The Conservative government of Canada has introduced bills to establish fixed election dates for the House of Commons and reduce terms of new Senators to eight years (currently they serve to age 75).
The issue of the Senate (though not the term length, per se) has already been the topic of a lively thread here at F&V. As for fixed dates for the lower house, I weighed at the already-lively thread over at We Move to Canada.
What I do not understand is why Harper is willing to set the next election for October, 2009, when under current rules he would be able to call an election any time if he anticipates that he could get a parliamentary majority. (And, I thought he was behaving as if that was precisely what he intended to do.) An election could still come earlier–even if this bill becomes law–but only if Harper were to lose a confidence vote. And that would happen only if the parties supporting said vote expected that they, and not the Tories, would benefit from an earlier election.
Also interesting is that while these bills concern “constitutional” matters, they are in fact mere statutes. That is, they do not require provincial consent, and could be changed by a future majority.