As Canada heads to a federal election this month, the opposition Liberal party has dropped a timely bombshell concerning incumbent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. It turns out he delivered a speech to Parliament when he was Opposition Leader in 2003 which appears to largely plagiarise a speech delivered in another part of the world, two days earlier, by then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. The speech writer in question has resigned this week, acknowledging that he was “overzealous in copying segments of another world leader’s speech”. Canada’s Globe and Mail has the full story as well as the two videos side by side.
And how was the plagiarism found out? As the Globe and Mail explains:
A Liberal strategist said the party discovered them almost by accident while doing research on the Internet two months ago. The strategist said a junior staffer, who asked not to be identified, was doing a Google search on Mr. Harper, George W. Bush and the war in Iraq and came across a link to Mr. Howard’s speech. ?A little bell went off ? ?I have heard that language before’ ? and the rest, as they say, is history,? the strategist said.
Yet another salutary reminder of the far reaching impact of search engines and how your reputation is increasingly defined online.