Monday, 10 August 2015

Pilot Episode: Harper Knows Best

The Canadian summer has long been known as our political silly season. Which may explain why Election 42 is proving to be so bizarre already.

"Harper promises to a tax credit for businesses on wages paid to apprentices"
No, not that one.

"Stephen Harper unveils home renovation tax credit"
No, not that one either.

"Stephen Harper’s vow against a Netflix tax"
Almost there!

"Stephen Harper vows to outlaw travel to 'places that are ground zero for terrorist activity'"

There we go!

Before I get into it, I am reminded of the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle and note that it applies here.
I may not be up to the task of achieving the required magnitude to refute Harper's Travel Ban.

To properly deconstruct this, we need to understand the motivation behind the reasoning so far:

1) "[Canadians] are going to terrorist training"
2) "There is no human right to travel and visit ISIS. That is not a human right in this country"
3) "necessary to fight jihadist terrorism"

One thing I've learned about Harper, is that he loves to make sweeping statements and use them as certifiable facts. His statements are like his omnibus legislation. So vast in scope, yet so devoid of rational analysis.

So I am going to attack this from another angle, by analyzing another threat to Canadians the Government likes to warn us about. Organized Crime. Remember when that was the biggest threat we faced?

"it is estimated that organized crime costs Canadians $5 billion every year"
"In 2010, police reported 94 homicides as being gang-related, compared to 72 in 2000"

Islamic Terrorism on Canadian soil has resulted in (arguably at most) 2 deaths and 5 injuries. Source. Costs to society? Can't find any Government numbers but the fight against it has cost us $122 million?

So to summarize: Organized crime costs us 70-90 lives per year and $5 Billion per year. Jihadist Terrorism has cost us 2 lives total and next to no social costs. It is reasonable to conclude we have this terrorism issue beat and need to step up our efforts to fight organized crime. Or at least use the same tools where applicable.

If people visiting Jihadist countries are going for the express purposes of being trained, and we need to stop that, does it not follow that we should stop people from visiting and being funded and trained by organized crime groups? After all, we know who the top 5 organized criminal groups are.

Using Harper's own logic of "There is no human right to travel and visit an organized criminal group" and banning such travel "is necessary to fight the global scourge of organized crime" I await Harper's announcement that travel to Japan, Russia, Italy and Mexico is hereby banned without express permission for legitimate travel.

Have to do what it takes. "There's no more importance than ensuring the safety of Canadians" after all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot one of the major Canadian organized crime groups - the CPC. Travel restrictions ain't gonna stop them.