Canada is in the midst of an election campaign (really, yes, there is an election happening outside of the US right now!), which brings with it the usual load of mud-slinging and rhetoric. Recently one of the opposition parties dug up some footage of our illustrious Prime Minister giving a speech when he was opposition leader that is in parts word for word identical to an earlier speech by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
Aside from making for some good political theatre, this has cost at least one Conservative Party staffer his job, and has thankfully reinforced plagiarism as being an unacceptable practice in the public’s eye. Now the knives are out though, and the parties are digging in a desperate attempt to uncover more dirt. The opposition Liberals have dug up another comparison, which is now meeting with mixed reactions. This second example is far less clear-cut and is much shorter, but has certainly brought some further attention to the issue.
I feel like plagiarism is plagiarism, so I’m glad that severe consequences were felt, although people have certainly been forced to resign over far less. It’s just a little odd that it took us a full five years to discover this – how long has it been hiding in wait in the Liberal election warchest?