The Opposition parties, along with their media allies, are salivating over the idea of fighting the next federal election on government ethics.
They are making a big mistake. It won't work.
And yes, I know over the past few weeks the Tories have suffered a series of embarrassing black eyes: the Oda affair; the Jason Kenney "letterhead" fiasco; the Harper government "branding" nonsense and the Speaker of the House ruling the government in contempt.
Obviously this is all bad PR for the Harper Tories.
But in the real world of politics none of these issues is serious enough to inflict a mortal wound.
The reality is while the media and political partisans might care about this stuff, for the casual voter, who really isn't paying attention, it's just so much white noise.
That's not to say the casual voter is disinterested in politics. Far from it. But they have different priorities than Ottawa watchers.
The casual voter cares more about the price of gasoline than about Bev Oda; more about protecting his or her job than about political dirty tricks; more about their standard of living than about rulings by the Speaker.
That's why if the Liberals and NDP make "government ethics" the main message of their campaigns, it won't resonate with Canadians.
People just won't care. They want a strong leader who will protect their quality of life.
Indeed, if given a choice voters will always choose a shady but competent politician over an honest but incompetent one.
Think Nixon over McGovern, Clinton over Dole, Chretien over Day.
This all may sound cynical, but it's just how the political world works.