CONFRONTATION between the PPP and the PML(N) continues unabated, be the theatre of war the parliament, public rallies and, most potently, the media. This was to be expected. The Supreme Court is, after all, hearing the eligibility cases of the Sharif brothers. Tempers are bound to flare up. It has been a sequential progression to this state of things. When the PML(N) had initially quit the coalition, there was a sense of reserve in their accusations towards the government. And the ruling PPP, which didn't want the PML(N) to leave government, was actually cordial towards the latter. But if one is to maintain an effectively critical opposition, debates and accusations are bound to get caustic. It was at this time when, far from pacifying the Leaguers like the rest of the PPP pantheon, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer started going about looking for trouble himself. His recent statements are only the latest installment. We're not afraid of any long march, he says, march long or short, we're staying put and are not letting anyone destabilize the government. But this time the regression was evident. Initially, following any statement of the like by the governor, the PPP used to engage in damage control. Later on, they started merely keeping mum. And now, they come up with similar statements of the like, as can be seen from Information Minister Sherry Rehman's statement about the N League having its cake and eating it too. The PML(N), she says, is busy criticizing the government in the centre but is "reaping the fruits of the coalition government". Though her assessment is not all that incorrect, it is not as if the PML(N) did not earn this scheme at the polls. Granted, however, the League is getting increasingly confrontational as well, as could be seen from Nawaz Sharif's address to a rally at Sangla Hill. This regression is going to get far worse as the 9th of March approaches. With Salman Taseer's bring-'em-on bravado regarding the long march, there is bound to be a confrontation soon. Needless to say, the polity cannot afford this confrontation. The argument for the restoration of the judiciary is a valid one but the N League should admit that this is a problem that needs an out-of-box solution that would be acceptable to everyone. The PPP leadership, faulted as it may be, is correct when it says that the democratic process could be easily derailed again if the political dispensation does not get its act together soon enough. We need to get beyond this issue and graduate over to the real problems like our dismal economy, the law and order situation and militancy.