"We’re now in the home stretch of Canada’s federal election campaign — at seventy-eight days, the longest in modern Canadian history and the most important since 1988, when free trade with the United States was the defining issue. For the first time in Canadian history, it is a close three-way race between the ruling Conservatives, the centrist Liberals, and the social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP)." [more inside]
With the Ontario provincial election campaign still extremely close (warning: PDF link) in its last days, the Conservative party sends out a gay-baiting and trans-baiting direct-mail ad. [more inside]
The Government of Canada has fallen after a 156-145 contempt motion passed in Parliament. The contempt motion came after a Parliamentary committee found (PDF link) that the government failed to provide adequate information on the costs of crime legislation. Stephen Harper will go to the Governor-General on Saturday to request an election.
David Mamet: Why I am no longer a 'Brain Dead Liberal'. "The right is mooing about faith, the left is mooing about change, and many are incensed about the fools on the other side—but, at the end of the day, they are the same folks we meet at the water cooler. Happy election season."
And we're off! Prime Minister John Howard has set the date for the Australian Federal election as November 24th, meaning we're up for a long six-week campaign. With Kevin Rudd leading the PM by between 16 to 18 points (depending on who you read) in recent opinion polls, this election seems the most likely to provide a change of Government since Howard was first elected 11 years ago. Antony Green's usual excellent election guide is up and running here, along with an excellent calculator which shows which seats are up for grabs dependent on a 2 party preferred swing. You might also want to check out the Vote-O-Matic, a fun but entirely disposable quiz which aims to help you decide who you'll vote for. [more inside]
Horse trading North of the border. With the vote of non-confidence looming today, Canada may find itself facing another election this summer. Today's vote is result of the Liberal's weak position and the still continuing Gomery commission - charged with investigating the Liberal Party's sponsorship scandal. This last month, every action coming out of the PMO has been seen as being inherently realpolitik. With each side being close to holding the crucial 150 odd votes needed, this week's defection of Belinda Stronach has also caused broken hearts, harsh criticisms and created a hero. Canadian politics hasn't been this exciting since it saw the fall of one of Canada's youngest pm. What will happen this afternoon is anyone's guess.