Jean Charest Campaign Won’t Say How Many Members They Signed Up

They claim they can win on points, but what else could they really say?

Earlier today, the Patrick Brown campaign claimed that they’ve sold 150,000 memberships.

If true, it would be a substantial figure, though how substantial depends on what the other campaigns accomplished in that regard.

Brown is known as a strong organizer, though the Ontario PCs claimed that he likely once overstated their membership numbers by 70,000 people.

This is from 2018:

“It was just a few weeks ago that Patrick Brown, then leader of the resurgent Ontario Conservatives, made the announcement: the Tories had recruited an impressive 200,000 paid members.

The number dwarfed that of the governing Liberals, and was more “than we’ve ever had before,” Brown boasted at the time.

With Brown gone, his successor says the figure is actually far less — under 130,000 — and a party insider made a surprising admission about the discrepancy Monday, blaming it on creative exaggeration.

“The membership number was likely inflated for communications purposes,” said the official, not authorized to speak on the record about the topic. “We’re not going to defend the actions of the previous administration … Now people have the facts.””

So, it remains to be seen what the truth is now in terms of CPC memberships.

Interestingly however, the Jean Charest campaign is refusing to say how many memberships they sold.

They aren’t even making a claim of sales to boost their momentum.

Instead, they’re claiming that they are doing well based on the leadership race points system:

“We are excited to confirm that we have the points needed to win the Conservative Party leadership!

We have recruited tens of thousands of new members, and re-engaged thousands of past members.

There is still a lot of work to do. Getting out the vote is critical to our victory.”

“Our campaign outperformed in Atlantic Canada, Vancouver, Calgary, Rural New Brunswick, urban Ontario, and Quebec.

Thank you to our hundreds of volunteers across the country. Because of your hard work, we are one step closer to winning the CPC leadership.”

Now, a campaign has to say things like this.

They couldn’t say “well, we came up quite short of our goal and our campaign really didn’t resonate.”

Everyone will hype things up to an extent.

However, the fact that the Charest campaign isn’t releasing a number is an indication that they don’t have a number that would generate positive momentum.

So, they are instead trying to make a more vague insinuation of strength.

This wouldn’t be a surprise, given that Charest has been the most divisive candidate among CPC supporters, with a net approval rating that barely broke even.

Charest’s strategy has been to try and win over the establishment media, rather than the CPC base, and weak membership sales would be a predictable consequence.

Spencer Fernando


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