Finally, some good news for Charest -

Finally, some good news for Charest

Charest was the second most popular choice to succeed Harper


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While Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s popularity has dwindled to record lows in his home province, with 74 per cent of voters now saying they would gladly turf his government from office, the story in the rest of Canada couldn’t be any more different.

A Léger Marketing poll taken earlier this month found Charest was the second most popular choice among a list of potential candidates to succeed Stephen Harper as leader of the federal Conservatives. Only Peter MacKay, who had the support of 17 per cent of respondents, proved more popular than Charest, who at 13 per cent was the only other candidate to make it into double digits. Stockwell Day and Jim Flaherty were a distant third at eight per cent each.

When he left federal politics in 1998, Charest’s Progressive Conservatives held a mere 20 seats in Parliament. Charest hasn’t hinted at a possible return, but if he did go back, the Léger poll found Canadians would welcome him with open arms. Despite trailing MacKay in personal popularity, the data suggests that if a federal election were held today, Charest is the only candidate who’d beat the Liberals across Canada—even in Quebec. “Though Quebecers are having a tough time with Charest at the moment,” says Léger Marketing vice-president Christian Bourque, “the Conservatives would be better off in Quebec if he was the alternative to the federal Liberals.” Elsewhere, voters in the Atlantic provinces (52 per cent), Ontario (50 per cent) and B.C. (37 per cent) held especially favourable views of Charest, which Bourque attributes to Quebec’s break with Ottawa on issues like the environment.

Charest’s reputation as a staunch federalist accounts for much of his popularity in English Canada, says Université de Montréal political scientist Bruce Hicks. But so too do his bona fides as a more centrist politician than many of the key figures in the Harper government. “What the poll reflects,” Hicks says, “is the fact the old Progressive Conservative party is closer to where Canadians are than the new Conservative party.”


Finally, some good news for Charest

  1. Not just no, but heck no. I can think of no quicker way to re-split the Conservative party. I can't tell the difference between him and Duceppe half the time.

  2. I don't think the average Canadian knows that much about Jean Charest or what he stands for.

  3. Finally, some good news for Charest
    Charest was the second most popular choice to succeed Harper

    That's good news? For Charest? Not if he wants to continue as Premier of Québec. Shall you write next week's attack strategy for the PQ, or shall I? Oh wait, you and Léger just did.

  4. No Hell Way! I wonder who made this poll and who they surveyed! I would rather commit suicide by voting Duceppe than vote for Charest who does not have a back bone. A politician whose main job is trying to please everybody will end up doing nothing but bankrupt a country.

  5. “What the poll reflects,” Hicks says, “is the fact the old Progressive Conservative party is closer to where Canadians are than the new Conservative party.”

    I'm sure that's what anyone sitting to the left of the Harper Conservatives would like to think, but it could also mean a number of other things such as

    (a) The other well-known Conservatives are either seen to be incompetent (Flaherty), of doubtful ethics (MacKay), or a failure the last time they tried leading (Day). No new leadership prospect has yet emerged, which is not surprising since Harper is still on the upslope (or possibly at the peak) rather than the downslope of his political career.
    (b) No one outside Quebec knows much about Charest except that he's a charismatic speaker who is also a Federalist.
    (c) People view him as the best option to win, thus keeping the far left out of power, even if he's further left than they'd like.

    Just making suggestions here. A little imagination goes a long way.

    Also, I have always resented (and continue to resent) the term "political scientist". I'm not sure what these people do, but it sure as hell isn't a science.

  6. 13% is hardly an endorsement. Why is it that our Toronto-centric media think that our PM has to be from either Ontario or Quebec?

    There are intelligent people in the rest of the country too, you should know.

  7. There is definitely a dearth of charismatic leadership in this country. Once you get past Stephen Harper, the Conservative's ranks are nearly as barren of credible candidates as the Liberals. Which means they have at least one possible replacement in Jean Charest.

    Maybe Mike Holmes should take up politics?

  8. Please,no more Prime Ministers from Quebec.Look what Trudeau did to the country with his official bilingualism scam.Chretian's ad scam,blowing all that money to try to keep Quebec in Canada.
    They secretly only think about Quebec,Quebec used to be an important player being the economic engine of the country but it's not as important anymore,the separatists did a good job of killing Quebec's economy by driving out head offices and people with money.
    We need someone who will be serious about running Canada and not pander to Quebec's self important demands.

  9. why are they implying he should run to be leader of the Conservatives, why not leader of the Liberals …Iggy will be getting the boot after the next election most likely

  10. Take him, PLEASE…that would help us in "la belle province" !