When Stephen Harper stands up later today to deal the death blow to the Liberal minority government, he will be setting out to beat long but not necessarily insurmountable odds to become the next prime minister.
The history of minority governments in this country is that they are almost always re-elected, often with a majority.
For 16 months, Canadians have had a chance to see Harper in action as the chief critic of the Liberal government.
They have not been impressed or at least not in great enough numbers to bring him any closer to power.
So far, Harper's main accomplishment as leader of a new party has been to turn orphan Progressive Conservative supporters into adopted members of the Liberal family.
Here are the new memes to replace "Canadians don't want a Christmas election" and "Stephen Harper has a hidden agenda," both of which have worn threadbare through overuse.
The first one, "minority governments always become majority governments", is intended to inspire lazy Liberals to go out into the cold and get out the vote. Conversely, if repeated too often, it might make them complacent and wait for the inevitable victory that never comes.
The second one, "Harper makes moderate Tories vote Liberal", is actually a revival of the old "Alliance takeover" meme, one that lost traction when the Red Tories couldn't inspire a mass exodus of their own.
It also shows how the media got so obsessed with one idea that it ignored all the evidence of a much more damaging exodus: the departure of anti-establishment populist voters, especially in British Columbia, for the NDP.
But that phenomenon, which will accelerate in this election as Ontario gains are offset somewhat by B.C. and Saskatchewan losses, doesn't fit the Harper as scary right-winger media template.
More likely, the MSM, with its gaze focused firmly on the Highway 401 corridor, never even saw it happening because it was happening out west somewhere.
And it would hardly do to condemn the new Conservative Party as being part of the same Upper Canadian establishment which, as the modern Family Compact's faithful mouthpiece, it depends on for its survival.