New right-wing political movement holds rally
With the conservative Tea Party political movement picking up steam in the U.S., it appears a new right wing grassroots campaign is starting a little closer to home.
A group calling itself the Quebec Freedom Network held a rally in a hotel ballroom in Quebec City on Saturday, and 450 people packed the place to show their support.
The uniting force bringing these people together is frustration over the established political model in Quebec, where the Liberals and the Parti Quebecois have handed the reins of power back and forth for decades.
"Jean Charest, I think he will be remembered as the worst premier in Quebec history," said Eric Duhaime, one of six co-founders of the new movement. "You know that guy was elected seven years ago saying the state in Quebec was too fat and obese, He said that, and seven years later, the state is even fatter."
That call for trimming the government is something that Mario Dumont once used to bring the Action democratique du Quebec to prominence and the Quebec Freedom Network thinks it can work again.
It is also a refrain heard often at Tea Party rallies in the U.S.
The Tea Party is not a registered political party per se, but it endorses candidates that share its viewpoints, such as former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The Quebec Freedom Network believes a similar grassroots model could work here.
"You know politicians are like any kind of business," Duhaime said. "When they feel there's a huge market for them, they go there and they try to get it."
To that end, current ADQ Leader Gerard Deltell was in attendance Saturday, and he was excited by the enthusiasm of the people in the room.
"For the first time in our history we see the right wing movement taking a stand with the grassroots people," Deltell said. "So that's so great."
Clearly there is an appetite for a greater right-of-centre presence on the Quebec political scene, and we're seeing it in the polls.
Former PQ cabinet minister Francois Legault's announcement that he will be forming a new right-leaning party immediately shot him ahead of Charest and PQ Leader Pauline Marois in a poll released just last week.