Intellectual energy of the next Cabinet will likely come from Ontario if Grits win and from Western Canada if the Tories do.
But those risks, at least in the minds of party strategists, are offset by StÃ©phane Dion's uneven effectiveness at delivering his message.
By Conservative polling numbers, Harper should not have a hope in hell of winning over Quebec in a fall election. He needs at least 25 per cent.
No party has the guts to make the case for a different medicare mix, but none of the expensive plans designed to ensure its future has delivered truly sustainable results.
The fact that disgraced Maxime Bernier is more likely to be re-elected than the stars of last week's mini-shuffle sums up Prime Minister Stephen Harper's enduring staffing predicament.
When Parliament winds down for the summer, few of its members will be sorry to leave its toxic political environment for a few months.
Having forced his way into the filing cabinets of the governing party, elections commissioner William Corbett has now staked his credibility on building an airtight case.
Over his three-year watch as top soldier, Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier emerged as the driving force behind the remodelling of Canada's foreign policy.
It is too early to speak of a possible Harper sweep in francophone Quebec, but if this trend is sustained, it will translate into a substantial increase in seats.
One side sees government activism as a vice while the other views it as a virtue. It will not lead to the breakup of the country, but the conflict has the potential to seriously distort the practice of federalism, says columnist Chantal HÃ©bert.
Liberals could turn their election swords into ploughshares and prepare a 2009 bid for power, but it requires discipline.
Under the Conservative regime, women have been relegated to the second tier of the Cabinet, says columnist HÃ©bert.
Had the Chuck Cadman affair not momentarily switched the channels from the federal budget to Conservative ethics last week, Liberal Leader StÃ©phane Dion would likely be fending off public calls for his resignation by now. But all that changed.
If the big tax cuts of previous Tory budgets did not push Stephen Harper's party into majority territory, the marginal fiscal measures of this budget are unlikely to do so either.
Since then, leading Liberals have twisted themselves into pretzels to demonstrate that the report vindicates them.