As I said over a year ago, we're heading into a recession. Canadians never re-elect governments after recessions, so Harper has to go now.
The Tories will make Dion the issue in this election. There's no big secret there: they defined him after he became leader of the Liberals and have been working him over since then. And how well has he defended himself? Well, not very well.
They'll keep savaging Dion's personality, his English skills, and his social background. They'll do to Dion what the Republicans have done to Obama, insinuating he's isolated from the mainstream, has never had a "real" job and actually despises those people who do.
And they'll bring up energy. At least, that's how they'll define Dion's complicated Green Shift. Like Joe Clark in 1980 and John Tory last year, Dion can't explain his election platform. so the Tories will do it for him: they'll scare the East with talk of even higher energy prices and they'll tell Alberta and Saskatchewan the Green Shift is the new NEP.
In Westmount-Ville Marie, the Tories posted campaign signs boasting "Quebec is Getting Stronger". They're trying to re-make Mulroney's 1984 coalition with soft nationalists. They have the "Quebec is a Nation" resolution while Dion is author of the Clarity Act. Were I a Quebec voter, I'd be working for Dion because I share that aspect of his vision for Canada. Harper does the old trick of telling the West he'll get tough on separatism while, at the same time, rolling over like a toy poodle for the Quebec nationalists. He does what the Albertans always accused Trudeau of doing.
Will it all work?
Like a charm.
Harper will win a majority.