It's going to be a crabby 18 months until the next election, at least based on the first week of the fall legislative sitting.
The MLAs have only been back four days as I write this, but things are already pretty rowdy.
The New Democrats have been hammering at two issues - seniors' care and the alleged lobbying activities of former cabinet minister Graham Bruce.
And the government has been fighting back, especially on the Bruce affair. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mike de Jong, a scrappy performer in the legislature, has led the defence.
It's a changed tone. After the 2005 election, both sides made a real effort to maintain basic civility in the legislature. Things appear to be heading, sadly, back to the bad old days.
The questions about Bruce's activities raise the kinds of issues that are always going to heat things up.
The Vancouver Sun kicked things off, with a report that Bruce had been lobbying the provincial government on behalf of the Cowichan Tribes since 2005. But, the paper reported, he had never signed up with the province's lobbyist registry.
The activities also raised potential problems under conflict-of-interest rules, the report noted. Former cabinet ministers are barred from paid lobbying at the provincial level for two years after they leave office. Bruce started working for the tribes within months of being defeated in 2005.
The lobbyist registry was a part of the Liberal election platform in 2001. They said that the public should know who was lobbying politicians and bureaucrats and what they were seeking. That way, people could judge for themselves whether anything questionable was happening.
It seemed a good idea. Lobbying has become increasingly big business. A lot of the consultants are people with close ties to the political parties - ex-politicians or political staff.
There was a perception that paying for access was part of doing business. Gordon Campbell said that should stop, and the lobbyist registry was the solution.
Bruce initially said he met with Campbell and two ministers to seek funding for the Cowichan Tribes' effort to host the 2008 North American Indigenous Games.
By midweek, the Cowichan Tribe issued a news release criticizing the NDP for raising the issue. Bruce was hired to raise money from local governments, corporate sponsors and others, the band said.
But in the legislature, the NDP cited minutes of tribal committee meetings in which Bruce is quoted as saying he was calling in favours from his former colleagues to get funds released. He was paid $121,000 for work for the tribe.
De Jong said there couldn't have been any lobbying, because B.C. had agreed in 2003 to provide $3.5 million to the games.
But that's not exactly what the government said in announcing the funding in June 2006. It acknowledged the 2003 federal-provincial agreement, but the deal wasn't quite the same as de Jong now claims. "It was agreed Canada and the host province/territory would each contribute 35 per cent to a maximum of $3.5 million," the news release said. Note, up to $3.5 million, not a promise to provide that much.
Bruce hasn't done any interviews since the first Sun story. He released a statement, saying he didn't have to register as a lobbyist. The act doesn't cover lobbying activities by First Nations or their employees, he said, and he spent less than 20 per cent of his time lobbying, the threshold for registration.
James has asked the conflict commissioner to investigate. The information and privacy commissioner, who has responsibility - sort of - for the lobbyist registry.
The whole affair - following similar controversy over former deputy minister Ken Dobell's failure to register - adds to doubts that the lobbyist registry is working.
And the Liberals' defence in both cases rests in part on the notion that the projects were worthwhile, so everyone should just ease up. That's an attitude that eventually gets governments in trouble.
Footnote: There's a whole other aspect to this affair. Much of the information has come from tribal committee meetings released by unhappy band members. The minutes suggest treaty funds borrowed from the government were used to pay Bruce until he could get the provincial grants.