09.06.2012 06:17 AM

Hebert on Charest


“…every federal party would kill to get its hands on a proven federalist campaigner who can bring in 50 Quebec seats after three gruelling mandates.”

See? I’m not crazy. Hebert agrees.

If he gets through the inquiry intact, he’s viable. The Liberal Party of Canada would do very, very well with such a leader.

What do you think?


  1. Jim says:

    Charest would make an excellent leader, he would bring experience, ability, and a track record to the table.

  2. Tiger says:

    Which federal party would Jean Charest align himself with, now that he is no longer premier (or in a week won’t be).

    Is he now a federal Liberal, or a federal Conservative?

  3. Matt says:

    Great to have in the Federal branch and a true asset? Yes. As leader? No. It is time for fresh and new and someone who can inspire… His name is Justin Trudeau.

  4. Lance says:

    A former PC leader as Liberal leader. Hmm..

  5. Monica says:

    Boy, that’s interesting. Gives Justin time to get more experience…

  6. Kev says:

    Um, when he was a leader for a federal party he couldn’t even get 50 seats for his party in total, let alone for Quebec.

    • bigcitylib says:

      He’s a politician, not a miracle worker.

      But an intriguing thought.

    • Lance says:

      That was before he earned more stones as the leader of the most contentious party in .

      Justin as leader of the Liberal Party in Quebec though….THAT could be interesting for so many reasons

    • ottawacon says:

      They went from 2 to 20, nothing to be ashamed of. Federal Liberals can get fussy about exactly how much a leader grows their caucus once they find a leader who actually does – it has been a while.

      But Charest just seems tired. He has been fighting one tough corner or another for almost 20 years, not sure he will recover the energy to taken on another difficult challenge, certainly not with a few months off. I just can’t see him being ready to engage within the next electoral cycle.

  7. Kaplan says:

    He’s done with politics for the next few years. You think Charest wants to go from Premier of Quebec to leader of a third party rump in Parliament? Sorry, he did his time there already.

  8. james curran says:

    Count me out. He’s an opportunist Conservative who served his province and constituency well. He is not now, nor ever will be in the future a Federal Conservative. It’s the same argument Federal Liberals have with Rae. He’ll always be a dipper to them.

    • George says:

      I don’t think he would be tarred with the same brush as Rae. Charest was always a Red Tory – which to many is pretty interchangeable with Liberal. If you think about it, from a political alignment perspective, he’s exactly what the Liberals need. The genuine article, smack-dab in the middle of the spectrum, experienced, and able to bring in Quebec votes. The question is how would it play in the rest of Canada, I think a lot of people raised eyebrows with the numerous corruption scandals that happened under his watch. He would certainly elevate the level of statesmanship in Ottawa.

  9. james curran says:

    Oops a “federal Liberal”

    Count me out. He’s an opportunist Conservative who served his province and constituency well. He is not now, nor ever will be in the future a “Federal Liberal”. It’s the same argument Federal Liberals have with Rae. He’ll always be a dipper to them.

    • Tiger says:

      “Opportunist” is a bit strong, no?

      He was basically dragged kicking and screaming back to Quebec by English Canadians who wanted him to “save” Canada. And he did the job — 14 years of relative peace on the national unity file. The federalist cause is now stronger than it’s ever been since 1981.

      The question now is, is this former Progressive Conservative Quebec Liberal ex-leader a federal Conservative or a federal Liberal? That’s a legit question for many former PC folks. (Well, and some like Flora Macdonald have gone over to the Dippers. But that probably was happening with or without the merger.)

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      That “opportunist” was drafted to lead the Quebec Liberals…..and did so only because of immense pressure from all concerned, both PC’s and Liberals, in the Federalist camp. As a PC’er I was very sad at the time to see M. Charest leave because I knew the party could rebuild and was rebuilding under his leadership,sans the corruption of a certain Brian Mulroney, but I understood there was a more pressing issue at stake……the very real possibilty of Quebec leaving the Confederation. Scuse me for not being “pur laine”…….its just this kind of smug attitude that will keep us out of the big time………

      PET did campaign for the NDP at one time too, y’know…..

  10. Dan says:

    It would remove all doubt that the Liberal party has become the Progressive Conservative party.

  11. Jim Hanna says:

    I too think he is and always will be a Conservative, even with that dodge from PC to CP. Much was made of his move the the provincial Liberals, but the PLQ is a bit more conservative than the LPC and there was no other federalist party, let alone a Conservative Party of Quebec, for him to go to (and yes I know there is now a CPQ).

    Further, he would have a horse race against Justin Trudeau and he wouldn’t win. Unless of course, Justin Trudeau did switch it up and go after the PLQ leadership now…that would be fun. Not going to happen, but it would be fun.

    So, instead of speculating on Charest at the federal Liberal, lets look at a good prominent Liberal who is considering his future: our friend M. Coderre, who was mulling between Mayor or LPC leadership…door number 3 just appeared. Thats going to be one interesting spaghetti dinner….

    • james curran says:

      I wish Denis well as mayor…………………………oh, but his ego won’t allow that, so, door number three it is.

      • Jim Hanna says:

        Make a dig at Denis all you want, he would make a formidable candidate for PLQ leader; and he’d make a great mayor. And those are probably two more realistic choices for him.

        In any case the candidate from caucus I liked the most for leader dropped out before the race began.

  12. Michael Bussiere says:

    I wonder how Mulcair’s Quebec caucus, not to mention Mulcair himself, voted in the recent provincial election. The conservative CAQ, Jean Charest’s Liberals, or the PQ? At the very least, would they admit under questioning that they did not vote PQ?

    • Jim Hanna says:

      The former NDP candidate (from 2008) in Jeanne-le-Ber, Daniel Breton, is the new PQ MNA for Ste Marie Ste Jacques, likely up for a cabinet post too; its hard to say. Other former NDP candidates have turned up also as Liberal MNA’s (Nathalie Rochefort). But less so now.

      And you forgot the QS. I’d be honestly shocked if any NDP MP voted CAQ, but I could see a lot f them supporting the QS; which is also very separatist.

    • Philip says:

      Really? How each person votes in Canada is their own business, just like any other functioning democracy. It’s called a secret ballot for a reason. Who died and made you the Busybody in Chief?

  13. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Politics is an unfair and dirty business. Smear by association, however remote, is a known political quantity. In other words, once the Commission Charbonneau really gets up and running, it won’t likely be a picnic for the Quebec Liberals. Like Martin and sponsorship, Charest will get to experience the heat — even after having left the kitchen.

    What this guy needs is time and distance from corruption which he had nothing whatsoever to do with. He also needs to hit the private sector and make major bucks. Jean Charest is still a young man. If I know one thing about him, it’s that we haven’t heard the last from him in politics. The man is Red Charest’s son. Somewhere, his dad is probably inspring him to plan his next act at the service of Canadians.

  14. Philippe says:

    I think he’s damaged goods. The Québec student protests have tainted him with younger voters, and if the Libs are to make a comeback, the charge will need to be led by the youth à la Obama. Won’t happen under Charrest.

    Personally speaking, I’m also somewhat turned off by career politicians who have done nothing but politics their whole adult lives.

    • Ted H says:

      Yes, enough of these free lance political leaders looking for a party. I admired Jean Charest’s efforts during the 1995 referendum but at heart he is a Conservative, not a Liberal, I am idealistic enough to think there is a difference, Quebec, BC and now Ontario Liberal party conservative proclivities not withstanding.

  15. Kre8tv says:

    I’ll give you full credit for stirring the pot and generating debate, but Charest’s done. If the LPC has a future it rests in fostering a new generation of leaders who reject the ways of old farts like us. Ok. Oldish.

  16. Tired of it All says:

    It could be an interesting 3+ way race. Trudeau, Garneau, and Charest vying for the leadership. There would be a lot of electricity in that contest.

  17. Tiger says:

    Here’s the question all readers are no doubt asking themselves: why now pitching for Charest and not Trudeau?

  18. Derek Pearce says:

    Even if he survives with his reputation intact after this inquiry, I think he has a fundamentally different view of how the federal government relates to all the provinces (not just Quebec) than do most federal Liberal supporters. He was a Mulroney Tory originally for a reason. I can’t see someone who’d naturally be comfortable with provinces opting-out (but getting full funding) of every program from soup to nuts then inheriting the mantle of the party that most defends centralized federalism. Because of this (although I do respect and thank him for all he’s done on the unity file) he’s not a good fit for the national leadership of the Liberals.

  19. Sean says:

    I don’t think he’d run for the Liberals. I do think he would be highly inclined to run for the Tories.

  20. Bob says:

    I see that Conrad Black has decided that Charest will make a good Conservative leader. I guess in the mold of Harper but with personality. Last paragraph of:

    • Conservative Socialist says:

      “So the apparent, emergent premier, the desperately unimpressive Pauline Marois, a bag lady where some distinguished statesmen have preceded her, is, politically speaking, a prisoner in her own body.”

      Ouch. The crook has a certain flair with words.

      • Bob says:

        He certainly does. Now that he has lost his credibility, I can enjoy reading his columns. It makes him less important as a mover and shaker, while one can still enjoy his blusterous prose.

  21. Ty says:

    He’s worn out. He’s a conservative (and probably Conservative). He’s under investigation. He got 24 seats running as a national leader.


  22. Jon Adams says:

    I see Charest as having too much baggage in Quebec and elsewhere to be the leader the federal Liberals need, and I think he’d be more effective as a lieutenant to the eventual Liberal leader (as said above, if he is not dragged into this inquiry’s black hole). That said, I’ve been a fan of the guy ever since he gave the Campbell juggernaut a run for their money and kept the PC party viable, and I think he’ll always have gravitas in politics.

  23. Paul says:

    Question – how well did Charest do last time (as a Tory) at stirring the imagination of Canadians as a national leader? Answer – he won 20 seats across Canada.

    Right guy as Liberal leader – no way. Right guy to help win Quebec for Harper or god knows who – maybe….

    • WDM says:

      He didn’t do as well as he wanted to in 1997, but considering the party was broke, only had two incumbents and was splitting the right, 20 isn’t as bad an outcome as it seems on the surface. The mistake the PCs made was not making him leader in 1993. The Liberals would have won a majority, but I think he would have kept the PCs alive, especially east of Manitoba, which in the long-run would have led to a more even fight with the Reform/Alliance in years that followed.

  24. WDM says:

    One thing Charest shows is that no matter what Opponents say about a leader, that fierce loyalty to the leader (and in turn fierce loyalty to the membership BY the leader) can keep a party’s head above water. Tons of people were ticked at the Liberals in Quebec, but it looks like every, single, one of Charest’s supporters got their butts to the polls on election day, something the Liberals have been missing in the last several election campaigns.

  25. jack says:

    You LOSE an election as a premier and then get recycled as the leader of a national party trying to be Prime Minister? Maybe an idea, but poor optics.

  26. Bil H says:

    As a conservative supporter, i just became a BIG fan of Justin Trudeau as leader of the Federal Liberals.

    Charest not only scares me as the supporter of another party, he would legitimately make me consider voting Liberal federally for the first time in my life.


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