Harper Plagiarizes Liberals
Err...the Australian Liberals, that is:
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper plagiarized almost half of a speech he delivered in 2003 as opposition leader, Liberal candidate Bob Rae alleged on Tuesday.
Harper gave the speech in Parliament on March 20 -- the first day U.S. forces began bombing Baghdad, and two days after then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard gave a strikingly similar address.
At a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday morning, Rae played the speech by Harper simultaneously with a speech by then-Australian prime minister John Howard.
Much of Harper's address matches Howard's virtually word for word.
Rae released transcripts and videos of both speeches and suggested they serve as evidence that a vote for the Conservatives is akin to voting for a "Republican-Conservative" government.
First off, kudos to the Liberal war room for digging this one up. A catch like this takes a lot more work than just googling a candidate's name, so they deserve major props. My sense is that this isn't going to turn into that big a deal, but my opinion on that may be clouded by the extreme indifference that greeted Ralph's bout with plagiarism in Alberta (and this was probably a speechwriter who messed up, rather than Harper himself).
At the same time, bringing up Harper's ever evolving memory of his Iraq position doesn't hurt at all. And releasing an ad linking Harper to Bush on the same day shows a bit of forethought on the Liberals' part.
UPDATE: And we've got our scapegoat!