Monday, December 12, 2011

CAQ-ADQ Merger Imminent?

Apparently it is. If so, that would hand the CAQ (or whatever acronym will come out of this merger) at least four seats in the National Assembly. The two independent adequistes - Marc Picard and Éric Caire - would likely be next, though Caire left because he failed to win the party's leadership from current leader Gerard Deltell. Not sure how he would feel about a Legault-led party.

That leaves us with the eight other independents who came from Legault's original party, the Parti Québécois. The relationship, I imagine, is strained between some of these members and Legault, who's party is essentially a centre-right coalition a là Mario Dumont, which focuses more on the bread-and-butter issues than questions of sovereignty (though it is still a sovereigntist-led party, don't ever forget that).

Two of the independent members are already signed up for a "new" sovereigntist party called Option Nationale. Jean-Martin Aussant is its leader, and Jacques Parizeau's wife Lisette Lapointe is essentially an associate member. Lapointe, at the very least, is very unlikely to join up with the new party. Aussant isn't likely to either, though I know less about him.

Two others who left with Lapointe in the first round of defections from the PQ are Pierre Curzi and Louise Beaudoin. Curzi is essentially waiting for Marois to get out of the spotlight, while Beaudoin is... I don't know. I don't think either are likely to join the Legault grouping.

That leaves four other independent members. One, René Gauvreau, was kicked out of the PQ caucus because of some matter concerning his riding association's finances, not due to ideological squabbles with the PQ. He's not going to jump ship. The same goes with former Liberal MNA Tony Tomassi.

The other two are more interesting. Daniel Ratthé is one of the twelve members that asked Parizeau to essentially shut the heck up, but when that didn't get a nice reaction from the pequiste HQ, he had to leave the party. He's a definite candidate to jump over to the CAQ.

Benoit Charette left because he wanted the PQ to promise not to hold a sovereignty referendum if they were elected, at least not within the first mandate. That puts him square into Legault's category of sovereigntist-but-let's-wait-a-little-while. If he doesn't shack up with the new party sooner rather than later, then I'll be very surprised.

So, by the end of the year I wouldn't be surprised to see at least eight CAQ-ADQ members in the National Assembly. It's way too early to tell if the association with the ADQ is a good idea or not for Legault. After all, Dumont's leadership was the main factor in bringing the ADQ up, but the party itself caused its crash a year later. Interesting to see how Quebeckers view the new party when some actual, tangible faces are put under its roster.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised Legault is even considering merging with the ADQ nowadays, honestly. Not that long ago, he appeared more interested in swallowing the surviving ADQ members than a merger. There was one major reason for this--the ADQ is in debt to the tune of something over 700, 000$ (I don't know the exact figure). If Legault is seriously considering merger, he's not getting off to a great start, taking on a failed party's debt and all. Not very astute.

    Next, I should correct a bit of your info. Caire didn't leave the ADQ over Gerard Deltell's leadership--he left before that, as did Marc Picard. After Dumont left, Caire was indeed interested in the leadership, so was another man--someone with a somewhat higher profile--Gilles Taillon, a man in his 60s, suffering from prostate cancer.

    The media had a field day with him, as you can imagine. If you recall with Jack Layton, those same old questions, was Taillon fit? How sick was he? Were his cancer treatments working? Etc.

    Taillon's interest in the leadership, needless to say, brought infighting within the ranks of the party. He was also the front runner, despite his illness. Plus, he had one idea that, apparently, was quite controversial for the party's sensibilities. If one recalls, Mario Dumont was Stephen Harper's Quebec little buddy. Dumont was a shameless brown nose when it came to Harper. In fact, he campaigned for Harper here in Quebec during the 2008 election. It angered Jean Charest to the point where he campaigned for the Bloc (one reason, mind you). Taillon wanted to pretty much sever ties with the Conservatives or any other federal party for that matter. He felt if the party stood for an "autonomous" Quebec as Dumont had originally put it, then they shouldn't really have any federal party ties. Taillon was correct in my opinion, but anyhoo...

    Taillon would win the leadership, but it lasted all of five minutes basically. It was then Caire and Picard resigned and sat as independents. There were rumours of whether or not the ADQ would actually disband. Deltell was even wondering if he even wanted to take it over. Of course, he did. But I have to wonder, if Deltell wasn't interested and said "no", would there be an ADQ today still? Maybe not.

    I'm wondering if the honeymoon for Francois Legault will end before it begins? It's probably why Pauline Marois so stubbornly and arrogantly hangs on to her tenuous leadership of the PQ. Legault didn't run a candidate in last week's by-election in Bonaventure, citing fund raising issues, which is malarkey, because he'd been supposedly raising money hand over fist the last year. It just doesn't wash.

    Plus, recently, Charest has been daring Legault to find a seat to run in a potential by-election, before the next general election. So far, it doesn't appear that Legault is up for the challenge. If all those sitting MNAs are so interested in joining Camp Legault, I'm sure they would have no problem striking some kind of deal with Legault to resign their seat so that he may run for their's in a potential by-election.