MP Pierre Poilievre is not Justin Trudeau’s problem. The Carleton MP is the conservative party’s problem. This extremist, poised to take over control of the conservative party, poses a smaller threat to Trudeau than former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
The truth of the matter is that Jean Charest coming down the middle of the road can spell ‘road kill’ for the federal liberals. Poilievre has locked himself on to the far right and that is not where Canada wants to go.
Poilievre has joined the convoy that disrupted trade last winter and tore into the heart of Ottawa. Poilievre promises trouble. Jean Charest promises opportunity.
And, surprisingly, the conservative party solved Charest’s major block in becoming leader. No, the party did nothing to block Poilievre. They removed the problem of Patrick Brown. Patrick had a deal with Charest. Patrick had 100,000 temporary conservatives signed up. Those short-term conservatives where there to vote for Brown first and Charest second. The danger was that their votes could leave Brown in second place—eliminating Charest.
If Charest is in second place coming out of the first round—and Poilievre has not won on the first round—Charest has a chance to win with the second-place votes from Leslyn Lewis. Those social conservatives don’t like Poilievre.
And don’t forget that Jean Charest has two helpers. He has Brampton’s mayor in Ontario and former prime minister Brian Mulroney in Quebec. Brian Mulroney knows where the bodies are buried in Quebec and he knows how to get them to vote. Whether Patrick Brown is running as an effective ‘get out the vote’ program with his South Asia diaspora, remains to be seen.
It would be so much easier to predict if the conservatives had not opted to stick with their convoluted voting system. It is supposed to be one voter gets one vote. To treat electoral districts as equal and voters as less than equal is not the democratic way to do things.
But nobody has ever accused the conservative party of being overly democratic.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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