Gilles Tailon announces leadership bid
Just a few short months ago, the Action Democratique du Quebec were in extremely dire straights.
They had just finished absorbing a whopping defeat in the 2008 Quebec election, their leader, Mario Dumont, had just quit, and no contenders were lining up to bid for his vacated post.
What a difference a few months can make.
As of yesterday, three candidates have declared their candidacy to become the next leader of the ADQ.
Gilles Tailon has formally declared his candidacy. He says he plans to focus on economic issues.
Eric Caire, the National Assembly Member for La Peltrie and another former MNA, Christian Levesque.
At 63 years of age, Tailon is the oldest candidate to join the field. He'd certainly be a significant change from the young, dynamic Dumont. His best asset is a stint as the President of the Conseil du Patronat du Québec, an association of business people. He was the president of the CPQ for eight years between 1998 and 2006.
Caire was first elected in his riding of La Peltrie in 2007 by 51% of the vote. Since then he's advocated the abolition of public school boards and the introduction of a school vouchers program.
Levesque has some international credentials, having previously been President of General Textiles International, which is based in Paris. In a party that has to lead toward French Canadian nationalism, such links to France could be a real asset for both Levesque and the ADQ.
Any of these candidates would be hard-pressed to replace Mario Dumont, but with the sharp turn in the party's electoral fortunes the ADQ is well-poised for the kind of change in direction a new leader could bring.