The issues that face Canadians are a short list that goes like this; the economy, the environment and the US lead war in Afghanistan. All of these issues are contingent upon the incredibly closer and closer merging of Canadian policy with the United States. The Harper government has simply set aside any truly national policies and turned its full attention to supporting whatever will make the Bush administration happy with its northern neighbour. The consequences of this merger are overwhelming every tacet of Canadian life and will continue to do so since you can't just turn these things on and off like a light switch.
Canada through NAFTA has donated its energy supply to the United States to the point that Americans do not consider Canadian produced oil as an import but rather as a domestic source of energy. That is why most Americans consider their major source of oil as Saudi Arabia even though 60% of American oil and gas imports come from Canada.
The Alberta oriented Harper government tossed out the Kyoto accord and has fashioned its own Alberta pleasing copy of environmental policies that are in complete and total harmony with those same policies of the the Bush administration.
Canada has lost almost one hundred of its soldiers in a completely futile and pointless conflict in Afghanistan. There are no benefits to Canada whatever in maintaining the drug economy of that desert land other than currying favour with the Bush administration.
Though the American polls are showing Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain in a dead heat after a solid week of all US news coverage of the Democratic convention the tide is swinging and swinging strongly toward Obama and the Democrats. As the real election campaign proceeds the popular issues of the Illinois Senator will sweep the United States more so than any election in the last six decades. By November Obama and all that he stands for will be the theme for the United States of America.
Now whether all this is true or not doesn't really matter, what is true is that this is all within reason and if you were the Conservative Prime Minister of the client state of George Bush, the least capable president in the country's history, you had better not be facing an election after the November US election if you want to have any hope whatever of even hanging onto the slim minority situation you presently have.
Ignore the fact that the Liberal Party is in shambles, its leader is a coward and the party is short of money. However, unlike the Conservative Party the Liberal Party does not have to rely upon its wimpy lack luster leader for every decision. The Liberals have a strong tradition of being Liberals, capable of individual thought and action. So even though the prime minister is completely aware of his opposition's weaknesses, he is far more afraid of the Canadian public who is soaking up the US election campaign with Canadian media dwelling on it just as heavily as their American counterparts. Fear is a powerful thing.
Excuses aside, the parliament of Canada is working just fine, the only stumbling block before committees are the governments own obstructionism. But the prime minister will push on and call an election in the next few days.