With the main players at Finance, Environment, Foreign Affairs and Defence, all staying put, the ripple effect of the makeover will be localized rather than widespread
The result is an environment that is almost completely devoid of passion about and faith in the conventional political process.
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
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.