While this year was a tumultuous one in Canadian politics, 2014 might be even more eventful as parties position themselves for the next federal election.
Here is what each of the five parties in the House of Commons need to do to make 2014 a success.
Elizabeth May's party had been on a roll in 2011 and 2012, getting their first MP elected and giving the old parties a run for their money in byelections in Calgary Centre and Victoria. But 2013 was not nearly as successful, as the party was a non-factor in five byelections.
Getting independent MP Bruce Hyer to join the Greens' ranks gives the party a boost, but May needs to demonstrate that the party has an important role to play in Parliament. With Hyer sitting next to her, she has the opportunity to show what a team of Green MPs can do in Ottawa.
But if it remains the May Show, she will find herself sitting all alone again come 2015.
The last two years have been a bit of a write-off for the Bloc Québécois, though Daniel Paillé did help streamline the party's internal organization.
But with Paillé stepping down for health reasons, the Bloc has a good opportunity to get itself some press with either a competitive leadership race or the acclamation of a "saviour" to replace him.
It is not entirely clear who might take on the thankless job.
If the Bloc can attract some good candidates, they stand a chance of making up some ground in Quebec. If no one outside of caucus makes a run for the leadership, the party may continue to wallow in obscurity.
Can the Liberals possibly improve on a year like 2013? It seems unlikely, but if the party can manage to maintain their lead in the polls the year will be a success.
As the next election approaches, minds will begin to focus on what a Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government would look like, and the party will need to spell that out in more detail. That does not mean specific policy proposals, but rather a clearer indication of what the Liberals will do to solve the problems they have identified as being the most urgent in Canada.
Trudeau has long said that he will be consulting with Canadians to design the party's next election platform — presenting some of the findings of that consultation would be a good first step.
The NDP has gone from leading in national polls in mid-2012 to trailing in third, albeit at a level of support roughly 10 points higher than what they could count on prior to the 2011 breakthrough.
It is not time to hit the panic button just yet.
Thomas Mulcair will never be able to out-charm the Liberal leader, but he can out-serious him.
The idea of an NDP government in Ottawa is a very new one for Canadians, and the longer Mulcair can present his party and himself as a plausible alternative to the Conservatives the greater his chances of being able to take advantage of any opportunity provided to him in the next election campaign.
But New Democrats can only grill the prime minister for so long and will need to start talking about what an NDP government would look like more often. A leader auditioning for the job of Official Opposition will usually get it.
Stephen Harper's task in 2014 is no less than to save himself and his party from defeat.
The past year was the worst one in this Conservative government's history, and the next year is not looking to get any better.
Tories need to figure out how to handle the Senate scandal in a better way as the unfolding of the story is completely out of their hands. But dismissing it as a distraction is certainly not the right move.
The auditor general is taking a look at the Senate's books and the RCMP is investigating. Charges could be laid. The Tories' current approach is not working very well — another year of it will only sink the party further.
A focus on the achievements of this government is also not enough. If Canadians feel that the country is doing well enough, they will not merely vote for the Tories in gratitude.
Conservatives will need to lay out what the next term of a Harper government will seek to achieve. Balancing the budget and keeping things humming along will not be an effective campaign slogan if Canadians no longer trust the Conservatives in power.
After mounting several of them, another overtly negative, fear-inducing campaign will have diminishing returns, and serve to simply confirm the perception the Tories are courting as, to borrow a phrase from Great Britain, the "nasty party." It may have worked before, but the party cannot only give Canadians a reason not to vote for the other guy.
Harper will need to give that 10 per cent of Canadians who have left the party in the last few years a reason to come back, or he’ll be joining the march to the exit.
Éric Grenier taps The Pulse of federal and regional politics for Huffington Post Canada readers every week. Grenier is the author of ThreeHundredEight.com, covering Canadian politics, polls and electoral projections.
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Sen. Mike Duffy shields his eyes as he arrives at the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013.
Justin Trudeau delivers his victory speech in the Federal Liberal leadership in Ottawa on Sunday, April 14, 2013.
Canadian Astronaut and ISS commander Chris Hadfield is framed by spacesuits as he performs David Bowie's Space Oddity on the International Space Station, published on Sunday May 12, 2013.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks past a projector following a Chinese New Years event in Burnaby, B.C., Friday, February, 8, 2013.
Stompin' Tom Connors' hat lies on his casket at the Stompin' Tom Connors memorial in Peterborough, Ontario on Wednesday March 13, 2013.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que, Saturday, July 6, 2013. Crude oil moved along Canadian railway lines in unprecedented volumes in 2013 as delays in building new pipelines caused oil companies, clamouring to reach the most lucrative markets, to seek out alternative paths. The crude-by-rail trend had been gathering steam quietly in recent years. But after the disaster in Lac Megantic, Que., it could no longer fly under the radar.
Calgarians look out over a flooded Calgary Stampede grounds and Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 21, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media outside office in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Ford was responding to a new video that was released.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi celebrates his re-election as mayor at his campaign party in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.
Kevan Yeats swims after his cat Momo to safety in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013. Momo the cat has been living a quiet life since gaining global celebrity status when he leapt from a submerged pickup truck and swam for his life in floodwaters that hit southern Alberta last June.
Ottawa Senators team captain Daniel Alfredsson acknowledges two young fans who show their appreciation for his team coming back after the 119 day NHL hockey strike ended during training camp in Ottawa on Sunday, January 13, 2013.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.
A woman holds a photo as several hundred people attend a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax on Thursday, April 11, 2013. The girl's family says she ended her own life following months of bullying after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys and a photo of the incident was distributed.
Senator Patrick Brazeau is escorted out the Parliament Buildings after he was suspended by from duties by the Senate in Ottawa Tuesday February 12, 2013 .
Photographs and flowers are placed at a memorial for Canadian actor Cory Monteith outside the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday July 16, 2013. Monteith's body was found in a room at the hotel Saturday.
A person watches a shark swim above during the grand opening of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.
Rita MacNeil's ashes rest in a teapot at her funeral at St. Mary's Church in Big Pond, N. S. on Monday, April 22, 2013. The 68-year-old singer died in hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia, following complications from surgery after a recurring infection.
Rogers' CEO Nadir Mohamed (left) shares a joke with NHL Commissioner Gary Betman following a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday 26, 2013 as they announced a long term broadcast and multimedia agreement, which provides Rogers with all national rights. Also announced was a multi-year sub-licensing agreement with CBC and TVA sports for the NHL games.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau poses with two yoga enthusiasts after holding a press conference on the front lawn of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday June 5, 2013. A yoga class is held on Wednesdays throughout the summer on Parliament Hill.
Sen. Pamela Wallin is surrounded by security as she arrives at the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday Oct.24, 2013.
Mourners react outside the funeral for 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in Toronto, Thursday, Aug.1, 2013. Yatim died Saturday morning after receiving multiple gunshot wounds during an "interaction" with police.
Father Maurice Frenette conducts mass at the funeral for Noah and Connor Barthe at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Campbellton, N.B. on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. The two young boys were killed by a python while they slept in an apartment above an exotic pet store earlier in the week.
A small tip of the Lions Gate Bridge sticks out of the fog rolling into Vancouver harbour late Thursday night, Oct. 24, 2013. A weather system has brought heavy fog into Vancouver and the lower mainland for more than a week.
A woman gets back into her flooded car on the Toronto Indy course on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto on Monday, July 8 2013.
Philippe Couillard celebrates after being elected as new leader of the PLQ in Montreal, Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Most Read Stories Of 2013
A look at the most read stories on HuffPost Canada in 2013.
1. Hollie McNish, Poet Shamed By Breastfeeding In Public, Has The Last Word
"I hate that breasts have become so sexualized that they have lost their original purpose in the public mind. It is acceptable to wear bikinis that cover less, but taboo to feed your child. Overall opinion is that you are less of a mother if you bottle feed, but they won't let you do it in public. Is this just another way to shame us back into roles that were relevant 50 years ago?" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/05/hollie-mcnish-breastfeeding_n_3552062.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)
2. Chris Farley 'Plays' Rob Ford In Fake Movie Trailer
Let's face it. The late comedian Chris Farley was the perfect person to play Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. This movie trailer, which features clips from many of Farley's movies, is probably the closest thing we'll ever get to an actual Rob Ford movie. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/21/chris-farley-rob-ford-movie_n_4319144.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
3. Rob Ford Rant Leaves Daily Show's Stewart Howling WHAT?!?
Jon Stewart devoted more than six minutes to the Toronto mayor Thursday night, ending with utter disbelief at Ford's oral-sex-related rant. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/15/daily-show-rob-ford-video_n_4280983.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
4. David Suzuki's Fukushima Warning Is Dire And Scary
"Three out of the four plants were destroyed in the earthquake and in the tsunami. The fourth one has been so badly damaged that the fear is, if there's another earthquake of a seven or above that, that building will go and then all hell breaks loose." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/04/david-suzuki-fukushima-warning_n_4213061.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/Tomohiro Ohsumi, File)
5. Danny Brown Receives Oral Sex From Fan On Stage, Keeps Rapping
Fans attending rapper Danny Brown's concert Friday night in Minneapolis got a bit more than they probably bargained for when a female fan appeared to give the musician oral sex while he was on stage. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/30/danny-brown-oral-sex_n_3185192.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)
6. Brett Wilson White Poppy: Former Dragon Defends The Red Poppy
As discussion in Canada swirled around the virtues of the white poppy this Remembrance Day, Calgary millionaire and former dragon in CBC's Dragon's Den, W. Brett Wilson took to Twitter to defend the red poppy and its significance. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/08/brett-wilson-white-poppy_n_4243009.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
7. Nohmul Pyramid Bulldozed In Belize For Rocks
"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity ... they were using this for road fill. It's like being punched in the stomach, it's just so horrendous.'' <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/13/mayan-pyramid-belize_n_3268255.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/Jaime Awe)
8. Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder: ‘Some Women's Bodies' Not Right For Our Pants
“The thing is that women will wear seatbelts that don’t work [with the pants], or they’ll wear a purse that doesn’t work, or quite frankly some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it.” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/06/lululemon-chip-wilson-womens-bodies_n_4228113.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
9. Woman Pointing Gun At Child's Head Photo Sparks Outrage, International Search
"I was sent this picture today by a friend who was very distressed to see it on her page. It apparently was posted to see if anybody could find the girl and if they cared well we do care and we have to find this baby as this scares the hell out of me." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/11/woman-pointing-gun-child-photo_n_3906514.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
10. Tim Hortons Lids Letter Voices A Nation's Pain
An early morning, a rush to get to the car, a long wait in a drive-thru line for precious caffeine, and then it happens. Disaster strikes. A lid fails, the coffee will not hold. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/14/tim-hortons-lids-letter-photo_n_3757416.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
11. Reasons The Rest Of Canada Should Be Super Jealous Of Alberta
Alberta voted in new municipal governments Monday and the two big winners were young, forward-thinking mayors. Naheed Nenshi and Don Iveson are just a couple of the reasons why the rest of Canada should be super jealous of Alberta. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/22/calgary-election-edmonton-alberta-2013_n_4142715.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
12. 'How To Be A Vancouverite' Shows Why People Make Fun Of B.C.
The rest of Canada has long been convinced B.C. is filled with outdoor-enthusiast health nuts who do nothing but complain about rain and real estate. Now there is proof. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/18/how-to-be-a-vancouverite-video_n_3949737.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (Photo By David Hecker/Getty Images)
13. Paul Hellyer, Ex-Defence Minister, Believes In Aliens
Canada's former minister of National Defence Paul Hellyer testified at the Citizen Hearing On Disclosure (CHD) last month in Washington D.C. that aliens are living among us and that it is likely at least two of them are working with the U.S. government. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/05/paul-hellyer-aliens-ufos-video_n_3390295.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
14. Canadian Kids Smoke Most Marijuana In Western World: UNICEF
A new survey from UNICEF has found that more Canadian kids smoke marijuana than anywhere else in the western world. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/11/canada-kids-marijuana-unicef_n_3062739.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
15. Turks And Caicos Next Canadian Province? Tory MP Pushes Plan
It may seem far-fetched, but Conservative MP Peter Goldring believes Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of 40 small islands stretching some 600 square kilometres, could one day become this nation’s 11th province. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/02/turks-and-caicos-canadian-province-goldring_n_3536143.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a>
Most Read Blogs Of 2013
Most Read Blogs Of 2013 A look at the most read blogs on HuffPost Canada in 2013.
Rehtaeh Parsons Was My Daughter
"Sometimes her heart was too big, sometimes it scared me. They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher. My precious gift. She was the absolute best part of my life." — Glen Canning <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/glen-canning/rehtaeh-parsons-was-my-daughter_b_3056888.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
What Miley Cyrus Did Was Disgusting -- But Not For the Reasons You Think
"What Miley is doing is cultural appropriation. She, a wealthy white woman, is taking elements from black culture in order to achieve a specific image. Her status as a member of a traditionally oppressive race and class means that she is able to pick and choose what parts of black culture she wants to embrace without having to deal with the racism and racialization that black women live with every day." — Anne Theriault <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/anne-theriault-/miley-cyrus-vma-performance_b_3819177.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
Why "Sex-Positive" Feminism Is Negative For Me
9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Menstruation
"Unfortunately, most of us don't know about the intricacies of our cycle and how to really capitalize on these strengths because from the time we hit puberty we're given very little information about it. Why? Because there is a long-standing and deeply-rooted taboo around the subject of menstruation." — Anea Bogue <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/anea-bogue/women-menstruation-_b_3957384.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
American Cops Don't Belong in Canada
"I don't believe Canadians want American police operating and carrying guns in Canada. It's just not right." — Sean Casey, MP <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sean-casey/border-security-canada_b_3691387.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
It's 2013, and Women Are Still Their Breasts
"It's tiring (and insulting) to watch video after video of fully-clad men sing, while naked and semi-naked ornamental women gyrate sexily around them. Like decorations. Like baubles. Like the tinsel on a tree...." — Toula Foscolos <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/toula-foscolos/justin-timberlake-tunnel-vision_b_3550440.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>
The Slow and Painful Death of Freedom in Canada
"Of course we've all had the rhetoric jammed down our throats -- these adjustments to a citizen's right to public assembly, defiant anonymity, and digital privacy are the necessary sacrifices we must be willing to make in order to shelter ourselves from half-heartedly articulated illusory threats such as "terrorism" or "extremism". — <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/adam-kingsmith/canada-freedom-of-press_b_2946418.html" target="_blank">Adam Kingsmith </a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/adam-kingsmith/canada-freedom-of-press_b_2946418.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL POST</a>