If the Liberals are to quickly grow out of opposition, they too will have to avoid sticking their heads in the sand of wishful thinking.
Stephen Harper has given himself a total of 13 days between the election and his swearing-in to come up with the first Conservative Cabinet in more than a decade. In 2004, Martin took 22 days to put together his second Cabinet in six months.
A minority Liberal government that had a bit of time ahead of it might be more tempted to change the guard quicker than one whose survival would hang by a thread.
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.