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 least known factor on the 2012 political watch list is also the one with the most potential to alter the Canadian landscape.
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.
But for a party on life support, is Sheila Copps, a lightning rod for controversy, a woman who has roller-derby-style politics in her DNA, a figure as polarizing as any in an often polarized party, really the party president to dig Liberals out of their hole?
If you can’t win it, try to steal it by spreading lies, sowing confusion, destabilizing the rightful winner and wallowing in the slime.
The NDP leadership campaign is so far not promising to freshen up Canada’s progressive discourse, but it could be the best venue to measure the chilling effect of the bare-knuckled Conservative approach to politics on the country’s political conversation.
To hear the noise from the Conservative side of the House of Commons, one would think that the Halifax NDP MP and her colleague from Nickel Belt, Claude Gravelle, were treasonous subversives who should be drawn and quartered at dawn.
These will be tumultuous times because it is not only austerity that is driving this government in its war with labour. It is being driven by ideology and plain old politics.
Michael Ferguson has toiled diligently in the service of the New Brunswick government and is now on the brink of becoming Canada’s new auditor general. But he should never get the job.
The government’s penchant for using its reinforced Parliamentary arsenal to curtail debate has been par for the course for a governing party that routinely closed down Parliament in the face of political adversity in its minority days.
This year has been remarkable for the number of federal, provincial and territorial elections, but it will also be recorded as the year of the status quo.
It’s the opposition parties’ turn to see their already shortened Parliamentary wings clipped by Harper’s majority.
Among the prospective candidates, none worked more closely with Layton than Topp. He was at the late leader’s side until the very end.
So it is hard to imagine the federal NDP heading into its second consecutive leadership race without a serious female leadership candidate; not one freighted with symbolism, but one who carries a realistic chance to win.
It won't serve him well as Treasury Board president. In that pivotal capacity, he will be in charge of tightening the belt of the federal government, and doing so under the wary surveillance of a suspicious chattering class.
At 9:52 a.m., the first calls came in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. Five people tried to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. He later died of gunshot wounds.
The people who tried save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life were later identified as Margaret Lerhe, a nurse on her way to work at the Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital; another corporal, a soldier, National Defence employee and former Naval officer Martin Magnan; and lawyer Barbara Winters who told Cpl. Cirillo that his family loved him while he lay dying.
People running from Parliament Hill shortly after the gunfight in Centre Block where gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was shot dead by House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, House security officers, and the RCMP.
Police pictured at the corner of Metcalfe and Slater streets in Ottawa later in the day on Oct. 22.
Liberal Sen. Jim Munson in a lockdown in Room 257 East Block doing a media interview.
NDP MPs, staffers, and others locked down in Room 257 East Block, watching the events unfold on one small laptop.
NDP MP Wayne Marston, pictured shortly after running from Parliament Hill.
More police officers on Metcalfe Street, just down the street from Parliament Hill.
Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott does a media interview on Metcalfe Street.
A tourist who witnessed the shooting talks to police shortly after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot.
Police on Sparks Street outside The Hill Times' office.
NDP MPs Rosane Doré Lefebvre, far left, Hélène Laverdiere, and NDP MP Charlie Angus, pictured shortly after the shooting on the Hill and the National War Memorial.
Journalists and others leaving Parliament Hill, shortly after the shooting.
CTV Hill reporter Richard Madan and CBC Radio reporter Susan Lunn.
NDP MP Charlie Angus does an interview on Metcalfe Street later in the afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured that evening, addressing the nation about the shocking killing of a soldier killed at the National War Memorial and later the killing of the man in a gunfight in Centre Block.
The next day in the Hot Room, the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Gallery clerks Collin Lafrance and Normand Gagnon.
Flowers the next morning, Oct. 23, at the National War Memorial.
People bring flowers to the War Memorial the day after, Oct. 23.
A woman bringing flowers is escorted by police to the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.
People pay their respects at the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.
Conservative MPs Mark Warawa and Scott Reid return to the Hill the day after the shootings.
Conservative MP James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence, is interviewed the following day, Oct. 23.
An RCMP officer stands guard on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23.
Police pictured outside the Chateau Laurier Hotel the following day, Oct. 23.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, pictured in the Commons foyer on Oct. 23, taking questions from reporters.
Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier, being scrummed on Oct. 23.
Parliamentary Press Gallery clerk Normand Gagnon, pictured on Oct. 23.
House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, pictured on Oct. 23 in the Speaker's Parade. Mr. Vickers is being credited as the one whose bullets killed gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau who stormed the Centre Block with a hunting rifle.
NDP MP Paul Dewar, pictured, and many other MPs, visited the National War Memorial the following day, Oct. 23.
Just outside the Library of Parliament, where Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was finally shot and killed after a gunfight in Centre Block.
Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning was on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23, the day after the shooting.
The Wire Report reporter Peter Henderson, pictured on Oct. 23, doing an interview with CNN. He had been locking up his bike on Sparks Street on the morning of the shooting at the National War Memorial and was one of the first reporters on the scene.