The contours of an opposition to the de facto coalition between Sinn Fein and the DUP are already taking shape. Outside Stormont the two larger parties pose as the bitterest of enemies, but in the Assembly chamber and around the Executive table they often act as one.
During the Budget debate MLA after MLA rose to chastise the SDLP or accuse the UUP of complicity in "Tory cuts". The only way to tell Sinn Fein from DUP was the "cÃºpla focal" of Irish deployed by the Shinners.
Across the Assembly the smaller parties looked embattled, huddling together against a tongue-lashing from Wilson and his supporters. It was raw, angry politics, but it was democracy in action nonetheless.
With the UUP and the SDLP still considering their positions in the Executive, there is an intriguing possibility that the system at Stormont may change by default.
It appears the Assembly is evolving opposition politics, whether there is consensus on tinkering with the institutions or not. Sinn Fein and the DUP represent a majority of voters in Northern Ireland and they're entitled to force through decisions on that basis. It's up to other parties to point out where their policies are flawed and advocate credible alternatives.
It's become increasingly apparent during the Budget wrangle that the UUP and SDLP are already acting like an opposition. The structures should be put in place to let them do that job properly.
Two parties are now thoroughly marginalised within an Executive effectively operating as a coalition between Sinn Fein and the DUP, with Alliance a willing junior partner. Whether they pull their ministers out now, or encourage them to hang on until the election, the UUP and SDLP must still present an alternative to DUP/Sinn Fein-led government. The debate about an opposition at Stormont rages on, but things are already moving in that direction. Sooner or later the formalities will be put in place and our politics will be the healthier for it.