Thursday, December 15, 2005

Harper '97: What a Year -- Not

Things to remember about 1997:

-- Bill Clinton was president. (Well, so was Harrison Ford.)

-- There was no "Conservative Party of Canada."

-- Jean Charest was leading the Progressive Conservatives, while Preston Manning was leading the Reform Party.

-- George W. Bush was finishing up his fourth year as governor of Texas.

-- George Lucas was re-releasing the Star Wars Trilogy in theatres (the one where Han Solo shoots second).

-- The big movie over the Christmas season was Titanic.

-- The Detroit Red Wings were Stanley Cup champions.

-- "South Park" was making its debut on Comedy Central.

I could go on and on, but I think you see my point. The world of 1997 is far different than the world of 2005. You are different. I am different. Our country is different, for better or for worse. And among other things, this election is going to be about progressing further down a path, or taking a different one.

And yet the Liberals, in this early stage of the campaign, are attacking a version of Stephen Harper that has not existed in eight years.

Are they so afraid of the 2005 version that they need to set up a "straw Stephen" from the past to knock down? Do they really think that Canadian voters are willing to believe that Harper '97 is a stronger vintage than Harper '05? Particularly in comparison to the odiferous decline of the Librano cellars? Are they really that welded to the past that they won't deal with him in the present?

If that's so, then turfing out the Libranos may be easier than I thought ...