Mario Dumont and the NDP -

Mario Dumont and the NDP

The host of the upcoming leadership debate is an excellent incarnation of the danger facing the NDP in Quebec


Well, how apropos: The NDP will use Mario Dumont as the host of its leadership debate Sunday in Montreal.

Dumont is a congenial figure of the slightly-righter-than-centre-right, a genuinely likeable guy — I covered him only very occasionally during his long political career, and my readers were never his key vote base, but he always had a kind word when I showed up in the press pack — and one of the most recognizable personalities in Quebec. He runs a talk show now that’s a mix of politics and lighter fare.  He’ll run a debate well.

He is also an excellent incarnation of the danger facing the NDP in Quebec. In the 2007 election, Dumont’s fourth as leader, his tiny Action Démocratique du Québec party increased its caucus tenfold to 41 seats, reducing Jean Charest’s Liberals to a minority and pushing the Parti Québécois to third place. It was a historic breakthrough.

In the 2008 election the ADQ was cut to seven seats. Dumont resigned in disgrace. His party lost a by-election in his own riding, and a few weeks ago, five years after the greatest electoral triumph the party ever knew, it was legally dissolved and combined with another party, the CAQ.

So really, all Dumont needs to do on Sunday is ask one question: How do you plan to avoid the NDP winding up the way the ADQ did?

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Mario Dumont and the NDP

  1. “So really, all Dumont needs to do on Sunday is ask one question:How do you plan to avoid the NDP winding up the way the ADQ did?”

    Yes and no. Que doesn’t have history of electing right wing governments but it does have predilection for socialists. NDP and ADQ both doing well in Que were out of the norm but NDP has much better chance of sustaining their success than ADQ did. 

    I also believe Mulcair has best odds of winning leadership and that should help retain support in Que I assume. Are Quebec federalists going to support Rae or Mulcair? 

    • Have you ever heard of Maurice Duplessis? 

      • Yes. Why do you ask? 

        • He was certainly more right wing than the right wing of today.

          • Tommy Douglas was more right wing than right wing of today.

          • Can we stick that one up on Tony’s most quotable quotes wall?

            Churchill was arguably more left wing than SH…is that not also true?

      • Tony is right. It has been 76 years since Duplessis was first elected. His brand of social conservatism, family-values, anti-separatism pretty much died with him in 1959.

        Quebec`s hunger for cradle to grave social services is so prevalent now that Justin Trudeau feels comfortable placing abortion rights and gay marriage on top of the Liberal platform.

        • Well Tony wrote that “Quebec doesn’t have a history of electing right-wing governments” – which, as you demonstrate, is false.

          • Since it is 2012, I just assumed he meant recent history and how that directly effects today`s electorate.

        • Abortion and gay rights are legal throughout Canada so why are you conflating them with Quebec specific values, leave alone an illogical connection to SS?
          Are you trying to insinuate the ROC would not share those values at all but for the anchor dragging on the bottom – Quebec?
          You and the Calgary school may hold that view, but please don’t assume you speak for everyone.
          By the way Duplessis wasn’t merely an anti- separatist, he was a nationalist blackmailer in his own right; I would guess the PQ have been good pupils in that regard.

          • Justin chose to highlight abortion rights and same-sex marriage as two reasons why Quebecers should consider separation.
            I found that strange and either he is stupid or he does not feel the historical reasons  { economic nationalism, language and cultural preservation, distinctiveness} for independence no longer resonates with Quebecers.

            I feel the main reason why separatism will remain dead in Quebec is that they have become addicted to the social programs that flow directly or indirectly from Ottawa. An independent Quebec could not afford these services. Why would they want to live like the Greeks of 2012 when they can continue to live like the Greeks of 2008.

          • One of the few things you and I might agree on is that JT was wrong to pander to Quebec fears, just as Firewall SH was wrong; I assume JT was being strategic as he did state his belief that SH was the major threat now, not separitism. I think he was right, I just think he should have picked better examples – he was wrong to do so IMO. He may have even helped the separatists in winning the next election – that really was stupid, although SH and Charest have to take a share in the blame too.
            Obviously I think your last para is wrong…but we’ll see
            Clearly JT isn’t his father, that’s a pity in some ways but it’s just the way it is.

    •  Considering that the NDP has effectively repudiated the Clarity, federalists will take Rae over Mulcair.

      •  (Clarity Act)

  2. It is possible, but the question is where those Quebec voters will go. For the next 3+ years the Bloc Quebecois will not have the benefit of the vote subsidy, a minimal voice in parliament, while most of the separatist talent gets sucked into the Marois vortex. The Liberal party might be a receptacle for those votes, and Michael Ignatieff briefly enjoyed high levels of popularity in Quebec. However, people still remember Adscam, the Liberal organization is in tatters, while naked appeals to soft nationalists are tough for a party that counts Montreal anglophones and MPs from places that benefit from a strong Ottawa (ie. the Maritimes) among the last remnants of a once-proud political force. And who would lead the exodus out of the NDP – Denis Coddere is the most plausible name that comes to mind, which doesn’t say much about the Liberals.

    In other words, unlike voters that flirted with the ADQ, the NDP is probably still the most credible game in Quebec… of course if they do something stupid like nominate Nikki Ashton all bets are off.