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.
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.