A prayer for Owen Lippert


“We’re going to put an end to the culture of entitlement, and replace it with a culture centered on accountability,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper, April 20, 2006.

But who is accountable for what a member of Parliament says in the House of Commons?


A prayer for Owen Lippert

  1. Better yet, Geddes, are those his words or someone else’s?

  2. Harper, obviously.

    But don’t expect him to admit it.

  3. what do you mean, “obviously?” Given today’s developments, I’d say that all of Harper’s proclamations ought to be called in question. That he would rely on a speech writer is perfectly fine with me but who else was plagiarized?

  4. Hmm? I was just pointing out that responsibility lies with the person giving the speech. Sword-falling or no, it was still Harper’s speech. That’s why politicians routinely edit speeches, because otherwise you end up being hoisted by someone else’s petard.

  5. When Harper said he could never ever mislead the Canadian people because his own father had instilled the values of truth and honesty so deep inside his besweatered vest…

    was it really harper’s father?

  6. Harper? no way this is clearly a junior staffer’s sphere of responsibility!

  7. Mike T., I see where you’re going with that but there’s no evidence that John Howard (b. 1939) was anywhere but in New South Wales when Stephen Harper was born (1959).

  8. don’t try and say anything good about the PM around here seaandmountains this is definitely not the place for that sort of behaviour! This forum is about attacking the PM with everything you have including broken down kitchen sinks.

  9. “This forum is about attacking the PM with everything you have including broken down kitchen sinks.”
    Wayne- Not to worry, now that you have used the words attack and PM in the same sentence I’m sure Mr. Harper will have the RCMP shut the site down ASAP.

  10. Somebody had best check on Wayne, it looks like he’s breaking down.

    (Whether he’s a person, or just software, that’s pretty bad.)

  11. Wayne: “This forum is about attacking the PM with everything you have including broken down kitchen sinks”.

    So a university professor with a PhD and former editorial board member, working as a speechwriter for Harper, committed plagiarism and it’s the Liberal’s fault?

    Or is it that the current PM, as MP from Calgary SW and leader of the Opposition, read in the House and wrote Op-Eds in papers using another politician’s ideas and words, and that’s the Liberals’ fault?

    I’m confused. What part of Harper’s speech, in which he was only trying to demonstrate his superior command of foreign affairs during a time of crisis, is clearly and unequivocally the Liberals’ fault?

    Sorry, was it that he was really right about Iraq, and only wrong in the sense that these were not his ideas or examples of his policy expertise on show, but rather those of another politician, that is the Liberals’ fault?

  12. 5% of the speech had a cribbed para….staffer resigns…public and press desire for some blood is satisfied…..yawn….cpuntdown has now started to the A-Bomb (A as in abortion).

    Almost came out yesterday at the Liberal Womans rally…..I am sure I hear the buzz from the bomb, when it stops thats when it will drop.

    Can you believe it, this is the same variation used last election, Harper got money from his American friends……when are we going to get soldiers in the streets?

    However one thing was clear from the speech, Harper didnt call for the the committing of canadian troops, that is clear.

    But Harper has never endorsed the use of torture, unlike Iggy.

  13. Geddes, you took the quote out of context. He continued:

    ““We’re going to put an end to the culture of entitlement, and replace it with a culture centered on accountability… as long as you are a lowly CPC staffer.”

  14. Sorry Wayne, I was being as sarcastic as I possibly could be. Harper is a dog for letting anyone take the fall for what he says on the best of days, let alone on running one election on a platform of accountability and another of the dysfunction of parliament. I have never seen anything as pathetic.

  15. Bizzaro. Harper should take the rap for deliberate plagiarizing of a speech given days before???

    That’s as silly as Dion calling for expulsion from Parliament.

  16. I am so glad that Stephen Harper has replaced the Liberal culture of entitlement with a Conservative culture of entitlement.

  17. Politicians use speechwriters! I’m shocked!

    The plagiarism charge ends with Mr. Lippert’s admission. He screwed up, and he’s resigned. Looks like accountability to me.

    Mr. Harper’s accountability is only for the “plot” of the speech. Harper read Owen’s speech, thought “Wow, this summarizes my feelings exactly!”, read the speech in Parliament, and continued to use certain choice phrases from it (as all politicians do when they find a line they like).

    While Harper’s original position on the Iraq War is certainly fair game for discussion, I disagree that he should wear some of the plagiarism blame. He shouldn’t have to ask his speechwriter if he copied anyone else.

  18. Guess Biden better be on his way then too, eh?

    Obviously not the best thing to have happen, but it’s no deal-breaker. Layton and Dion are still as loopy as ever, and I just wouldn’t do that to my country.

  19. Steven,

    Lippert hasn’t resigned. He pretend-resigned, like Sparrow. I’m sure he will continue his comfy job with Bev oda.

  20. Ummm — if Lippert resigns for copying a speech, shouldn’t Ritz resign for joking about dead Canadians?

  21. @stephen/CPCWarRoomSockPuppet, irrespective how many percentage points it was (read the pdf and liberal.ca – doesn’t look much like five), how many would make you care?

  22. Given Owen Lippert’s background
    Social Credit Government involvement.

    This is clear his both stupid and following different drummer than Steven Harper

    Owen Lippert holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Following his graduation in 1983, he worked as managing editor for the Asia and World Institute in Taipei, Taiwan. Returning to Canada in 1984, he worked first as a caucus researcher for the Social Credit government and, then as a policy analyst for the Office of the Premier until 1991. He joined the staff of Kim Campbell as press secretary during Campbell’s tenure as attorney general of Canada and minister of Justice. In 1993, while an advisor during Campbell’s leadership campaign, he taught at Carleton University and the University of British Columbia and he was a senior policy advisor in Industry and Science Canada during Campbell’s tenure as Prime Minister. In 1994, Dr. Lippert worked on contract for the Canadian department of Justice before going to work as a senior policy analyst at The Fraser Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1996, he joined the Editorial Board of The Globe & Mail in Toronto. His specialties are public policy and legal reform.

  23. Mark,

    Wow I am flattered you think I work in the Tory warroom….guess I’ll apply for that next election. Sorry to disappoint you I am an ordinary citizen, with Con sympathies clearly but nothing to do with the campaign. Looks like a dangerous job at the rate they are falling.

    Anyway, to your question. Let me put it this way, there is a line that makes it outright theft as opposed to being sloppy. Certainly anything near half the speech is theft, what work did you do.

    Now be careful since a number of journalists don’t do original thought but take the talking points of one party and spout them. Parties employ large numbers of people who try to think through stories so they cna be presented to reporters as complete easy to digest meals. I would say those reporters are being sloppy and lazy. If all they do is use some of the pre masticated story, add their own thoughts or original spin then maybe their being a little lazy, or potentially creative.

    In this case, the staffer was lazy, admitted and resigned. The huge majority of the speech was originally written and the major thoughts and tesis was original. This part falls into the setup and/or background to what was happening.

    Of course expecting someone, let alone reporters to place this kind of stuff into context and perspective is a little tough. But nonetheless, it shouldnt have happened, the staffer fessed up.

    But here is the perspective point that should be made, because it wasnt made well by the warroom earlier today. What the mistake illuminates is the state of office of The Leader of the Opposition in 2003. That was Stephen Harper in what, rookie year, maybe sophomore year and it speaks to the state of the Canadian Alliance in 2003.

    Does it speak to the PMO today, or the office of the Prime Minister today. Given all the complaints about control etc I would say not. So this is the point about it not being relevant…my goodness if Dion survives this election do you think he’ll organize the party the same way 5 years from now…should be judged by that then. Of course not.

    Should I hold Iggy to his support for the Iraq War 5 years ago, which he has now said is a mistake, the change was made 6 months ago by the way? Should I hold Bob Rae to his governments statements that the Ontario government could spend its way out of a worldwide recession, what a bonehead….most expensive graduate course ever taught, Bob Rae as Premier. People learn.

    So what is the line, it isnt 5 %, but if you can point to a speech where the core of it, the main theme or the jazzy quote that everyone remebers, like Biden’s, is the one that was lifted from someone else then you could get a less than 5% being a problem. But that kind of discriminating thinking is hard work, takes too much time and doesnt serve a partisan purpose…so it doesnt get done.

    But you know what, it doesnt matter what I think, what you think, what Geddes thinks….it matters if the issue has relevance over a day or so. If it does, harper pays a price for a mistake by a staffer 5 years ago and a kewpie doll and a raise goes to the Liberal Warroom guy who found the crib…because shock it wasnt Bob Rae that found it.

    If it doesnt resonate, it sinks beneath the waves. My opinion, for whatever its worth is that it wont resonate because the Cons found a resolution to the problem. You can spend time deciding if its a front or not but that effort wont gain you one more vote, thats just reality.

  24. Of course, Iggy and Rae have both acknowledged their mistakes, presumably that means they learned something from them.

    What mistakes has Harper acknowledged as his own?

  25. Owen Lippert is taking the fall for this one.I mean come on he wrote a book called “Competitive strategies for the protection of intellectual property”.
    These guys would try and have us believe that he was just an “employee’ as he is being referred to ,and was picked to write this very important speech on a subject that is extremely important for a new opposition leader.He was tired so he borrowed verbatim from a speech on the other side of the planet.He had easy access to this speech that had only been made 2 days earlier,since they are a day ahead of us in Australia I am not sure if that is technically only one day.Anyway it defies logic that he would be able to get hold of the text of that speech,unless of course the Republican masters had sent out a copy of what to say to both John Howard and Stephen Harper.
    This is much more than a copied speech,it really is about who is formulating Canada’s foreign policy.

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