The federal Tories are in worse shape than widely acknowledged. Not only have they been in poll trouble since the end of the Lib Leadership convention, Bernard Lord, the natural successor to Stephen Harper should Stephen Harper lose the next election, will be stepping down as Leader of the New Brunswick Conservative Party.
The reason Harper is a one man show as Tory PM is that he knows how stupid the party's second tier is. With Lord gone, the Tories have no bench strength. Thank God Mr. Lord pulled a Peterson, called an election when he didn't have to, and got thumped by voters for it.