At the same time, the bills the government ran up to deal with the recession are about to come in.
While the current Prime Minister has a well-deserved reputation for pushing back aggressively when under attack, Stephen Harper has—in this—been empowered by a weak-kneed Liberal opposition.
To all intents and purposes, an opposition-controlled Parliamentary investigation has been successfully hijacked by the government's spin doctors.
Richard Colvin, among others, was supposed to be their eyes and ears in Afghanistan.
That's the main message from last week's byelection foursome. As a result, it is no longer a given that Quebecers will again stand in the way of a Conservative majority in the next general election.
But in the future, the competing aspirations of Quebec francophones are more likely to erode the consensus that underlies Bill 101 than the House of Commons or even the Supreme Court.
Michael Ignatieff has so far demonstrated no capacity to rewrite it on his own. Filling the Quebec intellectual vacuum at the top of the Liberal pyramid should be an absolute priority.
This reference comes at a time when sovereignty has been steadily running out of steam; it will be a test of the recent resilience of federalism in Quebec.
It does not mean Conservative strategists will be burning the midnight oil to engineer their own defeat, but it does mean Stephen Harper has no cause to bend over backward to avoid an election
Unless the Grits' intellectual vacuum is addressed, the Liberal machine in Quebec will continue to rattle on empty.
It is virtually impossible for an opposition leader to dispose of caucus deadwood. Given that, finding attractive ridings for star candidates amounts to looking for a needle in a Quebec haystack.
But since the Liberal leader has gone on the election warpath, he and his strategists have largely recreated the dynamics that led to their party's demise last year.
On the plus side, though, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper all came from behind to win. And the Liberals are hardly the only ones for whom a potential fall campaign amounts to a big leap in the dark.
The Liberals are also convinced the longer they keep the government going, the more they are enabling Harper to mature in power.
'In the wake of a convention where talk of moving the NDP into power dominated the proceedings, less substance than ever stands in the way of a post-election flirt between the Liberals and the New Democrats.'
To this day, the Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois has regularly thrived on the miscalculations of its opponents.
The day will likely soon come when the Liberals decide that a risky leap into an election is preferable to the misery of continuing to extend the Conservatives a lifeline. But that day is unlikely to spell the end of the need for creative arrangements bet
With an eye to the next election, neither of the two national opposition parties is eager to get on the wrong side of an Ontario-driven bailout.
If anything, the issue stands to backfire on the Liberals in Quebec.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela visited Ottawa in May 1992. The honorary Canadian who helped end apartheid in his country died on Dec. 5 at 95 years old. Governor General David Johnston said, "When history speaks of the very best examples of humanity, we will speak of Nelson Mandela." He's pictured here with former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.