There are only a few weeks left before the election of the new leader of the Conservative Party. Currently, less than 40% of the members voted. Our party has become the most important political movement in contemporary Canadian history. However, the majority of you did not fill out the ballot papers.
Posted on August 20
I would therefore like to address those members to whom this situation applies. I applied because I love this country very much. I proposed new ideas and charted a course that is likely to win us the next election, by adopting a clear and honest tone. It is essential that we have a quiet discussion of ideas within our party. Only in this way will we win the trust of Canadians and attract candidates of high caliber.
I have had the opportunity to interact with thousands of Conservative Party members and it seems clear to me that Tories should be the standard bearers when it comes to national unity – especially when it comes to Western alienation – health, religious freedom and procreation. Choice, family, law and order, defense and security, economic growth and national sovereignty. In the eyes of the majority of Canadians, there are far more important things than defending an abstract concept of freedom. If we are to defeat the liberals led by Justin Trudeau, it is imperative that we listen to this majority of the electorate and provide serious and credible conservative leadership.
My platform responds to both the concerns of conservatives and the majority of voters. The policies it contains are likely to materialize once we take power, which could happen much sooner than expected.
My chief opponent, Mr. Boliever, took a radically different approach than mine. Rather than offering tangible solutions to the legitimate suffering of many Canadians, he preferred to fuel more of that suffering. It has continued to fuel the anxiety and sense of alienation that many Canadians feel that has only exacerbated COVID-19.
It is no coincidence that Maxime Bernier was able to muster enough support to form a new political party and run under its banner in the last elections. Nor is it a coincidence that Mr. Boelivri was able to sell membership cards to those who had a strong connection to Mr. Bernier’s leadership style. Resentment has been lurking in a segment of the population for a long time now.
Even if my view of the world is very different from theirs, I refuse to ignore theirs. If the mantra “take back control of your life” calls out to them, it is because the current government has failed to lead. This failure is the work of one man: Justin Trudeau. The pandemic has given him two years to further divide Canadians. He has already pitted Canadians constantly against one another, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, pro-mask and anti-mask, the privileged and the most vulnerable, or east and west.
While Mr. Trudeau was elected on promising sunny days, he became one of the least inclusive prime ministers in the country’s recent history, simply to stay in power. Canadians have legitimate reasons to be disappointed with Mr. Trudeau.
Our party will not win the next election if it takes advantage of people’s fears, as Mr. Trudeau has done.
We will not win a majority government if we isolate large segments of the electorate by cultivating identity politics. Mr. Bernier’s electoral failures are clear evidence of this. This is what major opinion polls show. We will not win the next election by imposing tests of ideological purity.
Canadians are looking for a leader who, as prime minister, can take on his responsibilities and make the tough decisions that come with this position. They are looking for a Conservative leader who can win the next election and defeat Trudeau’s Liberals. This is exactly what I offer to members of the Conservative Party.
I offer a platform that will broaden our party base so that we can form a national majority government. The stakes in this race are too great. If you are a Conservative Party member and have not yet filled out your ballot, I ask that you fill out this ballot with me as your first choice and mail it today.
* Jean Charest was leader of the Canadian Progressive Conservative Party from 1993 to 1998, Federal Deputy Prime Minister in 1993 and Prime Minister of Quebec from 2003 to 2012.
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