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This is an extremely slow time of the year for political news, which would be why we have hype about the federal implications of a provincial by-election, cases being made for making the Turks and Caicos the eleventh province, and significant amounts of attention being paid to (admittedly amusing) spelling errors. (A note to the PMO: If you're going to do completely needless and very defensive damage control on that last front, you might want to make sure you spell "organizations" the Canadian way.)

This story about a thus far subtle change in Conservative messaging may initially seem to fit the same bill. But setting aside that it's not exactly going to be setting patios abuzz outside Ottawa, this may actually qualify as a legitimate story, and even an encouraging one

Okay, it's not entirely encouraging; endless Conservative scare-mongering about the horrors of a Liberal-led coalition could get tiresome in a hurry. But if Stephen Harper's party follows through on actively making the case for a majority government, there will be something distinctly refreshing about it.

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After all, that's what the Conservatives want, and it's the only result (improbable though it may be) that would qualify as a real success for Harper next time out. So Canadians deserve to have an open discussion about that option, not a ludicrous dance around it.

Perhaps there's good strategic reason for the Conservatives to avoid that discussion, given what happened in 2004. But if a party has to pretend not to want full control over the government in order to have a chance at getting it, there's something distinctly wrong with our democracy.

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Update: A typo above has been fixed. I normally wouldn't bother highlighting this, but it seems only fair to do so given the mention of other people's spelling mistakes. On the advice of Dimitri Soudas, I will now commence preparing a list of every other writer in the country who has had typos in his or her copy,

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