Friday, September 18, 2009

The ADQ Needs Super Mario to Return

ADQ leadership campaign self-destructive

Canadians, being hockey fans, almost certainly remember the story of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990s.

They kicked off the decade by winning two straight Stanley Cups. The Penguins' fortunes steadily declined until 1997, when Lemieux retired to battle lymphoma. The Penguins struggled after Lemieux's departure, winning only a single playoff series.

Lemieux returned to the Penguins in 2000, and the Penguins continued to struggle. These years of struggle set the stage, however, for a spectacular rebuilding program that eventually resulted in the team winning another Stanley Cup under Lemieux's annointed and groomed successor, Sidney Crosby.

Super Mario Lemieux recognized when his team needed him, and returned to the fray.

Super Mario Dumont may need to do the same.

Dumont resigned his position as leader of the party he founded in 2008, after being reduced from Leader of the Opposition to only seven seats in the National Assembly.

Since then, the ADQ has been in search of a new leader. The results haven't been inspiring.

So far, the main issues discussed in the ADQ leadership campaign have been the disqualification of a candidate, and the allegedly-inflated resume of another one of the candidates.

Where most party's leadership campaigns are characterized by the rush to sign up new members to support a particular candidate's leadership ambitions, the ADQ leadership campaign has been characterized by an exodus out of the party.

"I would say that the meter counting members leaving the party is turning faster than the one counting new members," said Caire, one of the leadership candidates.

Caire has been accused of using a fraudulent resume in which he is listed as holding a Bachelor of Communications degree from Laval University. For his own part, Caire insists that the degree is still "a work in progress", and that his resume was merely subject to a typo.

Caire himself accused Christian Levesque of being unable to chew gum while walking.

ADQ founding member Marie Gregoire has been markedly disappointed in the tone of the campaign.

"You would hope that the debate would be on ideas," she complained.

"The ADQ has always been a party of ideas," Gregoire continued. "They have been putting things on the table that nobody had the courage to talk about."

Enougn is enough. Taillon, Caire and Levesque have embarassed their party enough. Mario Dumont must by now recognize that he's the only one left who can lead to the ADQ.

Even if the party continues to struggle, at least it can continue to rebuild under his leadership. Perhaps one day it will return to the benches of the Official Opposition, or perhaps even the government of Quebec.

All Super Mario needs to do is return.

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