It’s not just that I majored in Sociology at McGill that I find Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent comment annoying. Harper said, in reference to a comment made by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau about the Boston Marathon bombing, that now is not the time to “commit sociology”. Trudeau, after expressing outrage at the bombings and passing along appropriate condolences pointed out that it is important to look into the “root causes” of terrorism.
… when it’s much better to just play Whac-a-mole and take a swing at problems when the pop up
Commit sociology … isn’t that a chuckle? God forbid a politician should suggest looking into the causes of a problem when it’s much better to just play Whac-a-mole and take a swing at problems when the pop up.
Sadly it would appear that Harper would rather deal with terrorism in this knee-jerk manner than try to nip it in the bud – or root. The Prime Minister made his comment just after it was announced that Canadian police, in conjunction with US forces had arrested two men in Toronto on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack on a passenger train. No doubt police want to keep details to themselves when it comes to terrorism, but the news conference was so lacking in information that CNN switched to their own terrorism experts to liven things up a bit. What puzzled the CNN folks was the Canadian assertion that these two men were affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iran (not Iraq).
The root causes of terrorism is terrorists, that’s how we respond.
– Pierre Poilievre MP
One of Harper’s MPs, Pierre Poilievre, in an interview on CBC explained the government’s approach to terrorism as such “The root causes of terrorism is terrorists, that’s how we respond.” Clearly Poilievre is a deep thinker who has given the problem of escalating terrorism much academic thought. If he were made minister for fires he’d no doubt cancel all preventative efforts and suggest firefighters just keep spraying water on fires, because we all know the root cause of fires is … well, fire.
Harper and his Conservatives are starting to show signs of panic as Trudeau continues to climb in polls. Will the anti-intellectual approach, so popular in the US, help Harper regain lost ground? One of the interesting aspects of Sociology is that of political polling, perhaps Harper should “commit” some Sociology himself and have a look at the “root cause” for his drop in said polls!