MONTREAL – As Quebec prepares for an election campaign expected to be launched next Wednesday, the easy assumption would be that Jean Charest’s days are numbered. After more than nine years in power, his Liberal Party is battered by scandal, and even the Premier’s staunchest supporters admit he remains largely unloved by Quebecers.
But Mr. Charest has made a career out of defying expectations, combining a thick skin with a knack for identifying adversaries’ soft spots. The political graveyard that was supposedly his destination countless times has instead filled with the opposition leaders who took him on. With the latest polls showing the Liberals in the middle of a three-way race, he may have one more trick in store.
As Mr. Charest appeared this week at one of the flurry of government announcements signaling an imminent election call, a reporter asked whether August was not more suited to vacationing than politics.
“When you’re doing what you love, it’s not really work,” he replied.