from Quebec, and Mr. Dumont knows the terrain. The PM might even elevate him to a cabinet perch."
At face value, it seems like a worthwhile move.

After Dumont's ascension to the role of Opposition Leader in Quebec's National Assembly, many observers were looking toward a Harper/Dumont tandem as a modern day incarnation of the John Diefenbaker/Maurice Duplessis collaboration that gave Diefenbaker one of the most dominant majority governments in Canadian history.

Instead, Dumont's ADQ was decimated at the polls less than a year later. By appointing him to the Senate -- and possibly even cabinet -- Harper could still salvage something out of the once-promising association with Dumont.

Of course, there's also a downside to such a move. Appointing Dumont to the Senate would make it more difficult for Dumont to ever seek a seat in Parliament -- something that Dumont's previous individual electoral successes demonstrate he is more than capable of doing.

In Dumont, Harper could find what Michael Fortier has decisively failed to deliver: a successful Quebec lieutenant.


  1. Oh man... I was so happy when this guy stepped down from the ADQ. This guy has changed from separatist to federalist to fence sitter. All this in the last 13 years.

    I don't think having him a a Quebec lieutenant would be a good idea. Does anybody else remember what happened when Mulroney made Lucien Bouchard his Quebec lieutenant?

  2. Mario Dumont has gone from being a separatist to being a fairly committed federalist.

    Lucien Bouchard was never really a federalist. As Ambassador to France and Environment Minister he was a paper federalist at best.

    I see Dumont and Bouchard as two very different animals.

  3. I don't know about them being so different. I remember Dumont's 1995 referendum campaign backing the separatists. I remember being the only french kid in my school thinking this was wrong.

    I also know from having lived through a few ADQ electoral campaigns that Dumont is, in my opinion, someone I wouldn't trust to help me shovel my driveway.

    I'm just saying that a leopard can't change his stripes and I'm pretty sure that deep down in side Dumont hasn't changed his.

  4. Sorry... leopard's can't change their spots... they don't even have stripes. Stupid language barrier.

  5. You could be right. Only time will really tell.

  6. I really hope he proves me wrong/ I'll just keep my fingers crossed.


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