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John Ibbitson consults communications specialist Barry McLoughlin for his evaluation of performances - and recommendations for 2013

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird must dial back some of his comments and smooth out his rough edges.

PATRICK DOYLE/REUTERS

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s challenge: Reinforce the message that only his party can manage the economy.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Jason Kenney, one of the government’s best performers, can carry on with his transformation of the immigration system.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Defence Minister Peter MacKay needs to put the F-35 debacle behind him.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

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Elizabeth May must show that the Greens are not a one-person movement.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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NDP Leader Tom Mulcair‘s task: ease concerns that an NDP government would harm the economy.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver needs to keep a low profile on the pipeline issue until after B.C. goes to the polls in May.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Public Safety Minister Vic Toews will have his hands full crafting an online surveillance bill without lumping opponents in with pedophiles.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Public Works and Government Services Minister Rona Ambrose, another strong performer, has impressed with her stickhandling of the fighter-jet procurement process.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Jim Flaherty’s task for 2013: Retain confidence in his fiscal know-how.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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