The downturn is starting to impact politics all over the world. As an example, take the recent sequence of events in Canada:
• In October, Prime Minister Harper increased his vote, but still ended 12 seats short of a majority, after calling an early General Election
• Last week, the opposition parties united against his economic policy, and called for a confidence vote in Parliament.
• In response, and for the first time in Canada's history, Harper won the Governor-General's approval to suspend Parliament for 7 weeks.