CAQ officially merging with ADQ
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:26PM EST
The next time the National Assembly meets in Quebec City the Coalition Avenir Quebec will have at least four MNAs -- and possibly more.
Francois Legault's CAQ is swallowing Gerard Deltell and his Action Democratique Quebec in what is officially being designated a merger.
Deltell will remain the House Leader of the CAQ, to be replaced by Legault if and when he is elected to the National Assembly.
Because the ADQ was granted official party status despite having less than the required 12 MNAs, this means the CAQ will also begin with official party status, and the resulting extra funding for researchers and expenses.
ADQ agreed Monday night
A total of 30 members of the Action Democratique du Quebec met in Montreal Monday night to discuss the merger.
At the end of the three-hour session, 85 per cent voted in favour of joining forces with Francois Legault and his newly-created Coalition Avenir Quebec.
Peter White is among those who believe the future of his party should be hitched to Legault's wildy popular movement.
"I think that we need to all unite our forces and so this is probably the best way to do it," said White.
But not all party members think a merger is the way to go. Adrian Pouliot, one of the ADQ's vice-presidents, acknowledged that the vote was not unanimous.
"There are some members who think that the values presented by the ADQ need to have a political vehicle, and that Monsieur Legault's party is not that vehicle," said Pouliot.
All members of the ADQ will have the chance to vote on the merger agreement in January.
Legault is on the rise
For the past year Legault has been viewed as the most popular politician in Quebec, long before he actually formed his political party in November.
The ADQ has a history of being the flavour of the month as well. Long seen as a one-man party under its charismatic founder Mario Dumont, in 2007 the ADQ became the official opposition with 41 seats.
The election in 2008 saw the ADQ win only seven seats. Dumont then stepped down, and two MNAs have since left the party.
If the party membership approves the merger, the remaining four ADQ MNAs will become the first CAQ members in the National Assembly.
Former ADQ members Eric Caire and Marc Picard are expected to have discussions with Legault about joining the CAQ.
With numerous defections from her party in the past year, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois said she is not worried about any new defections to Legault's banner.
"The members of my deputation are in good shape and they want to continue to work with Quebecers," said Marois.
Meanwhile political analyst Jean Lapierre says both the PQ and the Liberal party should be wary of the merger.
"Madame Marois has all the reasons to be nervous and even Monsieur Charest, because they at this time represent change and people are looking for change," said Lapierre.
"Whether they'll get it or not is another story."