The slow painful death of Jean Charest's political career in Quebec appears to have finally reached its end, while the separatist Parti Quebecois is poised to recapture the reigns of power lost in 2003. This is by no means a sign that another referendum will be coming anytime soon, but rather an indicator of the weakness of alternative choices. Charest did prove to be a survivor winning 3 elections, a difficult feat for any Premier in any province. But that elusive 4th victory is proving to be out reach. The surprise is not that the PQ is ahead, but that Pauline Marios, not Gilles Duceppe, is leading the way. I really thought Gilles would be the one leading the mothership back to glory, but evidently his larger than life federal persona did not translate into popularity in sovereignty's circles.
Is this the end of Charest's political career? Well there is a power vacuum at the top of the federal Liberal Party. If he has interest in taking a shot at the Prime Minister's job in 2015, his best chance at leadership of a major party would be Liberal. Granted, I still don't believe Bob Rae is giving up his best chance to lead a major federal party into an election, despite what he has announced. I'll believe it when we get to the next election and Rae is not running for the top job. That being said, in the event that Rae does not run, there's a strong chance that the Liberals will choose a leader from Quebec to try and take power and seats away from the NDP (good luck with that).