Plagarism is Always Wrong, Mr. Harper.

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 30, 2008

At least that's what every decent undergraduate student knows.

Thanks to the sands of time, I find this kind of bald-faced policy mistake hilarious. It's illuminating as I've suspected Harper has been coordinated with a variety of interests for quite some time. Much of the anti-Bloc campaign in Quebec seemed too slick to be coincidental. Harper strikes me as the kind of leader who micro-manages every detail of any action plan to the "T", ensuring each operative knows their role in executing the plan. I just assumed he was too savvy to be so blatant, or smart enough to realise a number of people would think, "hmm. That sounds awfully similar. Let's compare the text." 

Is this irrelevant? In English Canada, perhaps not. That's not the key battleground on this one, though, and watching the Quebec media will tell us how much this will hurt Harper in QC. Given that the war in Afghanistan is highly unpopular in Quebec AND that a large number of Canadians feel that avoiding Iraq was the smartest bit of Canadian foreign policy in a long time, I'd say this plagarism is decidedly relevant. Harper's strategy of attacking the Bloc might have dislodged a good number of voters into the "undecided" category, but certainly hasn't convinced them that the Conservatives are the way to go. The Bloc is experiencing a bit of a resurgence in Quebec already due to the Conservatives' proposed changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This might just be the spin Duceppe needed to claw his way back up. 

 

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Does anyone find it odd ...

... that this person 1) is allegedly one of the only staffers still around from 2003 AND remembers committing the act of plagarism; 2) available to submit this press release two hours after the Harper camp said there was "100% staff turnover since the speech; 3) happened to be working on the campaign; and 4) available for an extended vacation?

This has gone from a wee bit ridiculous to the sublime in such a short amount of time. Someone needs to do a fact check to see whether or not this person was actually employed by Harper in 2003. 

What is the big deal?

I agree the facts need to be checked about if the person was actually employed at the time (a MapleLeafWeb exclusive?). However why is this a big deal even in Que? If this was a recent speech or something from the last year maybe, but 2003? Time will tell but the polls tonight show bloc gains at the expense of the Liberals. It seems like a weak way to get the Liberal "team" out in the news.

Harold Jansen is right maybe the best thing for the Liberal Party is a Tory majority.

Fair enough. Given that this

Fair enough. Given that this is gotcha politics, I figured the impact it would have, if any, would be where there's the greatest opposition to miliaristic policies (Quebec).

I don't think this will have much impact

There's been a lot of excitement about the plagiarism thing, but it's almost entirely among Liberals and New Democrats. Every single person I've had talk to me about this is a Liberal. Two things make this an issue that probably won't matter. First of all, I don't think most people really know what plagiarism is and why it's serious. Many of my students don't really get it and they can fail if they do it. In an era where we copy MP3s, download images and other stuff off the Internet, I'm not sure people understand the idea of intellectual property. Second, it happened a long time ago.

I'm starting to think these kinds of things don't matter much because the only people who notice are people paying lots of attention and those people have likely already decided how they're going to vote. Liberals and New Democrats see this as further evidence that they're making the right choice; Conservatives see this as evidence that the Liberals are desparate.

BTW, the Conservative complaints that the Liberals are dredging up old footage and engaging in "gotcha" politics is a bit much after what they've been doing to Dion for the last two years. There's never any shortage of hypocrisy at election time.

It's not plagiarism...

... when you're reading the speech the US administration wrote for you. So Dick and Carl were too busy arranging reconstruction contracts to make separate speeches for their puppets in Australia and Canada.

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