ADQ membership drops to 2,500
Francois Legault looks at his new second-in-command Gerard Deltell. (Dec. 13, 2011)
Published Thursday, December 15, 2011 7:22AM EST
The Coalition Avenir Quebec won't be bolstering its ranks with a mighty political army if it merges with the Action democratique du Quebec.
Numbers provided by ADQ president Christian Levesque show the party has plummeted to 2,521 members from the 50,000 it had at the height of its popularity in 2002-2003.
ADQ members are to vote by mail on the marriage of the two parties by Jan. 22 -- and many of them are already saying they're opposed.
The ADQ, which was founded in 1994 by disgruntled Liberals Jean Allaire and Mario Dumont, is $600,000 in debt.
It was briefly the Official Opposition in the legislature in 2007 before getting knocked back into third place in an election a year-and-a-half later.
The merger, which was announced with an agreement in principle on Tuesday, has the support of current ADQ Leader Gerard Deltell, the four-member ADQ caucus in the legislature and the ADQ executive.
The Coalition, which has led the governing Liberals and the Opposition Parti Quebecois in opinion polls for months, only became an official political party last month.