OTTAWA — The conservatives meet in Quebec this weekend, in part to correct an “image problem” that they were hanging out under Stephen Harper — an image that the liberals are looking more and more to make it stick to the troops of chef Andrew Scheer.
“People have seen that; it may be that the entourage of the former prime minister, it’s not connected not necessarily; he had difficulty with the media, relationships”, stated in the interview, the lieutenant political party in Quebec, Alain Rayes.
“We often hear people say: it seems to me that people are not necessarily attracted by the ideas of the conservative Party. We think it is the opposite. We had a working image to do. We are aware”, he argued.
The holding of a general council in Saint-Hyacinthe, Saturday and Sunday, is part of this strategy of recalibration, just as the presence of the chief Scheer on the set of Tout le monde en parle — his predecessor never set foot during his decade in power.
“The acceptance of Andrew Scheer to go to the show, for us, it was a message. It is a change of course in terms of approach to the relationship that one has with the media, with the population,” said Mr. Rayes.
The conservative mp spoke about his wish, under the head in the position for almost a year now, put forward a “conservatism positive” and the desire to do “more work on the elements that divide us”, but “on the elements that bring us together”.
When he pointed out the irony of the thing, while the week in Ottawa was marked by the shout of his colleague, Ted Falk for that abortion “is not a right,” he deplored this “gesture unhappy”, recalling that Andrew Scheer promised not to reopen this debate.
The scream dropped in the Commons has perked up the liberal troops. Because these few words shouted by the conservative mp represent as much ammo additional to the arsenal that are currently the liberals in anticipation of the electoral victory of October 2019.
Since a few weeks already, mps and their leader Justin Trudeau had begun to tax their opponents of “Harper conservatives” with increased frequency, especially during question period in the Room.
The message they are trying to print in the minds of the voters is quite simple: even under the leadership of Stephen Harper, who smiled” (a nickname given to Andrew Scheer), the conservatives have the same values as Canadians rejected it in 2015.
And for him to get a picture of how to seduce more Québécois, “it’s going to take a little more makeup,” and “it should be that there is a major change to really be in tune with the population, was let go on Friday the liberal mp Pablo Rodriguez
“At the level of values, of principles they stand for — and we have seen again this week — these are not things that stick to the priorities of Quebecers,” he argued in a media scrum, making reference to the incident Falk.
Raising the spectre of Stephen Harper is used to demonstrate that “it is the same attitudes, the same gang” that has no “recognition that there is a problem with the greenhouse gas, no recognition of the rights of women”, argued his colleague David Lametti.
“I think we are in the process of putting a coat of varnish new take on an old floor”, said the elected new democrats Robert Aubin.
According to him, the “cry of the heart” to let go of Ted Falk in the Commons proves that the beliefs antiavortement “incompatible with what Quebecers are looking for” are “deeply rooted” within the troops on the conservative side.
But this weekend, the image that the conservatives in the Quebec city want to project to St-Hyacinthe is a positive training, ready to dethrone the liberals of Justin Trudeau. And for Alain Rayes, the prime minister is no longer the chief entrenched that it was even a few months.
The situation has changed
The stars policies are much more aligned that the situation has changed in Quebec.
The bloquistes, who had been elected 10 mps in 2015, are in disarray, and the New democratic Party (NDP), which had won 16 seats in the last election, the election of the new leader Jagmeet Singh did not move the needle in the polls.
“There is a realignment of current policy currently,” argued Carl Vallée, a former press secretary and adviser to prime minister Stephen Harper.
“The vote nationalist who belonged to the Bloc québécois could re-enter the blue coalition. For me, the general council fits in there”, he added.
The mp bloquiste Marilène Gill considers that it is “absurd” to try “to make voters believe that it is possible to replace the deputies bloquistes by members of parliament, european federalist”.
“I think the voters are smart enough to see that the two parties are completely different. I think that it is a party that is rather socialist, instead of the left, rather progressive, while the conservatives, their name speaks for itself,” she noted.
The conservative Party, hopefully we win even more seats than the 12 rounded up to the recent elections. The book of the general council entitled “A serious option for Quebec” account of the resolutions set to woo voters in anticipation of the election of 2019.
Among the 73 resolutions of the document included a declaration of income unique to Quebec. Such a proposal has been adopted last February by the members of the New democratic Party (NDP), gathered in congress.