If the Liberals are serious about restoring their status as a national institution, it is time for them to abandon their faith in short-term electoral short cuts and rethink their approach to a more proportional voting system.
And yet there is not even a consensus as to whether the current alignment of the ideological stars is Harper's worst nightmare or a dream come true.
If minority government is going to be the new normal in Canada, bringing voters into the loop of the available alternatives before they cast their ballot might actually make a lot of sense.
The perplexing Liberal approach to the issue of the Governor General is only the latest in a string of questionable moves.
In past Parliaments, airing the bed sheets of a Cabinet minister to score a media hit would have been left to a second-tier opposition rat pack and not, as in this instance, undertaken daily by one or more party leaders.
There's a disturbing pattern of a government that would rather blindfold its critics and keep Canadians guessing as to its actions than be accountable for them.
PM Stephen Harper would not be Prime Minister if he was not adept at playing all the angles to his advantage and the latest Parliamentary test of wills has the potential makings of a Conservative electoral opportunity.
Indeed, a case can be made that a persistent Conservative blind spot to the environment has done more to lead the party to a minority dead end in Quebec and elsewhere than clumsy marketing
A week after the return of Parliament, the Conservatives and the Liberals remain more or less deadlocked in voting intentions, with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois in a holding pattern.
Like a plant whose buds fail to open, his government is consistently failing to thrive in the polls. It could be that the Conservative party was uprooted from opposition too quickly for its own good.
It is too early to tell whether Lucien Bouchard's public tiff with the PQ is just a one-off from a bored political retiree or the embryo of a game-changer for Quebec politics.
With a Senate opposition majority bolstered by electoral victories, the risks of legislative gridlock between the two Houses of Parliament would be increased rather than the opposite.
Watching Michael Ignatieff these days is like watching a movie rerun, in the dubious expectation of a different ending.
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.
Party Under the Stars was held on Feb. 3 at Ottawa City Hall. Conservative MPs Erin O'Toole and Steven Blaney dancing with performer Jully Black.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Party Under the Stars organizer Cheri Elliott, National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Chief Government Whip Andrew Leslie.
Environics' Louis Charles Roy, Greg MacEachern, and their newest hire Chris McCluskey.
The crowd inside the Sir John A. Macdonald Building on Feb. 3.
Liberal MPs Joyce Murray, Sukh Dhaliwal, and Hedy Fry with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.
B.C. Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido and Premier Christy Clark.