It looks like Jean Charest has overestimated his conservative party credentials in Quebec. He hardly has the time to sign up CPC members one at a time. He needs to have large blocks of memberships handed to him. Ideally, he needs the 50,000 provincial conservatives of Éric Duhaime—which does not seem likely—to add the federal party to their memberships. Otherwise, he needs Quebec premier François Legault to take his provincial Coalition Avenir Québec members into the federal fold—which is even less likely.
But one thing for sure, there seems to be a plethora of conservative parties in Quebec these days. In addition to Duhaime’s provincial conservatives and Legault’s right-of-centre CAQ, there are Maxime Bernier’s libertarians in the Peoples’ Party and the right of centre Quebec liberals. And the pollsters put the two remaining viable parties, the initially left-of-centre Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire, as drifting in the doldrums.
Talking to people in the Atlantic provinces the other day, I got the impression that Jean Charest was doing better in in the Atlantic than in his home province. I also suspect, Charest will have strong first and second votes in Ontario.
Charest is no darling of the west. If he gets more than a few second or third choice votes west of the Ontario border, he’ll be lucky.
Our myopic media in Canada seem to be driving MP Pierre Poilievre into the lead in the conservative race. Mind you, he would have to be running well ahead of the pack in the first count. I suspect that, as it appears now, if Poilievre can hit 35 per cent or more of the first votes, he could go on to win. Anything less than that and he could fall by the wayside. Poilievre is not an unknown. He is a weasel but some people like weasels. It is just hard to dope out which conservatives would consider him as second choice.
Of course, the real problem is the way conservatives structure their frequent leadership contests. They do not seem to understand the cliché that if you keep doing things the same way, you are never going to like the results.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to: