From one incident to the next, the Martin team has become more adept at tailoring its response to the national mood, not necessarily to the most pressing needs in the afflicted areas.
If the government plans to get to a spring election with its feet dry, it will have to weather the first Gomery downpour.
Until the very last minute, Liberal strategists had feared that the installation of MichaÃ«lle Jean as governor general would add fuel to the recent fire over her political allegiances. They need not have worried.
Where the Tories are more divided is on whether going to the polls under the current leader is truly the lesser evil.
In his criticism of the government to date, Stephen Harper has strived to keep his eyes focused on the smaller softwood picture, but there are clear limits to that strategy, says Chantal HÃ©bert.
If the minority government had fallen last week, a summer election would have cost the Conservatives seats in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
A more engaged electorate is not good news for the sitting government. It will be the opposition's collective challenge between now and an election to keep it that way.
Over the eight months between now and the Prime Minister's self-imposed deadline to call a general election--30 days after the Gomery report next December--every federal party will be on permanent campaign standing.
Prime Minister Paul Martin must table budget in the House, he can't avoid it anymore
Real question is whether Canada can afford eight more months of weak, vacillating government
If the Liberal Party did not exist, Quebec sovereignty movement might have to invent it
It could highlight new stresses within Canadian federation, take it a divisive step further
John Manley's frontal attacks on Paul Martin an ad hominem critique of government