Canada PM Harper faces plagiarism charges
This iraq is creating problem for everybody, this war paty of US led coalition have some inherent political cost, Mr Harper seems to be paying that.
Canadian politicians accused Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper of plagiarism in a 2003 speech on Iraq on Tuesday, giving the front-runner an unwelcome bump as he heads into this week's election debates.
The Liberal Party played tapes from a speech Australian Prime Minister John Howard had made on the need to back the United States on Iraq, and one Harper delivered two days later, with large sections being word-for-word identical.
"It matters a lot. Canadians want that their country speak with their own voice on the world stage. It's true for the prime minister. It's true for the leader of the opposition," Liberal leader Stephane Dion told reporters.
Harper made the comments when he was leader of the opposition Canadian Alliance, a forerunner of the current Conservative Party he now heads.
He has been prime minister since February 2006 and is seeking re-election on Oct. 14 in a campaign in which the Conservatives have a polling lead of seven to 11 percentage points over the Liberals.
For the Conservatives, the news is unwanted diversion in the preparation time before the 37-day campaign's two national leaders' debates on Wednesday and Thursday.
Harper himself did not respond to the plagiarism accusations, but a Conservative spokesman dismissed the opposition's charges.
"This is a five-year-old speech, three Parliaments ago, two elections ago, made by a leader of a party that no longer exists. It's very much old news and the fact that the Liberals are focusing on this is a sign of the desperation of their campaign," the spokesman said.