News that Tim Hudak’s campaign may have borrowed heavily from US advisors takes me back a few years.

When we lived in the west end of Toronto Arlene and I would often stop at “Mars”, a College Street diner that we have been frequenting for decades.  Sunday brunch would not pass any culinary test imposed by my cardiologist, but it is delicious, and the rice pudding and muffins are spectacular.

In the spring of 1995, just before the election that led to the defeat of the NDP government, we stopped at the Mars for a Sunday breakfast.  There is a coat rack half way into the diner, and I could not but help notice a leather jacket with a bunch of badges and decals.  They all referred to an earlier U.S. state campaign for a Republican candidate.  I kept my eye on the jacket, and waited to see who picked it up as I was eating away.  I took a careful look at the guy picking it up, and remarked to Arlene that I was sure I’d seen him somewhere.

Sure enough, when I was cruising casually through the American political shows on Sunday morning, I saw the same guy.  It was Mike Murphy, a Republican political consultant and strategist.  He was not talking about Canadian politics, but was reciting the usual mantra of cuts in spending, cuts in taxes, de-regulation, smaller government yada yada yada.  The phrase “we need more common sense” even worked its way into his riff.

So no one should be surprised at what is happening now.  It is the same Republican cookie and job cutter being imported.