Stephen Harper's ruling Conservative government has managed to muddy the ideological right-wing aspects of his political agenda to stay in power in Canada without alienating his western and rural base of moral and social conservatives.
Amid reports that the Barack Obama administration is quietly lobbying the Conservative government in Ottawa to keep Canadian troops in Afghanistan's Kandahar province beyond 2011, Stephen Harper is finding himself in an increasingly awkward dilemma.
Canada and the United States are on different wavelengths when it comes to a shared and increasingly hardening of what had been a sleepy border within North America.
The murky post-9/11 sharing of information between western security and intelligence agencies and Sudan's notorious human rights-abusing regime appear to be at the heart of a year-long marooning of Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik at his country's embassy in Khartoum.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has no choice but to project optimism about his nation's ability to pull out of the economic recession by next year, although various economists and a former central bank chairman have all offered grimmer forecasts that the downturn will persist for a longer period.
Canada's reluctance to institute a full stimulus package in the recent federal government budget has international parallels, says Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
A rollercoaster ride of spurned treaties, efforts to fund new weapons and the expansion of potential targets for nuclear strikes under the George W. Bush administration to include Iran and North Korea may be drawing to a close after eight years.
Like an aging group of retro rocker musicians, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) resurfaced in Toronto recently after a decade of dormancy, trying to look a little more mainstream.
As Canada's parliament debates whether to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan beyond next year's withdrawal deadline, some peace advocates and conflict resolution experts say a U.N.-led mission is the best bet to negotiate a peace settlement involving all of the major parties in the ongoing civil war.
As the Conservative government of Stephen Harper awaits a panel report on Canada's military role in Afghanistan beyond February 2009, when the current mandate expires, there is widespread unease among analysts on both sides of the North American border that operational decisions are deep-sixing political goals and about the possibility of a widening conflict.
United Nations-style peacekeeping is getting a bad rap these days within Canada's military, 60 years after then Prime Minister Lester Pearson came up with the idea of mediating the Suez Crisis following the British-French-Israel attack on Egypt.
Can Canadians have a fair debate on their military mission in southern Afghanistan when so many of the sources quoted in the domestic press are bankrolled by the Department of National Defence (DND)?
Washington's pre-emptive war, in which Muslims are picked up, labeled as Islamic terrorists and then sent to a foreign state where under torture they confess wrongly to membership in al Qaeda, is at the heart of what happened to an innocent Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, says Maureen Webb, an Ottawa lawyer and author of the forthcoming book, "Illusions of Security".
One of the lasting legacies of the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on Canada's southern neighbour is the involvement of 2,300 Canadian troops as part of a NATO contingent in Afghanistan.
A day before the spectacular arrests of 17 Muslim men under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, a McMaster University professor now working in Afghanistan was in Ottawa to tell Canadian officials that their war against the Taliban is ill-advised.