Jean Charest will have to do more than promise power to the Conservatives

Jean Charest will have to do more than build his candidacy for the Conservative leadership by promising to bring the party back to power.

• Read also: A sixth Conservative MP from Quebec supports Charest

• Read also: Jean Charest against Quebec

“If there is one thing that I know and that I learned in politics: I know how to win,” said Jean Charest, during a speech delivered in a Calgary brasserie on Thursday.

However, this message is not very convincing for the Conservative MPs who have just shown the door to Erin O’Toole, especially since the last leader had given them this same promise and did not keep it, reported “Global News”.

Jean Charest also repeats that he wants to unite the party, as claimed by O’Toole who presented himself as a moderate centrist, approving the price of carbon.

For his part, Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre, who is currently the presumed favorite in the race, is taking the opportunity to attack Jean Charest on several fronts: his support for carbon pricing, taxes, his defense of the gun registry. shoulder and the fact that for a time he led a party called the Quebec Liberals.

The right wing of the conservatives wants above all to make gains on the principles and values ​​of the party. That’s more meaningful than “winning to win,” says Michael Diamond, a Conservative strategist who worked on Peter MacKay’s leadership in 2020.

As Jean Charest has just officially announced his candidacy, the leadership race is still young. However, if he wants to reduce the gap between his position and that of Poilievre, the former premier of Quebec will have to really assert the conservative policies he wants to put forward, beyond his “desire to ‘unity and fiscal conservatism’.

This should mobilize new and old Conservatives more than a candidate who promises to win the next general election.

Among the last chiefs, Enrin O’Toole obtained 33.7% of the popular vote in 2021. It is less than what Andrew Scheer had obtained in 2019 (34.3%) and a little better than the defeat of Stephen Harper (31.9%) when the Liberals returned to power in 2015.

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