Whoops. If the media weren't too busy prematurely calling the election for Harper...again...this might even get picked up.
Just days after the revelation that Stephen Harper’s speech advocating for Canada’s participation in the Iraq War was largely copied from former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, j-rad.ca has discovered that at least one other speech delivered by Harper in the House of Commons appears to have been partly plagiarized, this time from former Ontario Premier Mike Harris.
A Google search shows that Harper, then the leader of the Canadian Alliance, used a passage in his speech in response to the 2003 federal budget that seems to have been copied directly from speaking notes for a presentation given by Harris three months prior.
Here is the segment in question from Harris’s speech, given to the Montreal Economic Institute in December 2002:
Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is never easy. It takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that in taking a new and innovative course, you are making change for the better. I learned this through the tough work we did to pull Ontario out of [a] ditch and put it back on track with the Common Sense Revolution.
Harris then goes on to describe several initiatives taken during the Common Sense Revolution, before saying:
Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing. Leaders are the ones who do what they say they are going to do despite the opposition and protests and complaints from the special interests who support the status quo. That’s the leadership that the people of Quebec and the rest of Canada needs and deserves.
Compare those passages to this excerpt from Harper’s February 2003 speech in response to the federal budget:
Getting the job done will require new and ambitious thinking –- the kind of new thinking my party brought to Ottawa, the kind of new thinking the Liberal Party is incapable of understanding.
Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is not about reading the polls and having focus group tests. It is never easy because it takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that taking a new and innovative course is going to make change for the better. Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing.
(Honestly, reading and participating in these Canadian political discussions really does make me think it's 2002-2003 again. Same unthinking media repetition of conservative lines, same disastrously divided progressives, same dominance of Republican/Conservative bloggers... the only thing that's different is that nobody's throwing 9/11 around everywhere you go.)