This is a good time to think about replacing the grits. I was hoping the ADQ could do this, but they have been a great disappointment to me. A new centre right party? We need an alternative the Quebec liberals. Some of my friends are in the midst of trying to start such a party. I wish them a lot of luck. Remember the lucides?
He suggests a new party's platform might favour decentralized federalism - "something not so far from the Conservatives' platform." He notes that the ADQ's "autonomy" platform under Mario Dumont enjoyed considerable appeal among soft sovereignists in 2007.
Bourque did not discuss the possibility of a reconditioned ADQ filling the vacuum itself. But my sense is that its erratic record and unsophisticated image could be hard to rehabilitate. Note, too, that the ADQ has never won support on Montreal Island, where any new party that hoped to take power would have to dominate.
Yet, curiously, a new party might plausibly occupy a space on the political spectrum not so far from where the ADQ is today. "It would be a centre-right party - fiscally conservative but not socially conservative," says Bourque.
Elaborating, he suggests such a party could borrow much from the so-called "Lucids" - a reference to a committee of federalists and sovereignists, headed by Lucien Bouchard, who four years ago urged the Quebec government to curb its public debt, raise hydro rates, boost productivity, and invest massively in public education and training, among other things.