Watch a comparison between strikingly similar ads: one for Stephen Harper, one for a U.S. Republican candidate
The Liberal Party of Canada is sending around a video implying that Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has borrowed American material for one of his campaign ads—even though the ad itself seems to suggest that it’s super Canadian to vote Tory. (Frankly, it didn’t t make us want to vote for him so much as to buy surplus 2010 Olympics gear from The Bay.) The Conservative commercial in question appears to borrow heavily from a similar ad for Republican Tim Pawlenty, who has launched a bid to unseat Barack Obama in next year’s American presidential election.
The accusation that Harper relies a bit too much on the kindness of conservative strangers isn’t a new one. In 2008, a Tory aide was fired when it was revealed that Harper’s 2003 speech in favour of the Iraq war was lifted, in large part, from a speech made days earlier by Australian prime minister John Howard.
To put it charitably, Harper’s most recent clip is quite similar to the U.S. ad—but really it just proves how universally applicable marketing tricks are. As if to prove our point, some mad genius on YouTube (thanks, mc79hockey!) created a mashup of the Conservative ad and one of those jingoistic Molson commercials they play during Leafs games. If anything, Harper comes out looking better.
Perhaps most importantly of all, Harper imitating a U.S. Republican seems to indicate that he’s abandoned his early campaign borrowing from Emperor Palpatine, so Canada is no longer in danger of having all of our Jedi slaughtered.