Former Quebec premier Jean Charest courted by Conservative MP as possible leadership candidate

Now that a race for the management of the Conservative Birthday Party of Canada is unofficially under manner, former Quebec optimal Jean Charest is once again being floated as a potential candidate.

Alain Rayes, MP for Richmond-Arthabaska, who up until the day past was once the birthday celebration’s Quebec lieutenant, advised Radio-Canada’s Tout Un Matin Monday that he had already spoken to Charest in regards to the thought and that he views him as an excellent candidate.

Quebec MP Alain Rayes instructed Radio-Canada Monday that he’d already spoken to Charest about the concept of working for the leadership. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“He Is a political machine, an excellent speaker who knows Quebec and who, in my eyes, would be an impressive opponent for Justin Trudeau,” Rayes mentioned.

“Does Jean Charest still have the desire? That’s an issue you must ask him,” Rayes stated.

“However obviously, i can make sure that for plenty of other folks in Quebec, Jean Charest may well be a strong opponent to stand Justin Trudeau in an upcoming campaign.”

Charest did not right away go back CBC’s request for comment.

Charest vs. Poilievre?

Rayes resigned his position because the celebration’s Quebec lieutenant Sunday, saying he could be assisting a candidate within the upcoming leadership race.

“i thought I had a accountability to get entangled in this campaign and to promote the more modern aspect of several MPs and members of the party, in particular of Conservatives in Quebec,” Rayes said.

Pierre Poilievre turns into first MP to bid for Conservative Party leadership

Rayes denied that his resignation was associated with the statement by way of MP Pierre Poilievre Saturday that he can be a candidate.

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest courted by Conservative MP as possible leadership candidate

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises throughout Question Duration, Monday, November 29, 2021 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

However Rayes mentioned he needs a pacesetter who is “progressive, centre-right economically, and acutely aware of the truth of Quebec” and it’s transparent that Poilievre may not are compatible that description.

Battle ‘for the soul’ of the celebration

Jean-François Lisée, political analyst and former Parti Québécois leader, advised Tout Un Matin Monday that the Conservative party is ideologically split, with Poilievre representing one camp and more progressive doable candidates, equivalent to Charest, every other.

“There are anti-Trumps and professional-Trumps,” Lisée mentioned, noting that the former U.S. president has publicly supported the ongoing anti-vaccine mandate protest on Ottawa — and so has Poilievre.

“It Is going to be a leadership race for the soul of the Conservative Party, that is really it,” he persisted.

Former journalist and senator André Pratte has the same opinion.

“Consider a candidates debate among Mr. Poilièvre and Jean Charest,”  Pratte informed Tout Un Matin.

“That can be moderately a debate,” he mentioned. “It can be an ideological debate, but also a debate on the best way to do politics.”

“there’s this belief among some participants of the Conservative Birthday Party that they cannot win the SEVENTY EIGHT seats in Quebec. there is nothing to do. Quebecers won’t ever, will ever vote for the Conservatives,” Pratte said.

“Others, such as Rayes or maybe Charest, say ‘no, we’d like a Conservative base in Quebec and we have now to hunt it out,'” Pratte persisted.

Regulations of the race could once again play a big role

Charest was once in a similar fashion courted throughout the Conservative’s previous leadership race in 2020 and mentioned on the time he significantly considered working. 

He in the end determined against it, citing family purposes, a few ideological differences with the birthday party, but additionally the principles of the leadership contest, which he defined at the time as “very strict.”

“Principally, the foundations weren’t written for an outside candidate. The closing dates are very tight, it doesn’t give much time to recruit new individuals and to set up a countrywide group,” Charest advised Radio-Canada in 2020.

Lisée said once again the principles of the the eventual management race would possibly play a key position in identifying whether or now not Charest makes a decision to go into the race.

“If the vote took place as of late, Poilievre might win,” Lisée said, due to the fact that Poilievre already has a superior base of make stronger inside the party.

Lisée said the longer the management race is, the extra time Charest or other moderate applicants may must recruit new contributors.

The party’s executive will most likely announce the formal rules for the management race within a couple of weeks.

Charest still haunted through corruption research

Charest comes with some political luggage. For years Quebec’s anti-corruption squad, referred to as UPAC, has been investigating Quebec Liberal Celebration financing during the Charest duration.

After figuring out to not run in 2020, Charest accused UPAC (a unit that he created while he used to be highest quality) of happening a “fishing day trip.”

Later that 12 months he introduced a lawsuit in opposition to the Quebec executive over the research, alleging that exclusive details about him and his circle of relatives had been leaked to the media and his privacy have been violated.

The lawsuit and Charest’s history as Quebec Liberal chief could put him at odds with current most reliable François Legault, whose right-of-centre Coalition Avenir Québec birthday celebration continues to be popular in spite of the pandemic.

Still, even an endorsement by Legault could have restricted weight — he informed Quebecers sooner than the last federal election that re-electing Justin Trudeau’s Liberals can be dangerous for Quebec. His message did not win the Conservatives any new seats.

Legault defends popping out in enhance of Conservatives, says majority of Quebec voted ‘blue’

Charest has led the federal birthday celebration prior to — whilst it was the Progressive Conservative Birthday Celebration of Canada — and helped nurse it back to lifestyles after it was lowered to simply seats in 1993 election. He was the birthday party’s first francophone chief until 1998, while he left to lead the Quebec Liberal Birthday Party.

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