A lot can change in seven years

Joan Bryden compares the Stephen Harper of today with the Stephen Harper of 2004.

A reporter asked whether Canadians might not “get the impression that you’re trying to run the government here even though you’ve lost the election.”Harper responded: “It is the Parliament that’s supposed to run the country, not just the largest party and the single leader of that party. I guess that’s a criticism that I’ve had and that we’ve had and that most Canadians have had for a long, long time.”

Separately, Mike De Souza finds that future Conservative senator Mike Duffy reported government-forming musings among Conservatives at the time.

About one month later, on the day of the Martin minority government’s first throne speech, CTV’s Mike Duffy, later appointed by Harper as a Conservative senator, said that his future colleagues among the Tories had more than just an arrangement in mind. “It is possible that you could change prime minister without having an election,” Duffy said on CTV on Oct. 5. “If you could put Stephen Harper — and this is some of the thinking of Conservatives — in 24 Sussex Drive, even for five or six months without an election, it would make the Conservative option much more palatable to Canadians because they’d see that they don’t have horns and a tail.”