It’s definitely not plagiarism if you improve on the original


The Liberal war room wants you to look at this Conservative ad and notice how closely it’s inspired by the Australian original. I don’t have the faintest problem with what the Tories did here, and wonder whether it’s an own-goal if you put out a release that essentially invites Canadians to look at an attack ad against your own leader. But I’m happy to put the two ads up so you can see how much better Canadian conservatives are at producing attack ads. It’s quality work like this that will keep us ahead of China and India.



It’s definitely not plagiarism if you improve on the original

  1. It’s official, then: all future gambling analogies with respect to elections shall be considered plagiarism of the John Howardites.

  2. I just can’t believe how bad the Australian ad is.

  3. From the ad:

    TV: “John Howard was answering questions in Parliament…”
    *Switching channel.*
    Narrator: “Sometimes, things can seem a little boring.”

  4. First, did that Aussie dude actually pick his ear and eat a bit of it while playing craps?

    Second, short of the dice, there’s not much in common between the two. And it’s a pretty good ad by the conservatives – not mean or personal at all. Maybe there’s not enough oxygen getting into these “war rooms”.

  5. Wow. The Liberal war room wants to make a plagiarism allegation out of this???? Unbelievable. They are nothing alike.

  6. Okay this is gettiing silly, the Liberals hit a homer with their first allegation but now they are looking like some has-been entertainer trying to regain some past glory.

  7. Actually, I thought the Aussie ad was pretty funny, but me guess is they weren’t trying to appeal to the womens vote. The Canadian one …booorring.

    But, as far as rerunning the attack ads, it’s a reminder that Australia went for Rudd, Bush is on the way out, and do we really want to stand alone?

    That ads been out for a while and the latest poll has the Conservatives at 31% — four points below the absolute lowest poll they got in the last two weeks of the 2006 election.

  8. The Conservatives show nerve, including a line like:
    “as for the details? they say we’ll get those *after* the election” in their ad — Stephen Harper is the king of “vote for me first, ask questions later”. (At which point, he probably won’t answer them…)

  9. Hey, Paul, whatever happened to your election ad tracking experiment? Did it collapse under the weight of logistics?

  10. I will have to say that that’s some decent CG work on those dice.

    Do adds like these make me want to vote for Harper? Not in the slightest.

  11. Does the Liberal war room truly believe that this will change my vote? Wow!

  12. I guess it’s now clear that Harper is appealing to the bingo and VLT crowd.

  13. Two Hats, I very much like your phrasing. Yes, the ad-tracking experiment “collapsed under the weight of logistics,” i.e. I was too busy and disorganized to get it up and running the first weekend, by which point there was such an astonishing barrage of ads from all parties that I couldn’t figure out how to get useful information from trying to track them. I’ve been a little taken aback by how quickly all the parties started saturation bombing with broadcast ads. But yeah, mostly just me being disorganized on the first weekend.

  14. And everyone: to be fair, the Liberals didn’t use the word “plagiarism” in regard to this little, uh, thing. The headline is “Harper parrots failed Howard attack ads.” It’s just pretty clear to me where they were going with this comparison.

  15. It’s all about underlining the extent to which the CPC lacks ideas. On the environment. On the economy. On Iraq. On Afghanistan. And apparently, even in their ability to create “tasteful” attack ads.

    Then you look at the CPCs “front bench”, and you understand completely why this is the case.

    Can’t wait to the patchwork of election tossers that the CPC drums up at the last minute to call their “economic platform”. Undoubtedly, it will not be the last example of their cribbing.


  16. Can someone tell the Tories their dice are messed up? I don’t know of any casino where letters are on the dice instead of numbers… Or are they actually children’s alphabet blocks? Perhaps they’re gambling with our children’s future, no?

  17. Two Cents – FYI, I doubt they were targeting you specifically.

    PW – I can’t say that this seems likely to be the most effective strategy in the world, but… at the same time, one has to think the message that the CPC has ‘got nothing’ is starting to get weighty:

    1) daily flip flops between the economy is fine and the economy is on the verge (SD’s plan is inadequate, minority gov’t will cause a recession, can’t spend money cause we are on the brink, etc)

    2) the crown jewel of the Tory platform is rumored to be the diesel cut

    3) and whether it be speeches or ads the ideas emanate elsewhere

    This election has squarely shifted, due to economic concerns, from HS students council popularity contest (who is a stronger leader) to ‘this thing may/has go pear-shaped and I want to know you has some substance to be able to handle that’, so…

    it doesn;t seem to be as bad an idea to reinforce the Tories have got nothing and the bulk wait of their attack on SD is ‘he is a risk ’cause he has a substantive vision (that you may aggree with or not)’.

  18. The speech Harper gave would be illegal under his bill 61 copyright bill. He would have broken his own law if it had passed.

    So yes this is a serious issue, just wait until Bill 61 the Tories want to bring in passes and makes just about anyone in this country criminals just because they change the audio file so they can play it on one device or another. Read Geist Blog and see what you are getting with a tory government

  19. Well, on the one hand, it’s not as strong as the original charge. On the other hand, Rudd won.

    I wouldn’t necessarily mind making the comparison either. The unstated bit of knowledge here is that Harper worships Howard, but Howard got his ass whipped. If Harper is building his entire public persona on that loser, what does that make him?

  20. Oh, and both ads suck, for different reasons. the CG was fine in the Canadian one, but the little subbed in clips looked slipshod. The Australian one just took too long to get to the point. Someone needed to tell that guy that people tune out after 15 seconds.

  21. EEk… that Austrailian commercial was cringingly bad. The CPC commercial was bad too though – I guess they aren’t aiming at me.

  22. if one notices the last scene the dice have all the same letters on all sides so the Cons get the result they want -ie the result of the dice throw is predetermined because the CPC rigged, fixed or cheated the system to show the results they wanted. Too bad not so with the real world where they cannot control everyone’s ideas and actions.

    stunning honesty indeed.

  23. “The unstated bit of knowledge here is that Harper worships Howard, but Howard got his ass whipped. If Harper is building his entire public persona on that loser, what does that make him?”

    Much as I loathe the man (Howard, that is, not Harper – as an Australian, I have no strong feelings about Harper either way), I think it’s unarguable that Howard is more a success than a failure: twelve years and four straight terms in office as Prime Minister (1996-2007), making him Australia’s second-longest serving PM. I’d imagine it’s that part of Howard’s record that Stephen Harper is looking to emulate.

  24. Reporters keep saying, directly, Harper is an economist, or allow others to claim it in stories they write.

    Can someone in the media, like you, Paul Wells :) , provide a list of the jobs he’s worked as an economist, and also provide all the papers he’s published in scholarly journals of economics? He has a masters degree in economics. Was his thesis published, and has it ever been cited?

    I searched the google scholar for anything written by Harper, and found only newspaper articles. But I think that you might have access to other databases.

  25. I find it ironic that the Conservatives can’t come up with an original campaign speech or ad (or gesture) – clearly they can’t get anyone creative who can come up with original ideas to work for them! They cut funding that helps support Canadian artists and writers to create Canadian content (and to show their work abroad) yet the Conservatives steal all their material and ideas from other countries since they clearly can’t find a Canadian who’s up to the job (Harper’s “apology” to the Canadian aboriginal people was also a PR move taken directly from Kevin Rudd’s election book – though the Conservatives had no clue about how to deploy the move effectively or strategically).

    Harper’s been coasting through his term on the Liberal’s coattails – Chretien’s refusal to play ball with the Bush/Cheney/Rove administration meant we weren’t sucked into the neo-con corporate agenda of funding corporate greed out of taxpayer pockets and deregulating industy that’s resulted in the meltdown in the US. Harper’s also worked as a lobbyist against universal healthcare and for private corporate medicine, it’s quite clear that he thinks someone other than us citizens should be profiting from our tax dollars and if it trickles down we should be grateful for that $500 rebate on ballet lessons for our little princesses or finishing lessons so they have class…oh, wait, I meant to say “culture”, Harper would never think culture was just an after school activity for the children of the wealthy…

Sign in to comment.