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Shooting in the Canadian Parliament - what happened?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by Charlatan, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    As I am sure you all know, there was a shooting on Parliament Hill in Canada's capital, Ottawa. An unarmed soldier standing guard at the War Memorial was gunned down, and gained access to the Parliament buildings (a few hundred metres away from the momument) to in turn, be shot as he tried to inflict more damage.

    This is an event that would shake any nation. It's a horrifying thing to think that one of your own citizens would do such an act.

    In the immediate aftermath, there was considerable bi-partisanship on the part of all three major parties -- much hugging ensued. It didn't take long for the government to moot the idea of increased spying and intelligence gathering on its own citizens. For the most part there appears to be two trains of thought coming out of this event, and it is not yet certain which will be acendent.

    One the one hand, you have people such as conservative commentator, Rex Murphy playing the terrorists will not be tolerated line:

    Rex Murphy on the Ottawa shooting - Newfoundland & Labrador - CBC News

    On the other, you have those take a position that increased surveillance would have done nothing to stop one mentally ill shooter.

    Ian Mulgrew: Ottawa attack reveals gaping holes in social safety net
    Two very different points of view.

    As a Canadian, I am trusting our nation to stay calm and not buy into the idea that we need to listen to Stephen Harper and his law and order drivel. I stand for a Canada that learns from the past. During the October Crisis in the early 70s, we enacted marshall law. It was not a bright moment in Canada's history. That said, the same Prime Minister that enacted that law, less than 10 years later, enacted the powerful Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    More law and order isn't what's required. A stronger social safety net is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars
    Martial law. Channelling Baraka_Guru on that one.

    I'm not surprised that Harper responded to this in the way he did. It was easy to predict. It's his pattern. I have a feeling (or maybe it's wishful thinking) that he's not going to do anything more than grumble with an election looming and Trudeau the Younger's liberals already ahead in polling.

    The (neo)conservative line is that these people are evil horrific monsters and thus not human and therefore attempting to understand them on a human level is pointless and silly.

    The death of Corporal Cirillo was unnecessary and heartbreaking. His young son will now grow up without a father. It's the highest tragedy. And I think we owe it to Cpl Cirillo to do more to understand how this happened, and why this happened, and thus prevent it from happening again. It's foolish to pretend that mental health issues didn't play a role here. A healthy, mentally stable individual does not do a thing like this.

    Wailing and beating of breasts is all well and good but doesn't accomplish anything. Our neighbours to the south have amply demonstrated that strengthening the security state is also not the answer. I would hope that we would learn a different lesson from this.
     
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto
    Well played, ol' chap! Good form!

    I'm not sure if you guys caught this, but Harper has already played his hand.

    Harper vows to fast-track boost to spy, policing powers after shooting - The Globe and Mail


    While there seems to be some bipartisan support for quick measures to do something, it's not entirely clear just how much the others are willing to support Harper's methods. Harper seems to think that giving more powers to CSIS, the RCMP, and municipal police forces—and quickly—is the thing to do in response to this. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea. Okay, we can learn from what sort of failures may have occurred with these incidents, and we can learn more about how to track and deal with radicalization in light of Internet-derived extremist ideologies, but looking only at the surface hides the disappointing aspect of this: Harper will use this only to give broader powers to the overall state security mechanisms, without any real idea of its impact or effectiveness.

    Is he going for a kind of Patriot Act here? He seems to have taken the stance that we're fighting terrorism here. Sure, terrorism is a factor, but saying it like that is too vague. What we seem to be dealing with is a radicalization of young (and previously non-Muslim) men who somehow slipped through the cracks, whether legally or in terms of social services that may or may not be available to those who need them.

    So, yeah, terrorism based on corrupt Islamic ideology is an issue, ISIS is an issue, but there are deeper (and probably more serious) problems that seem to go overlooked here.

    On a side note: I made the mistake of not clicking away when I accidentally stumbled on a Sun Media post about this. Many comments were basically indicting Islam and immigration.

    The stupid.... It burns....
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  4. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars
    Until a bill is tabled, it's all just posturing.

    Harper's a shrewd politician. My suspicion is that he's going to attempt to capitalize on this event to revitalize his flagging public support. A PATRIOT style bill isn't likely to do that. The talk is just playing to his base, but I strongly suspect he's got a more nuanced play in the works here.
     
  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    I don't know that Harper will go for nuance. Some of the bills he has tried to push through previously, specifically Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, have been lacking in nuance.
     
  6. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted Donor

    As often as I hammer on the mental health point sometimes painting everyone as mentally unstable and insane for doing things like this can blind us to the possibility that there are perfectly sane and rational people whose politics drive them to want to kill us. We can lose sight of the terrible banality of evil, that it can come from those so unexceptional as to be exceptional in their blandness. Monsters don't always walk around with black leather uniforms and skulls on their hats.

    Responses to this tragedy has pulled emotions in both directions. On the one hand it's good to finally see Cpl Cirillo being celebrated and mourned instead of his murderer being turned into a celebrity, and on the other it's heartbreaking to see the hollow look of fear in Americans' eyes as they warn Canadians "Don't make our mistakes, don't give up your freedom because of this".