And a rare one that Stephen Harper can’t afford to ignore. They share the same home base and Alberta is central to his government.
Quebec is the one landscape where Mulcair’s popularity is likely to endure longer than the average post-leadership honeymoon.
But beyond Baird, Flaherty, Kenney and Moore, this Cabinet often can’t seem to steer clear of trouble.
In short, he is getting out of the way and paving the way for the private sector to deliver for years to come, with an estimated $500-billion in resource projects coming down the road over the next decade.
Christy Clark can dance and Alison Redford can bull ahead. Danielle Smith will shortly know if her eastward gaze captures the imagination of Alberta voters.
If Tom Mulcair becomes the first Quebec leader of the NDP, it will be because a sizeable contingent of New Democrats from B.C. will have brought him over the top.
The bottom line is that the Conservative core vote is more solid than that of either of the other two main parties.
Canadians may never know all that they should about what took place in the muddy trenches of the last federal campaign. But if they ever get the beginning of a definitive answer, it will come from Elections Canada or the RCMP or even the media, and not from the warring parties in the Commons.
The crack in the F-35 fairy tale finally came on Feb. 14 when Defence Minister Peter MacKay was pushed on the number of fighter jets to be purchased by the government.
The deteriorating Ottawa-Quebec climate could be the gift of life to both the Parti Québécois and the federal Liberals.
The Liberals, having digested the census numbers, appear to be having night terrors, thinking of a perpetual Tory majority.
In the days after the budget, expect ministers to make much of the programs they have preserved whenever they are on the hot seat for those that they cut.
But for chiefs with more immediate needs, can they sell trust at home?
There could be a day when both the Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway pipelines are built, but not before some political careers are badly bruised, if not killed.
But it turns out that while the legions of Harper opponents were waiting for the hard-right social agenda to be firmly planted in Ottawa, the Conservatives are actually exporting those policies.
The choice Liberals make at their Ottawa convention will go a very long way in determining whether this party can reinvent itself or whether it withers and dies after 2015.
The least known factor on the 2012 political watch list is also the one with the most potential to alter the Canadian landscape.
U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman, right, and his wife, Vicki, were all smiles at hosting their first Fourth of July bash in Ottawa. Some 3,000 guest attended. The mood was good and there was a lot of dancing, eating, and chatting.
Vicki and Bruce Heyman. The dress code was summer whites. The atmosphere was light and lovely.
Bluesky's Susan Smith, Ottawa University's Robert Asselin, and Bluesky's Tim Barber.
House of Commons protocol's Elizabeth Rody and Jane Kennedy.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty, wearing a nice summer hat.
The National Arts Centre's Peter Herndorff and Rosemary Thompson.
Sisters, Maggie Creskey, left, and Hill Times publisher Anne Marie Creskey.
The guests on the front lawn of the U.S. ambassador's official residence in Ottawa's swishy Rockcliffe neighbourhood, high up above the Ottawa River.
Shaw's Alayne Crawford and Gary Clement, senior manager of GR at TD Bank (Toronto).
CCCE's Ailish Campbell, Ekos' Frank Graves, Amgen's Kim Furlong, and H&K's Jackie King.
Environics' Greg MacEachern, CPAC's Natalie LeMay-Calcutt, and Shaw's Jim Patrick.
CommuniquéDirect's Nick Masciantonio and MDA's Leslie Swartman.
Postmedia News columnist Andrew Coyne and Global TV News reporter Laura Stone.
Former Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay, right, and a friend.