Sep 30 2008

Globe & Post: Plagiarism vs Economic Disaster. Haven’t We Got Better Things To Discuss in Canada’s Election 2008?

Yet another descent down the rabbit’s hole for Canada’s political leaders. While the global economy tanks, very possibly taking us innocent Canucks down with it, the Grits’ Stephan Dion is blasting the Tories over a few lines PM Stephen Harper spoke a few elections back, while he was leader of a party that no longer exists (Canwest), presumably to show that the Conservatives are taking orders from Australia (?!?!?!?)… and the rest of the opposition parties seem quite happy to follow Dion’s, ah, um… lead?

How about focusing on real issues, like ensuring Canadians are safe to walk around our urban centres without worrying about hate-motivated violence like the tragic attack in Vancouver this week (as commented on by Vancouver uber-blogger Hummingbird604).

Or another issue, like taking steps to put the lid on deadlier violence by extremists hatching plots to make our country into a warzone (New York Times).

If our politicians really want to waste their time tut-tutting each other over plagiarism this election, then I’m not happy with what that says about our overall political culture.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Globe & Post: Plagiarism vs Economic Disaster. Haven’t We Got Better Things To Discuss in Canada’s Election 2008?”

  1. Earnest Canuckon 30 Sep 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Granted, bigger fish are fryin’ in the news this week, Narvey — the Mrs and I’ve been busy renewing our mortgage this week, how about that?? — but this plagiarism thing is more than a minnow. It, too, says something about our overall political culture, something unpleasant. The incident shows that elected life turns even smart guys into ventriloquist’s dummies. That can’t be insignificant.

    How could Harper, advocating *that* position at *that* point in history, not have been familiar with the celebrated Howard speech by the time Lippert had him squawk it out in the House? The man’s supposed to be a *wonk*, for God’s sake. I find it unnerving in 2008 (now a key year, like ’03, for being nervous) to learn that even the geeks aren’t doing their reading.

    Mind you, no one else in all Canada, least of all me, noticed this cock-up for five long years. That can’t be insignificant, either. If modern pols pay no attention to what they say to us, it seems equally true that we citizens only pretend to listen to them. So what’s political conversation supposed to *accomplish*, exactly…?

    Or maybe the lesson is that Harper is stupendously boring, even to himself.

    The Star is giggling heartily over this, btw, and has the texts side by side here (scroll down to the sidebar):

    http://www.thestar.com/FederalElection/article/508742

    While the Grits, I grudgingly concede, have done a good job at Her Majesty’s Loyal Oppo Research, thus justifying the rather gleeful font in this handy PDF:

    http://www.liberal.ca/pdf/docs/080930_harper_howard_e.pdf

    Cheers,
    EC (L).

  2. jnarveyon 01 Oct 2008 at 8:28 am

    I wouldn’t want anyone to think I actually condone plagiarism. Absolutely, this happened. A head — the one that wrote (ie. copied) the speech, though not the one who said the words — has already rolled.

    I just thought the timing of it — given that the Liberals have reportedly been sitting on this info for months, is a bit silly. THIS is the Liberals secret weapon that’s going to rescue Dion from himself in this election?

    But that’s politics. In an election, throw everything at the enemy and hope something sticks. All the parties, including (especially?) the Tories are guilty of this. I suppose I shouldn’t get so worked up.

    Seems you’re right that both our leaders and our citizenry (including you and I) have lost the moral high ground on this one for not noticing for 5 years. Good points all around, Earnest Canuck. What is that saying about people getting the leaders they deserve?

  3. jnarveyon 01 Oct 2008 at 8:30 am

    Oh, and I hope the credit crisis in the US did not unduly affect you while taking care of your home refinancing. I actually don’t know what the concrete effects have been on our financial institutions this week.

    Bigger fish to fry, indeed.

  4. Raulon 01 Oct 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the link love, Jonathon, and I agree – we really ought to look at bigger/more relevant issues, like stopping gay-bashings like the one that just happened.

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