Who wants to lead the ADQ? No one.

Will the ADQ survive to fight again without Mario Dumont?


Who wants to lead the ADQ? No one.

In 2007 the ADQ had a spectacular breakthrough, capturing 41 seats and becoming the official opposition party in Quebec. But now it seems that success provided the party with little more than a higher pedestal from which to fall. After collecting a meagre seven seats in December’s election, the ADQ has now been stripped of official party status and has seen its charismatic founder and leader walk away from politics. A compelling leadership race could have been just the thing to get the party back on its feet. The only problem is that no one seems to want Mario Dumont’s job.

To date, none of the rumoured candidates have stepped forward to confirm they will seek the party leadership. In fact, the only leadership-related news from the ADQ has come from those announcing they won’t be running. Coupled with the party’s marginal role in Quebec’s National Assembly, the dearth of quality leadership candidates doesn’t bode well for the ADQ’s future. “It’s the first hint that it’s not going to be easy to keep this ship afloat,” says Pierre Martin, a political science professor at the Université de Montreal. “Normally, in a party that has even the slimmest chance to play an important role, if not eventually take power, there should be at least minimal interest.”

Premier Jean Charest’s new-found nationalist appeal complicates things even further. If the ADQ is to regain its political footing and fulfill the promise it showed in 2007, it will have to do so in an increasingly crowded corner of Quebec’s political spectrum. Centre-right federalists with nationalist bona fides have suddenly become plentiful in the province. Most daunting of all, however, is the prospect of having to do it without Dumont at the helm.

All 125 ADQ candidates from the last election will be holding a meeting later this month where leadership issues are expected to be discussed. But for now, Dumont remains the only leader the ADQ has ever had. Unless he convinces someone else it’s a job worth having, it just might stay that way for good.


Who wants to lead the ADQ? No one.

  1. Congradulations on yet another negative article on the ADQ.

    In all your article reflects a rather erroneous opinion.

    First, and most notably, the reunion of ADQ party candidates was held earlier in the month (January 17th in Drummondville), rather than later this month (your article was written 4 days after the reunion) as your article inaccurately states.

    Second, there are at least three unofficial candidates who are visibly campaigning for the position. They are François Bonnardel – the party’s finance critic, Éric Caire – Health critic, and who newcomer Gérard Deltell has already openly thrown his support behind, and Sébastien Proulx – the former House Leader for the party. Even hothead Huntingdon mayor Stéphane Gendron has expressed interest (even if it is unwanted). In passing and for future reference, his blog is suprisingly well informed and is almost obsessively focused on the ADQ.

    If Paul Martin, or more recently Ignatieff, were any lesson to us, a candidate need not openly declare his candidacy to be a candidate in the running for the head of a political party.

    Finally the ADQ has given itself approximately one to two years for choosing a new party leader. This was already a point of contention in the meeting which just passed, and will likely remain contentious when the party votes on a timeline at the next bi-annual meeting.

    It is safe to say that no candidate should openly declare himself two years ahead of time. Who wants to lead the ADQ? Mario Dumont, for one. He is, afterall, still the head of the party. And a slew of aforementioned younger candidates are yapping at his heels.

    Now thats more than can be said in regards to forseeable replacements for Jean Charest (who will likely seek replacement towards the end of his third term) or Pauline Marois (who had health issues during the campaign).