The Eric Duhaime phenomenon

The breakthrough of the Conservative Party of Quebec is the major fact of the last survey.

Let’s say things more precisely: it is the Conservative Party of Éric Duhaime.

Because the Conservative Party was a groupuscular, Lilliputian party, joining a tiny fringe of what must be called the Quebec right.


It was a libertarian, ultra-federalist, anti-nationalist party.

The arrival of Éric Duhaime has changed the game. He obviously took advantage of the growing exasperation against sanitary measures. But he knew how to politicize this exasperation.

Some reassure themselves by saying that the suspension of sanitary measures will deprive it of fuel. May be. Or maybe not.

Because its ideological current exists in the population. Many expect Éric Duhaime to seek growth by advocating for the opening of the health care system to the private sector. He will obviously go on this ground, which corresponds to his deep convictions.

Much more than a conservative, Éric Duhaime is a libertarian populist.

But it is elsewhere that Éric Duhaime could surprise. We tend to forget it, but Duhaime is a nationalist. He started out in politics with the Parti Québécois and then the Bloc Québécois. He advised his leaders.

After the 1995 referendum, he joined the Canadian Alliance. Failing independence, he would campaign to decentralize the federation: he thus combined nationalism and libertarianism.


He then returned to Quebec at the ADQ, always in the same spirit, then continued his career in the media to promote his ideas. If Duhaime seizes on the identity question while François Legault weakens in the matter, he could surprise and win a few seats. What will he say about immigration thresholds, which remains Quebec’s great taboo?

One thing is certain, he already deserves his place in the leaders’ debate.

He combines real talent and an unfortunate tendency to demagoguery. Can he bet on the first and overcome the temptation of the second?

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