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BTC: Questions for further discussion


 

John, like the rational veteran of Parliament Hill that he is, asks the most rational question of the day. Several more questions that are hopefully almost as rational.

Is the issue here really plagiarism? Or is the issue what that plagiarism says about Stephen Harper’s thinking, judgment and process when faced with the fundamental international matter of the past decade?

Does it really matter less that he was opposition leader at the time? Or should we do the thought experiment and imagine how we might have reacted to this news had he been Prime Minister when he delivered that speech?

And if the counter argument this morning was that whoever wrote the speech has long since moved on, what are we to conclude from the fact that the person who fraudulently crafted one of the most important speeches of Stephen Harper’s political career was still on staff?


 

BTC: Questions for further discussion

  1. Why can’t the issue be about wondering why Stephen Harper ever thought the Iraq invasion was a good idea to begin with? We all know now (some of us knew at the time) that the entire casus belli was fabricated.

  2. “Or is the issue what that plagiarism says about Stephen Harper’s thinking, judgment and process when faced with the fundamental international matter of the past decade?”

    It is arguable about what the fundamental international matter is because I would say it’s global warming. I look forward to your next post, Aaron, musing on Dion’s thinking, judgment and process after he stole Suzuki’s work and tried to pass it off as his own.

  3. Is there any thing else important that we could be discussing here? Like, oh I don’t know, global financial meltdown?

    What is this, they 10th post here on this topic?

    Harper and Layton want to debate this issue.

    On the other hand the media and the Liberals think the most important issue is if a speech-writer plagiarized parts of a speech 5 years ago.

  4. Is there any thing else important that we could be discussing here? Like, oh I don’t know, global financial meltdown?

    If you aren’t interested in this topic, you don’t have to comment on it. There’s a whole world of information out there that is but a mouse-click away.

  5. So let me get this straight. The media is all over this. Until now, they’ve been pro-Conservative party. Now that they have a matter of substance to hit Harper with, all of a sudden Conservatives say it’s not relevant? Right.

    This issue goes to trust. It also speaks to Harper towing the USA line and making Canada a pawn in his quest to create USA-lite. That is what the average Canadian is thinking. Not that he stole words, which is bad enough. But that he so clearly operated from an agenda which other Bush supporters followed. And also, as Don Newman AND Mike Duffy asked – did Owen really write this or did it come from a Bush speechwriter?

    Even Bob Fife, who has had a hate-on for the Liberals this entire campaign, recognizes this for what it is – very important. He called it a clean hit. And it is.

    Harper hasn’t shown accountability by throwing a staffer to the wolves. He’s shown he’ll sacrifice anyone to serve his agenda. That’s what we the public see and interpret in his actions – or inactions in this case.

  6. Aaron

    Are you going to bother the Dion plagiarisim of Suzuki’s work as a story or ignore it longer than CBC, CTV and CP?

    The academic ramification run far deeper than a speech writer’s inability to rewrite in a pinch.

    Not that your beloved craft ever let a little thing like that cloud their judgmentalism.

    bob

  7. “The media is all over this. Until now, they’ve been pro-Conservative party.” Please tell me where you get your discount mood altering substances.

  8. David Suzuki is world renowned on the environment. It’s no secret that his work is copied by politicians everywhere.

    Howard is a politician who is renowned for nothing, and could not even win his own seat in the recent Aussie election. Copying his work would be like Kentucky Fried Chicken copying my fried-chicken recipe for their next menu offering.

    In other words, John Howard is no David Suzuki. Also Suzuki is Canadian – Dion copied a Canadian. At least, Harper could have done the same.

    Got it, Tory War Room Zealots?

  9. Please tell me where you get your discount mood altering substances.

    Yes, please tell Greg that. He’s in dire need.

  10. Yes, please blah, blah..dire need.

    You raise an awesome point man. Just awesome.

  11. Note to the media:

    the extent to which you have to exert yourselves in explaining why something is really important,

    is a reflection of just how unimportant it really is.

    I’m sure a “save the insects” activist would equally try to explain to the general public, the importance of Harper squishing a bug on his way to parliament.

  12. David Suzuki is a respected Canadian environmental policy analyst. Using his policy proposals is something many Canadians would probably approve of.

    John Howard was then a foreign head of state. It doesn’t say much for Canada’s voice in the world as represented by Harper, when his position on the biggest foreign policy issue of the decade is verbatim that of Mr. Howard.

  13. Seems to me the issue here is not Harper copying Howard, but both of them singing from the same hymn sheet, one that was handed to them by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz et al. The Conservatives are loving that the controversy is about plagiarism rather than external direction.

  14. I guess, John, Paul, Kady & Aaron (sounds like a musical group from the 60s), the real question is whether Stephen Harper still stands by that speech. You’d think the debates would be kind of interesting to watch now, eh?

  15. You raise an awesome point man. Just awesome.

    You’re really stupid. And no elitist pseudonym like “Darren Trent” is going to hide that fact.

  16. ” the real question is whether Stephen Harper still stands by that speech”

    Sure hope one of the others gets a chance to slip that gem in…

  17. I think the real question, Aaron, is why the trolls think that the desperate Suzuki gambit actually has legs.

  18. jwl: “It is arguable about what the fundamental international matter is because I would say it’s global warming.”

    I would too. The difference is that you’re a global warming denier. When you’re ready to join the real world, please let those of us in the Reality-Based Community know.

    Even if Dion “stole” Suzuki’s work (no proof of that, but a transparent attempt to change the subject), the fact is that Suzuki is right, internationally respected and vindicated.

    Harper stole/coordinated/parroted a wrong and indefensible stance on the biggest foreign policy debacle in living memory.

    Whoever plagiarized from whom, the difference is that Dion’s policy stance is right. Harper’s policy stance (on this issue) is as wrong as those of the discredited Bush, Blair and Howard regimes.

  19. I would like to see each of the party leaders in tomorrow’s debate asked to take five minutes to explain their posiion on plagiarism and whether they think Canada should have gone into the Iraq war.

  20. “Harper stole/coordinated/parroted a wrong and indefensible stance on the biggest foreign policy debacle in living memory.”

    Hindsight is always 20/20, eh. A lot of people at the time thought that the Iraq War was justified. And if Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld hadn’t screwed it up post-“Mission Accomplished”, who knows what could have been, even with no actually WMD’s found.

  21. And for the record, I was against the war. I thought they should finish Afghanistan first.

  22. Steve M: ‘Oopsie!’ is not an acceptable stance on the Iraq mistake. Harper’s stance was as indefensible then as it is now.

    From Bush’s transparently misleading campaign for the war to ignoring their own nuclear inspectors (Scott Ritter, for one) who told them there were no WMD’s, it was obvious to even a moderate skeptic that there was no cause for war with Iraq.

    I’m not talking about hindsight, I’m talking about an even-handed assessment of the facts that were widely available at the time.

    Talking about the glorious war that could have been, if only better executed is a ridiculous red herring. Ridiculous because there was simply no way to avoid the quagmire. And a red herring because a well-executed Iraq war would still have been an indefensible crime.

  23. “Oopsie”?

    Getting rid of Saddam and bringing democracy to Iraq are good things, but I won’t pretend that that was the original pitch for the war, or that the second has even been achieved.

    Red herring’s aside, I’ve never said Harper shouldn’t be asked about his opinions on the Iraq War now versus then. But I think a lot of people are remembering a lot more anti-War evidence than was actually available at the time.

  24. Hi Anon (7:25),

    John Howard ran a country with the world’s 14th largest GDP for more than a decade.

    David Suzuki is unknown by anyone beyond the range of a CBC broadcast.

    Which one do you think gets an invitation to speak to the UN General Assembly?

  25. @Davey Boy:

    Ever been to Australia?

    Suzuki actually has a large following there (probably as much, or more than in Canada). His shows are regularly broadcast there, and judging from Aussie bookstores he sells a hell of a pile of his books.

    This is probably because science coverage in the Australian media, and the Aussie public’s appetite for science, makes the Canadian equivalent look pretty lacklustre.

    Howard is long gone to the majority of Australian’s relief but Suzuki continues to have a significant presence in Australian public discourse.

  26. comment by Steve M on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 10:35 am:

    But I think a lot of people are remembering a lot more anti-War evidence than was actually available at the time.

    ***

    When you’re talking about attacking a sovereign nation that hasn’t attacked you, you should need evidence TO attack it, not evidence to NOT attack it. And it should be a lot of evidence, far more than was available at the time.

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