Sunday, November 08, 2009

Two More Nails in the ADQ Coffin

Caire, Picard split from ADQ

Gilles Taillon's efforts to salvage the Action Democratique du Quebec from the ashes of its drubbing in the 2008 Quebec Provincial Election has just become much more difficult.

Eric Caire, Taillon's primary rival for the ADQ leadership, and Marc Picard, the party's former House Leader, have both left the party to sit as independents.

This is only one more merciless blow to a party that has already suffered a continuous stream of defeats. In 2008, they were punted from Official Opposition status with a 34-seat loss.

Mario Dumont -- previously the only leader the party has ever known -- resigned from the leadership quickly after.

On June 22, 2009, the party lost Dumont's seat in the National Assembly to Liberal Jean D'Amour.

The party went on to conduct a long, drawn-out and often vicious leadership campaign in which policies and ideas took a back seat to personal and ad hominem attacks.

Now, fully one third of the parties MNAs have left their caucus.

Caire -- who, after his narrow defeat, stressed the importance of the party supporting Taillon -- complained that Taillon was pulling the party too far away from its conservative principles.

“It is no longer the party I joined,” Caire complained. "That ADQ no longer exists for me."

Caire even took the opportunity to lob one more hand grenade Taillon's way before departing from the party. "I think that the future of the ADQ depends on the leader of the [party]," Caire insisted, knowing full well that his departure effectively cripples the party.

He also blamed poor leadership qualities.

"[His is] a reign without teamwork, without having either the qualities or the charisma to do it," Caire added.

When a leadership campaign turns as deeply personal as the ADQ campaign did, it's only natural that the winner and losers will find themselves unwilling and unable to work together.

As Jean Lapierre has noted, the ADQ's failure to have a proper leadership contest has effectively spelled its end.

The ADQ's time has seemingly come. With it, so has the time for a new conservative party in Quebec.

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