Charest appeals to voters who want economic stability

Quebec Premier Jean Charest is hammering away at a familiar theme today: the Liberal Party is the only choice for those who want economic stability.

GATINEAU, Que. — Quebec Premier Jean Charest is hammering away at a familiar theme today: the Liberal Party is the only choice for those who want economic stability.

Charest says the Parti Quebecois or Coalition for Quebec’s Future wouldn’t help improve trade relations with other provinces or the United States.

He says it’s up to voters to decide in the Sept. 4 election if they want the instability brought on by another sovereignty referendum.

Coalition Leader Francois Legault is campaigning in the same part of western Quebec as Charest — traditionally a Liberal stronghold.

Legault says voters in the predominantly federalist area feel neglected by Charest and are ready for a change.

Meanwhile, Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois, who is leading in the polls, appealed to all progressive voters to help get her a majority mandate.

Marois is trying to avoid losing support at the hands of smaller parties such as the hardline sovereigntist Option nationale and the social-democratic Quebec solidaire.

But she was forced to backtrack earlier Sunday after suggesting, in response to two questions from reporter, that conservative-minded sovereigntists should look elsewhere than the PQ.

A little over an hour later, she called reporters back to clarify, and encouraged right-leaning sovereigntists to vote for her party.

“I have one thing to say to conservative sovereigntists,” she said.

“The Parti Quebecois has always run the province in a responsible manner.”

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