Putting satisfactorily to rest the suspicions that gave rise to a public inquiry into his dealings with the German Canadian lobbyist was always going to be a quasi-impossible mission.
It may be that if the Prime Minister had seen action first-hand on the unity front, he would be more wary of salting the federalist earth in Quebec for his own electoral purposes.
The new Liberal tack on EI is just one of many ways in which the perfect economic storm that has overtaken Canada's former richest province is also changing the national discourse.
A leadership campaign would certainly give the NDP the much-needed pre-election exposure it has so desperately come to crave since Michael Ignatieff has become Liberal leader.
Almost every past Prime Minister has hurt his party by overstaying his welcome, but, as he considers his diminishing options, Harper is faced with the opposite predicament.
If the past is any indication, the cultural community should take advantage of this moment in the Commons sun.
The door to a Conservative election campaign fought on Quebec's back has been left open.
There was a time, when GM and Chrysler enjoyed immense sway on the Hill, holding a virtual veto on policies such as the way Canada addresses greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
To make matters worse, NDP Leader Jack Layton has ended up with the political bills of the aborted ceremony.
It's an election that's lining up to be a lot more competitive than last fall's campaign.
Canada does have a major public relations challenge on its hands. It's called the oil sands.
The Canada-U.S. front offers the Prime Minister his best chance to focus his second mandate on something other than damage control.
There are only 10 Quebec Conservative MPs on Parliament Hill and it is a poorly kept secret that they don't all get along.
Coinciding with the installation of a brainy official opposition leader, the strategy behind the efforts to showcase Harper as a people's kind of politician versus the presumably elitist Michael Ignatieff has the merit of being transparent.
Who would have thought that so much disunity could be sowed in so little time?
Federal Liberals are the net winners of an extraordinary showdown that almost cost the Conservatives their minority government.
The test of the budget can only rest with the demonstration that Canada will have something constructive to show for its spending once the current downturn comes to an end.
The feeling that the 40th Parliament could be history before it has had a real chance to make history runs just as rampant within the government as it does within the ranks of the opposition parties.
But is Stephen Harper really willing to gamble he'll do better across the rest of the board against Michael Ignatieff than he just did against StÃ©phane Dion?
Presented with a plan backed by a provincial consensus and judged economically credible, it is hard to see how the opposition parties, and, in particular, the Liberals, could use it as a pretext to plunge Canada into a winter election.
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.