How I spent my summer vacation
Conservatives: Spent the summer making it perfectly clear that the Conservative Party is in no way funding any sort of gay festivals, parades, or events in Canada (not that there's anything wrong with that!). After that, Harper pocketed the body of Christ, was 30 seconds late for a photo op, and misspelled Iqaluit. Sure, none of these scandals seem like big deals, but I'd say there's a 50/50 chance Paul Martin would have called a judicial inquiry into at least one of them, had they happened to him.
While none of those touched him, Harper did get some well deserved flack over his latest string of Senate appointments - even Sports Illustrated took a shot at him. However, Conservatives were quick to reassure everyone that abandoning their principles and flip-flopping on their promises is fine because...wait for it...the Liberals did it too!
Liberals: Rocco Rossi canoed. Michael Ignatieff spent some time thinking thoughts, and the thoughts he thunk made him think that it was time to end the probationary life support he had put the Conservatives on.
NDP: Spent the summer trashing the Liberals for rolling over on 79 non-confidence votes, and bragging about how only the NDP are able to hold the Conservatives to account. Then when the Liberals said they wouldn't roll over, there was, shockingly, a lot of talk about "making parliament work", "results for people" and that sort of stuff.
They also flirted with the idea of changing their name to the "Democrats", but decided to just steal the Democrats slogan instead.
Bloc Quebecois: There was a rumour going around that Gilles Duceppe was on the verge of retiring. Turned out not to be true. Despite dozens of rumours, predictions of impending doom (remember when Paul Martin was going to wipe out the bloc?), and brief flirtations with leaving Ottawa, I think we can all conclude that Gilles Duceppe is the Brett Favre of Canadian politics - he will never retire.
Green Party: Having already lost in two provinces, Elizabeth May has decided to try her luck in Saanich, BC next election. This is part of a new and controversial strategy the Greens have adopted, whereby they will try to actually win seats. Also, "for the first time ever, the Greens have a written campaign plan which is fully detailed" - this might partially explain why the Greens haven't been able to win seats before.