Let's be clear. Plagiarism is infingement of copyright and it is illegal. That's why university students get expelled for doing it. That's why political careers are done in when politicians do it. When someone writes something or says something, they own it. Unless they specifically put it in the public domain, it is illegal and immoral for someone else to rip it off.
In 2002, Mike Harris said:
"Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is never easy. It takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that in taking a new and innovative course, you are making change for the better. ... Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing."
A couple of months later, Stephen Harper said:
"Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is not about reading the polls and having focus group tests. It is never easy because it takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that taking a new and innovative course is going to make change for the better. Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing."
Harper is trying to slough this off, but plagiarism is a big deal. You cannot use someone else's words without giving them credit.
Not long after Harper stole these few lines, he ripped off much of a speech by Australian prime minister John Howard.
There's a pattern here. How many more plagiarized speeches are we going to discover in Harper's closet?
For more information about plagiarism, see this.