1. The pace of candidate nominations has picked up, but the parties still have a long way to go, if you assume an early October writ drop. The Tories have nominated 175 candidates, the Liberals 77, the Greens 33, the Bloc 21, and the NDP 16. Thia may, in part, explain why the NDP are cool to the idea of a fall election.
2. There's some interesting analysis on political donations here. The short of it is this: even though the Liberals have made monumental leaps and bounds forward with fundraising - to the point where they're only 1.6 million behind the Tories so far this year - they've maxed out a lot more donors than the Conservatives have.