All indications are the next federal election campaign will be very long and nasty.
Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper has until Oct. 19, 2015, to keep his job, it seems the ruling Conservatives may send Canadians to the polls well before the scheduled date.
There are a number of reasons for this.
The Harper government will present an appealing budget, which will contain a lot of goodies and tax cuts, next spring.
The Conservatives and the Liberals have already selected candidates for many of the ridings for the enlarged parliament.
The thing bothering the Harper government most is the trial of Senator Mike Duffy trial.
This is scheduled for next April and could go on for a couple of weeks.
Duffy is facing 31 charges including fraud, breach of trust and bribery.
This trial is likely to generate a lot of negative publicity which the Tories will like to avoid.
If Duffy goes down, he will try to do as much damage to the Tories as he can.
The trial of another disgraced Tory Senator Patrick Brazeau is also pending.
And let us not forget that the matter of another Tory Senator Pamela Wallin has not been resolved.
The Duffy trial has been haunting and will continue to haunt the Tories for a while.
Duffy is not going to keep quiet while the Tories seek a fourth successive mandate from Canadians.
He has made it clear he plans to drop bombshells which could prove damaging to his old party.
My guess is Harper will probably ignore Canada’s fixed date election and call a snap election following the presentation of the new budget.
Prime Minister Harper could possibly face a credibility issue if he pulls the plug on the current Parliament.
But, he should have no problems coming up with a variety of excuses for calling an early election.
He has done this once before.
Harper circumvented the last fixed date election when he asked the Governor-General to dissolve a “dysfunctional” House of Commons.
This was just one a year after fixed election date were introduced in 2007.
In the meantime, the Liberals, under the charismatic Justin Trudeau, are rapidly gaining new members, new supporters and new ground.
The New Democratic Party will not do well in the next election despite what Thomas Mulcair is saying.
Mulcair has and continues to perform well during Question period in the House of Commons.
The New Democrats did extremely well in vote rich Quebec the last time around.
But, there is a big difference between Mulcair and his predecessor.
There is no doubt all the three major parties are gearing up for an early election next spring.