Jean Charest became leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party at a very inopportune moment.
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney — a very divisive figure — had retired from office with approval ratings as dismal as George Bush’s. The Conservative party split, giving birth to the Reform Party. The new Conservative leader and Prime-Minister-by-default, Kim Campbell, ran a poor campaign. The Progressive Conservatives fell from running a majority government to holding only two seats in Parliament.
And Jean Charest became the leader of the Conservative rump.
But Charest was charismatic and much admired by Canadians. When a national unity crisis boiled over, Charest was drafted to serve as leader of a provincial party in Quebec. There, he campaigned for the federalist (pro Canada) cause. And today he is the leader of a majority government in the province.
Now the Globe and Mail reports that Charest may return to federal politics, in order to run for the leadership of the (refurbished) Conservative Party.
(On the assumption that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading inexorably toward the political scrap heap.)
Jean Charest, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. That, dear readers, is perhaps the only scenario in which I would even consider voting Conservative in a federal election in the foreseeable future.