The feds in the Quebec election.
The Conservatives and New Democrats are the only parties staying out of the Quebec provincial election.
The NDP has sent a directive to its members to shut up during the provincial election. Not a peep from any of them.
Smart move by Thomas Mulcair who doesn't fool around.
Harper has sent a note around to all his MPs and cabinet ministers. It applies as well to the people working in the in the office of Prime Minister.
Harper does not want it coming back in his face later on that he meddled in the Quebec elections.
That's why Harper took time to meet Jean Charest before the election was called to let him know what role he intends not to play during the campaign.
But there is another reason. Because there is no provincial Conservative Party in Quebec, federal Conservative supporters split up between the Coalition Avenir Québec (a lot of the old ADQ), the right-wing Liberals (those who see Charest as a red-Conservative) and even some might even want to vote PQ.
With so many splits this way and that, it is not wise for Harper to tell them to take sides this way or that. And for the time being, Harper is still prime minister and will have to work with whoever is elected.
The great success of Thomas Mulcair in Quebec has been to prevent his party splitting provincially over tuition fees and street contestation.
This is why Mulcair, a tough guy has been so adamant. He won't let his people go out and work this election publicly.
As for the Liberals? Apparently they are not afraid. Justin Trudeau announces that he plans to help his local provincial liberal Gerry Sklouvanos in Papineau.
But Marc Garneau, who represents a nearby riding, says he has no intention of getting involved in an election that is none his business.
The Bloc Quebecois will be 100% with the PQ in this election. It goes without saying. But there are only four Bloc members in parliament. It's not a lot. But the Bloc leader Daniel Paillé is unequivocal. He'll be giving it everything he's got. Even former leader Gilles Duceppe will be joining the fight.
It remains to be seen how long these federal MPs can stick to their commitments when the going gets tough later on.