IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE SOMETHING MORE SATISFYING than watching a Tory party rip itself apart. I remember when the federal Tories imploded after the failure of Meech Lake in the 90s. It did mean that we were stuck with Mr. Charisma, Preston Manning, for several years before he was summarily knifed in the interests of the unity of right-wing scum everywhere. But for those few years when Reform and the Tories were kicking the hell out of each other, with no prospect of them ever forming a government...ah, the good old days.
So, you can imagine the pleasure I felt when I read about ongoing flame-out by Quebec's very own wing of the Conservative Party, the ADQ. The ADQ, you may remember, was formed by Mario Dumont when the Quebec Liberals proved to be too small a party for his enormous head, also back around the time of Meech. For a long time the ADQ was a rump and then had an explosive breakthrough in 2007, going from around 4 seats to 41 and becoming the Official Opposition in a minority government situation. However, being largely made up of inexperienced yahoos, they quickly exposed themselves as incompetent and when Premier Charest called a snap election in 2008, they were pretty much wiped out, with Mario Dumont resigning and leaving politics to become a newscaster (one look at his hair and you won't be surprised). Nobody should feel too sorry for them, since they put up posters during that campaign that said immigrants were responsible for a decline of French in Montreal and suggested that immigration be frozen, while Quebecoises should be encouraged to have more babies. Dumont also campaigned vociferously against a course in schools to teach students about religions and cultures other than their own.
That brings us to the present. One month ago the party selected a new leader, Gilles Taillon, who won by only two votes. Vincent Marissal, from La Presse, described it as being akin to "being promoted to captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg." Pretty much right away two of the ADQ's seven sitting MNAs dropped out of the party (Conservatives are such good sports). The reason: Taillon isn't right wing enough. It gets better. Sick of the infighting, Taillon has now also resigned from the leadership and has suggested that the party was engaged in illegal funding practices and was considering calling in the cops. Nice one, Taillon, don't forget to burn down the house on your way out.
This is a big monkey wrench in the gears of the federal Conservative Party. While the ADQ weren't officially affiliated to the federal Tories, everybody knew which side their bread was buttered on. Dumont said he voted Conservative and numerous MNAs campaigned for the Conservatives in the last election. After Taillon was elected leader the ADQ announced it would cut its ties to the federal Tories. I bet Stephen Harper can hear the sound of his majority galloping away from him. Taillon is my new favourite leader of a right-wing party.