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Action démocratique du Québec
The Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ) is a fiscally right-wing political party in Quebec, Canada. Its official registered name is Action démocratique du Québec/Équipe Mario Dumont. While some journalists have translated the name into English as Democratic Action of Quebec, it has no official English name, and is normally referred to by its French name in the English-language media.
The ADQ is the most conservative of the three major provincial parties in Quebec, Its members are referred to as adéquistes, a name derived from the French pronunciation of the initials 'ADQ'.
The party was formed in 1994 by former members of the Parti libéral du Québec following the defeat of the Charlottetown Accord. This package of proposed reforms to the Canadian constitution would have provided expanded powers for Quebec and other provincial governments, and would have recognized Quebec as a distinct society within Canada. Liberals who were disappointed that the party was reluctant to commit to Quebec sovereignty left to form the ADQ.
Initially, the party was led by former Liberal MNA Jean Allaire , but he resigned within a few months for health reasons. He was succeeded by former Liberal youth committee president Mario Dumont, who has retained the leadership to this day.
In the 1995 Quebec referendum on the Parti Québécois government's proposals for soveriegnty, Dumont campaigned for the "Yes" side, in favour of the sovereignty option. However, in subsequent election campaigns, he has promised a moratorium on the sovereignty question.
The 1998 Quebec election produced the same result for the party as the 1994 election: Dumont was the only candidate from his party to win a seat.
Although Dumont was a very popular leader, ADQ support always lagged behind his personal support. Dumont remained his party's only sitting Member of the National Assembly (MNA) until 2002, when voter dissatisfaction with both the Parti Québécois government of Bernard Landry and the Liberal alternative presented by Jean Charest led the ADQ to an unexpected victory in a series of by-elections, bringing the party caucus to five members.
The ADQ soared in popularity, leading the established parties in public opinion polling for the first time in its existence. Some analysts argue that the party's repeated backtracking on its various policies during the 1998 election campaign showing it lacked true conviction, and was the cause of its lack of support at the polls. However, according to critics on the Left, the party's support declined because its conservative platform was now subjected to increased scrutiny.
In the 2003 election, the ADQ lost the four seats it had gained in the by-elections, but picked up three other seats previously held by the PQ. The ADQ drew enough votes from previous PQ supporters to give the victory to Jean Charest's Liberals. The party obtained 18 per cent of the popular vote in that election, its best result to date.
On September 20th, 2004, Sylvain Légaré, the ADQ candidate for the by-election in Vanier riding won the election, notably thanks to the large support of the CHOI radio station, and raised the number of ADQ MNAs to 5. A few days after, the ADQ held its congress in Drummondville, where its members adopted the new constitutional position of the ADQ, which can be defined as autonomist. ADQ members also elected ex-Liberal minister Yvon Picotte as president of the ADQ to replace Guy Laforest.
Ex-Parti Québécois Treasury Board president, Joseph Facal, said that with these two events, the ADQ managed to remove itself from intensive care and become once again a major political force.
Leaders of the Action démocratique du Québec
|General election||# of candidates||# of seats won||% of popular vote|
- Politics of Quebec
- List of Quebec general elections
- List of Quebec premiers
- List of Quebec leaders of the Opposition
- National Assembly of Quebec
- Timeline of Quebec history
- Political parties in Quebec
- Action démocratique du Québec website
- Directeur Général des Élections du Québec entry
- National Assembly historical information
- La Politique québécoise sur le Web
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