Over the past seven years Stephen Harper's Conservatives have expanded the accountability perimeter within which the federal government operates to the point of turning its limits into distant abstractions.
On the current prime minister's watch, the government has routinely stepped over the already thin line between governance and politics, treading on ground where its predecessors would not have dared to venture for fear of a public backlash, and - essentially - getting away with it.
Given the latter, it was only a matter of time before the Conservatives' take-no-prisoner governance culture became a template for governments across the country.
In moves reminiscent of Harper's repeat prorogations of Parliament over the past year, Liberal governments in Ontario and British Columbia, for instance, dispensed with facing the opposition music in their legislatures for months on end.
Still, few expected a Parti Quebecois government to be the first to borrow not just a page out of the Conservative playbook but entire chapters.
On Thursday, Quebecers were treated to a sight familiar to those who follow federal politics: that of a public-office appointee crying foul about less-than-subtle political interference.
Over a series of media interviews, the president of Quebec's Council on the Status of Women, Julie Miville-DechÍne, described the lengths to which the PQ government is going to ensure that her organization issues a positive review of the controversial values charter.
The council had scheduled a meeting to discuss the government's proposal next week, but an initial sounding of its members suggested that a blanket stamp of approval would not be forthcoming.
The group was split on the merits of the charter with half of its members, including Miville-DechÍne, wanting to look further into its potential impact on minority women before reaching an official conclusion. In the wake of the hasty appointment by the PQ of four new pro-charter Council members, that discussion seems essentially moot.
The similarities between the approach the Conservatives have road tested federally and the PQ's charter road map do not stop at advancing policies that smack of wedge politics, or at taking control of an inconvenient arm's-length watchdog from the inside.
Here are some additional ones:
A blackout on evidence-based arguments: Pauline Marois's government says it has no idea how many public service workers would be impacted by its proposed secular dress code. It has little beyond anecdotal evidence to support its thesis that the proposed measures are a response to a crisis in the making.
The available evidence actually points the other way. The Quebec Human Rights commission received only 32 complaints related to religious rights last year, with only a third dealing specifically with public accommodation of such rights.
Quebec's justice minister will not say what legal advice his department provided him with. Leaks have suggested that government lawyers cautioned that the values proposals would run afoul of the Quebec and Canadian charters of rights.
Anti-elite populist rhetoric: The values charter has been roundly criticized by many otherwise sovereigntist-friendly and otherwise well-respected academics. The government's response has essentially been to suggest that its critics are out of touch with Quebec's silent majority.
The use of public data and government funds for partisan purposes: A website dedicated to the values charter has been opened for public comments. But although it is a government website, the comments are accessible only to the ruling party.
A copy of the PQ proposal was sent to every Quebec household this week and ads are running to promote it, all at public expense. That spending was engaged before the national assembly had spent an hour formally debating the proposed charter and in the face of the fact that the PQ does not currently have the necessary opposition support to have its most controversial proposals passed into law.
Next month, many federal observers will be parsing Harper's mid-mandate throne speech for elements of the prime minister's legacy. They would be better advised to look for his obvious transformative impact on the country's political culture. It is at work these days in the province that otherwise most likes to cast itself as a Harper-free zone.
Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer. Her column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.