Why not Jean Charest?


The meaningful analysis on this front is better left to Paul, Marty and Philippe, but watching Jean Charest scrum yesterday the thought occurred that there are probably not five more-talented politicians among our current 308 members of parliament.

Indeed, at least at this point, wouldn’t he seem a far more serious fellow than, say, Jim Prentice or Peter MacKay or any other speculative successor to the current leader of the Conservative party?


Why not Jean Charest?

  1. I agree that Charest is talented pol but I wonder if he would have a future in Con party. I don’t remember Charest that well when he was PC leader but I have the impression that he’s a Red Tory and I don’t think there will be too many of those as leaders anymore.

    • Well lately, the current PM has been acting as Red as FDR….

  2. Yes he would. But that party is devoid of #2s, with Harper gone my pet ferret could put up a strong bid for leadership (moderates would flock to him and his cute ways, esp. if a strong social conservative candidate appeared to scare people towards his cuddly centrist policies).

  3. (1) He’s not a conservative.
    (2) He’s not a Conservative.
    (3) Jean Charest is not a leader – see Wells’s posts on the Clarity saga.
    (4) He’s not a conservative.
    (5) What is Charest’s base? Quebec? He’s gone up and down there, and he’s only gotten back up by taking up the anti-federal, nationalist vote. He’d have to tone that down a lot to lead a national party, and then he’d lose the Quebec support. Besides, you can’t get sympathy for fighting the federal government when you are the federal government. Ontario? He never did very well there when he was leading the PCS and like I just said, the price of him getting a couple of votes in Ontario would be losing a lot more in Quebec. The West? Do I even need to explain anything here? He was dead in the water in the west in the 1990s, and wouldn’t be perceived much better now. He could probably win some of the old PC vote in the Atlantic. But that doesn’t get you a government.
    (6) He’s not a conservative.
    (7) Basically, the Conservative Party relies on these elements: totally dominating the West; strong support in rural and suburban Ontario; a slice of Quebec nationalist vote. Everything else has to be built on top of those elements, and Charest doesn’t have a serious chance of keeping those balls in the air in the first place, and the only votes he could add would be cancelled out by the votes he’d lose in the process.
    (8) He’s not a conservative. So expect to hear Wheery, O’Malley, Larry Martin and Andrew Steele floating his name as potential Conservative leader for a long time to come.

  4. Grits doesn’t merit mention. We have rather dull Liberals…

  5. Charest’s track record in Quebec isn’t particularly appealing. He managed to eek out a majority last election, but only because the ADQ imploded. His first term as Premier, in particular, was a comedy of errors, and if the Conservatives are going to recruit ex-Premiers, they could at least go after ones with a better track record of success.

    Gordon Campbell is probably as likely a leader as Jean Charest.

  6. Non of the former PCers, even Prentice have a chance of becoming the Leader in the future. That hard core group of rock solid Conservatives/Reformers who pay the bills won’t vote for them. Prentice might have had a shot but we’ve had enough leaders from Calgary, well maybe if Jason ran.

    Charest has stabbed us in the back during the last two federal elections and as much as he could in between, probably as part of his plan to regain what he believes was stolen from him by Reformers.

    Give us Dumont as a MP and our Quebec Lieutenant and we’ll hold our Quebec seats and pick up a few seats here and there across the country.

  7. Good grief. Charest has zero interest in the federal leadership for one. He’s been a fairweather friend of the conservative movement. He makes Jim Prentice look like a radical right winger. On a OMOV leadership he’d get stemrolled by either Prentice or MacKay (sadly!). No chance.